Monday, October 31, 2016

Spoil Your Dog With a Box from Truly Pawsome #HolidayGiftGuide

My parents got a rescue dog named Paisley back in July after losing their Bichon of 17 years.  She's a Bichon/Poodle mix who is about 3 years old.  She's very friendly and always wants to play and give kisses! I believe dogs everywhere should be spoiled and pampered to no end and that includes Paisley! It's been a while since I've sent her some goodies in the mail, and now is as good of a time as any.  When's the last time you gave your furry friend some gifts?

Truly Pawsome is a monthly subscription box that offers 4-5 hand selected natural, eco-friendly and quality doggie treats and toys.  The company offers doggy parents the chance to select items by the size of their dog.  Choose from subscription plans of 1,3,6 or 12 months.  Your dog will love having a box come to them every month! They will go woofin' crazy for squeaky toys or even duck flavored treats.  Go ahead and spoil them or another special dog in your life today.

Paisley received a fabulous box from Truly Pawsome that made her bark for joy.  She knew the box was for her since she sniffed it like crazy and couldn't wait to open it.  Inside was truly a dog's paradise and filled with a squeaky toy, training treats, duck jerky, carrot cake treats, and an eco-friendly dog baggie holder for your leash.  The treats are grain-free and 100% natural.  What more could a dog want?

The furry pup immediately went nuts for the squeaky toy.  She grabbed it and started running around the house squeaking it.  My dad enjoyed playing tug of war with her thanks to the rope on the top and Paisley loved it just as much!  


What dog doesn't like treats? Of course Paisley doesn't discriminate against any treat no matter what size, shape, or flavor it comes in! She seemed more interested in the duck jerky treats than the carrot cake for the time being, so she tried those first.  They look like real beef jerky and have an aroma that no dog can resist.  Paisley happily gobbled up the jerky and licked her lips afterwards, I think it's safe to say she was a fan!  I like that the treats included are different from what Paisley normally gets, and even from what you can buy at your local pet store.  These are not your typical run-of-the-mill milk bones or rawhide bones.  I'm sure she'll be enjoying the other treats in no time.   

The bag holder is convenient since it attaches right to your leash for quick doggy clean-up.  Forget bringing a bag with you, since you'll always have one with you! Just put a roll of doggy bags in the holder and you'll be good to go. 

Paisley is very happy with her box from Truly Pawsome and is excited that she has a new toy.  Keep Truly Pawsome in mind for your dog's Christmas present this year, they'll absolutely love it!

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


Make Sure Your Child Has a Birthday Shirt from Two Hearts in Stitches

I'm no stranger to loving personalized items for Scarlett.  There's just something so exciting and unique about having an item made to order that you can't buy in a store.  Scarlett has personalized books and toys in her room.  When she was a baby she had personalized bibs and onesies.  She is a lucky girl and I believe she loves the items just as much as her mom does.  If your child doesn't have anything personalized for them, it's time you order something special for them today!



Two Hearts in Stitches is an Etsy shop ran by owner Francine.  She creates custom embroidered and hand sewn children's shirts to make your child's next birthday party or occasion a real hit.  If your little one is having a themed birthday party such as Sesame Street or Hello Kitty, why not let them have a matching shirt to wear to their party? Their age is displayed next to their character of choice with their name underneath.  You can choose from a short or long-sleeved shirt in the color of your choosing, and several fonts are available for the text.  

If your child isn't having a birthday party in the near future, the shop also can do custom Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas shirts too. Your little one will look adorable in whatever shirt you choose! The shop has sizes starting as young as an infant. 

Scarlett's second birthday party is rapidly approaching and I couldn't be more excited! Since she loves Sesame Street so much, you can guess what the party theme is going to be! I know she'll be so excited when she sees all of the themed matching decor and tableware on the day of.  You only turn two once (but I'll be saying this for all of her future birthdays!) I just want her to have a fabulous birthday and a ton of fun.  I'm going slightly overboard with character cookies and hand-dipped chocolate covered Oreo's with Elmo's face on them among many other surprises.  The party will be fantastic!


What does the birthday girl wear to a Sesame Street party, you ask? Certainly not an everyday outfit of course.  Scarlett will be wearing a long-sleeved themed shirt from Two Hearts in Stitches! She was fortunate enough to have a special shirt made for her that is just too cute.  Since Elmo is her favorite Sesame Street character, I knew she'd love to have him on the shirt.  I designed the shirt myself picking from available fonts, fabrics, and colors.  In the end, I chose a pink and white chevron "2", Scarlett's name in a curly pink font, and of course that lovable Elmo! 

When the shirt came in the mail, I opened the package and instantly loved it.  Sometimes it's hard to imagine what something in your head will look like versus a hard copy, but it turned out wonderfully. The colors are bold and vibrant and the stitching and embroidery is top notch.  The quality of the shirt is made well and it fits with some room to grow, which is perfect since the party is in December.  I'm thinking black or pink boots would pair perfectly with the outfit to complete the ultimate toddler party look.

Scarlett absolutely loves the shirt and instantly pointed to Elmo and smiled.  That furry monster makes her smile all the time, he's like magic for toddlers!

I'm so satisfied with how the shirt came out and I cannot wait for her to wear it.  With only weeks to go until the birthday party, I won't have to wait too long! I'll definitely be keeping Two Hearts in Stitches in mind for any of my future themed shirt needs.

*DISCLOSURE* I received a product sample in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Put An Armitron Watch Under The Christmas Tree This Year #HolidayGiftGuide

Christmas is rapidly approaching.  Doesn't it feel like this year just flew by? Before you know it, it'll be Thanksgiving! As you make your holiday shopping list, I'm sure you're already thinking about what to buy for your husband or father this year.  How about skipping the requisite tie or book this year and give Pops a special gift that he'll remember always? A square watch box from Armitron wrapped under the Christmas tree would certainly make his day.

Armitron offers various styles of men and women's watches that will instantly become anyone's favorite.  Browse through not only digital watches but traditional watches on their website.  If you're looking for a birthday or anniversary gift for your significant other this year too, an Armitron watch would be a great choice.  Whether you're searching for a silver watch with genuine Swarovski crystals on the face, or a watch with a blue face inside, they have you covered plus many more.  There's a watch that will fit anyone's taste and style for Christmas.  Why not also treat yourself to a gorgeous new timepiece this holiday season?

I surprised my husband with a Men's Ion Plated Stainless-Steel and Black Dial Bracelet Watch and he was very excited about it.  Jay's watches are a few years old and could stand to be updated.  He has standard leather strap watches as well as silver linked ones that are for everyday use.  I thought it would be nice for him to have a unique watch that you don't see everyday, and this one fits the bill.  Plus, it's a more dressy than his standard watches.


It's easy to fall in love with the gorgeous sleek and modern watch featuring a large face and easy-to-read time display.  This will definitely be a love-affair that will last a lifetime.  Not only is the watch attractive, but very stylish too.  It works well for both work and play and will surely land you lots of compliments.  Whoever you gift this watch to will feel like a million bucks each and every time they wear it.

Jay instantly put it on and was very enthusiastic about how modern it was.  It's adjustable to one's liking and he had no issues with it securely staying on.  He said that thanks to the large face with modern silver numbers, the time was very easy to read.  Set the time in seconds so you'll always be in the know of the current time.  The red tip on the hands give it a pop of color which adds style.  You'll notice that the date is also on the watch to easily keep track of the date.  The hands of the watch move seamlessly allowing you to keep track of time easily.

Since the watch is black, it can virtually go with anything you pair it with.  Whether you wear it with a red sweater or a blue button-down shirt, it'll look equally as great.  You'll smile each and every time you wear it!

My husband is really happy with his new watch and can't stop wearing it.  I think it's safe to say that he loves it.

Don't forget to give Dad or any other special man in your life an Armitron watch this year, they'll definitely wear it for years to come.






Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Start Your Day Off with Coffee From Driftaway Coffee #HolidayGiftGuide

Can you believe Fall is already here? This year has gone by so fast! Winter will be knocking on our doors before we know it. It's hard to believe, isn't it? When the temperatures drop, we reach for a satisfying mug of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea to keep warm.  I know a rich and sweet cup of hot chocolate is always on my agenda during the cooler months of the year.  Hot coffee goes hand in hand with entertaining this holiday season.  There's nothing better than fabulous conversation and coffee with your loved ones.



Driftaway Coffee is a small-batch coffee roaster that offers mail-based coffee subscriptions. The company is unique in the aspect that they have a special approach to "taste matching." They send their customers a sample pack of four different coffees from around the world, and the customer rates the coffee.  The kit exposes people to the different tastes coffee can have, based on where it's from and how it's been roasted.  After that, customers only get coffees belonging to the profiles they like.

Driftaway Coffee changes their coffees each month, so you'll always get to try a new blend and find something you love.  The company offers untraditional flavors in their coffee like apples and notes of vanilla and honey.  Trust me, this coffee is something you definitely cannot buy at your local grocery store!



Whether you like flavored blends, decaf, smooth, rich, or bold flavors, Driftaway Coffee will make sure to satisfy what your taste buds are looking for. You can choose to have the coffee arrive every two weeks, or even on a weekly or monthly basis too.  Don't forget to pair that hot cup of joe with a fabulous pumpkin muffin for a wonderful mid-day treat.

Everyone has that coffee connoisseur in their family, and a subscription to Driftaway Coffee makes the perfect gift for them for Christmas. Keep them in mind for yourself too!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Scarlett's Love Affair with Tomatoes

I'm not quite sure exactly when it started, but Scarlett is absolutely crazy about tomatoes.  If we're in the grocery store and we pass by the produce section and she sees tomatoes, she goes nuts.  She will reach for them and try to grab many boxes at once.  If I tell her no we have tomatoes at home or we don't need to buy them, she gets very upset and cries or screams.  People generally turn to see what the chaos is all about and it can be sometimes embarrassing!


I regularly have to have boxes of Campari tomatoes at the ready, because my child eats them like they're candy.  If you give her a whole tomato, unchopped, she'll eat it just like an apple.  It's pretty funny to watch.  She loves raw chopped tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, and tomatoes cut up in pasta or with chicken.  There's no denying that she loves that round veggie!


If you ask Scarlett if she wants tomatoes, she smiles and gets very excited.  You'd think I was offering her candy by her reaction.  Most kids don't love vegetables and it can be challenging to get them to eat them, so I consider myself lucky.  


When we go out to eat, we sometimes ask for a plate of chopped tomatoes to keep her happy and occupied while we wait for the food.  It makes her happy each and every time and she goes to town chowin' down!


Tomatoes also calm Scarlett down if she's upset or having a tantrum.  I'll put her in the highchair with one and she instantly feels better .  Did you know tomatoes are magic for toddlers? :)

I'd definitely say tomatoes are one of her favorite foods, hands-down.  She throws some food on the floor from her highchair, but you'll never see her throw tomatoes!



Monday, October 24, 2016

Get Up Close With Nature this Holiday Season #HolidayGiftGuide

I live right next to a forest and frequently see chipmunks, birds, squirrels, and rabbits in my backyard.  It's interesting to look outside and see some kind of wildlife at all times.  My daughter and dog love to watch the animals together all day long.  It would be nice to see the different bird species up close without scaring them away.  That dream can now be a reality for anyone!



Nature Anywhere offers a Birds-I-view Window Bird Feeder that will make your house their favorite feeding spot! Each feeder is made with high quality, anti-uv plastic glass which allow it to stay clear and beautiful for years.  Fill the feeder with a bird's favorite seed and it's ready to use right out of the box.  No assembly required, just stick it to the window and you're done.  The patent pending feeding tray allows you to slide it open and closed to fill and re-fill it.  You'll love watching the birds flock to the feeder all day long to eat.  



The Birds-I-View Window Bird Feeder makes a perfect gift for practically anyone in your family.  An elderly retired person would find a lot of joy in the feeder and how it brings nature right to their windowsill.  Children would be enthusiastic to watch the birds and learn about wildlife and bird species too.  It's always nice to turn an everyday thing into an educational lesson!

Stick the feeder on your window and you'll attract beautiful Robin's, Cardinal's and who knows what else? Everyday will be a surprise! 

Keep the feeder in mind for Christmas presents both present and future.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Freshly Picked Helps Any Child Look Stylish Instantly #HolidayGiftGuide

Since my daughter Scarlett was born 22 months ago, everyday has been a non-stop fashion show.  I regularly dress her up in adorable dresses and girly outfits.  No outfit is complete without a matching hair bow either. Scarlett's tiny clothes are hard to resist and of course she looks so cute in them.  I feel that every little girl's wardrobe should include a lot of glitter and leopard!

Freshly Picked offers high quality leather moccasins for both baby boys and girls.  The soft-soled and hard-soled moccasins are easy to take on and off and stay securely on your child's feet.  Most of the style choices come in solid colors like black, brown, and pink, but there are a few themes such as watermelons, the American flag, and army camouflage.  A great thing about Freshly Picked is the moccasins range in sizes from 1-10 and fit true to size, so your child will be able to enjoy a pair for years to come.  Each pair of shoes is hand-made in the USA and will look fabulous on your child's feet.  Keep Freshly Picked in mind for a baby shower or child's birthday or Christmas gift.

When Scarlett was younger, we had an adorable pair of pink Freshly Picked moccasins that I loved.  I was so sad when she outgrew them that I saved them.  Maybe if we have another baby and it's a girl, she'll get to wear them too! I knew Scarlett's closet would enjoy having another pair of moccs in it and the leopard moccasins were the perfect pick.



Scarlett's absolutely loving her new leopard moccs.  She has a few pieces of leopard in her wardrobe, but was lacking one key component--leopard shoes! The kicks fit her well and she can walk easily in them.  They stay on her feet securely and easily and she really seems to like them. She has no issues walking in them and I can't get over how adorable they are. There are so many different ways you can style the shoes to work with many various outfits.  How about a black dress with white tights and leopard moccs? Leopard is bold and vibrant and really adds style and personality.


A white shirt with black or denim jeans with the shoes would look adorable too.  Don't forget to pair a black or pink dress and white tights with leopard moccs for a great Fall look. A leopard or black bow would complete your little one's ensemble for a picture-worthy look. Whether you pair the moccasins with a dress, jeans, or even a skirt, there are so many different looks you can style that you'll never run out of outfits to pair the shoes with.  Gold and leopard look beautiful together too.


I can't wait for Scarlett to wear the shoes all season long.  Since her feet grow slowly, we'll get a lot of wear out of the shoes since Freshly Picked is an-all weather shoe.  Keep Freshly Picked in mind for all of your holiday needs both present and future.

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








Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scarlett Loves Her Sister!

Ever since I can remember, Scarlett and Lynnie have had a special bond.  When I was pregnant, people were a little nervous at how Lynnie would react to Scarlett because she's a rescue dog.  Also, animals can be unpredictable no matter how friendly they are.  I tried to keep Lynnie away from Scarlett in the beginning because she was a tiny baby and I didn't know her intentions.  She was curious and tried to sniff her and get aquatinted with her.



As time went on, I couldn't deny the bond they had developed and I didn't try to either! Scarlett loves her sister and is always wanting to be with her.  When Scarlett wakes up in the morning and I go into her room to get her, Lynnie follows me.  She points at Lynnie and laughs and smiles and Lynnie usually licks Scarlett's feet which are through the crib bars.  Scarlett loves that!


During the day, Scarlett plays with Lynnie's toys with her.  She'll try to grab the toy from the dog's mouth and play tug of war, or she'll hand her her bones or balls.  Scarlett is a sweet sister and tries to do the best she can with her.  She enjoys petting Lynnie even though I have to remind her to be gentle.  Of course since she's a toddler she wants to try to touch Lynnie's ears or eye, and we're working on not doing that.  Lynnie is very patient with her and knows she's just a baby. 


Scarlett is always looking around for Lynnie if she's not in the same room as her.  If I have to take her upstairs to get dressed or for a bath, she points at Lynnie and wants her to come upstairs with her. 

Since Lynnie is a young dog, she'll be around to grow up with Scarlett.  I know they'll be best friends for years to come! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie Would Be Great to Make This Holiday Season

I firmly believe in indulging in delicious desserts on any day that ends in Y.  Whether I'm sinking my teeth into a luscious piece of chocolate cake or having an ice cream sundae, you can guarantee that my belly will be happy.

Recently, I stumbled upon a dessert recipe that I knew I had to make. Who doesn't love the flavors of smooth and creamy peanut butter with chocolate candies and Reese's peanut butter cups? The combination is both sinful and rich.  If this is right up your alley, I have a wonderful treat for you to sink your teeth into.


This Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie will not only make your tastebuds dance, but it'll put a big smile on your face too.  Dessert always tends to make me smile. 


Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup all purpose flour
optional, pinch of salt to taste
12 to 14 mini peanut butter cups
about 2/3 cup peanut butter M &M's


Candy perfection

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9-inch pie dish with floured cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it.  Add the e.g., brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't over mix.

5. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

6. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.

7. Evenly insert the chocolate candies into the batter, pushing them down to anchor. 

8. Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools.  Allow pie to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Dessert is served

You'll be left with a luxurious and silky pie that you won't want to share with anyone.  The peanut butter flavor is perfect matched with the chocolate candies. What a classic combination, don't you think? 

These layers of peanut butter and chocolate will make anyone happy

You'll be requested to make this delicious pie time and time again, and your family will absolutely love it.  It's so easy to make that you'll be able to whip it up in no time. 

Don't forget a tall glass of icy cold milk.

*Recipe taken from Averie Cooks*

Monday, October 17, 2016

Gifts From Puzzle Warehouse Would Look Great Underneath The Tree #HolidayGiftGuide

Chances are you have a child on your holiday gift list this year who loves toys.  Whether you're buying for your own young toddler or even a niece, there's a gift you know they've been eyeing. It can sometimes be hard to think of exactly what to buy for people, but thanks to online shopping, gift ideas are at your disposable!



Puzzle Warehouse sells jigsaw puzzles for all ages as well as games and toys for kids.  The puzzles are categorized by brand and type which will surely delight anyone from 100 pieces to 1,000.  Puzzles are wonderfully therapeutic and can entertain individuals for hours.  Older children would enjoy a range of games from trivia and memory to party and cards.  You can't forget younger children who will certainly love pretend play cooking and dress-up sets, as well as plush toys from the company.  Adults would even love a puzzle of a nature or beach scene to pass the time.  With the range of products offered at Puzzle Warehouse, you'll find the perfect gift in no time.

Scarlett is 22 months old and is at an age where she's starting to like toys for older children. Arts and crafts, stamp sets, and even washable paints are on her lists of wants.   She still occasionally plays with the toys she received for the holiday season last year, but not as much anymore.  I know she'll be absolutely thrilled to have toys that are more for her age-range this year.  If you have a child around Scarlett's age, the below list of items are great potential gift ideas for Christmas.

Since I stay-at-home with Scarlett, I have ample time and opportunity to teach her.  Our daily "lessons" include identifying objects, and working on colors, numbers, and the alphabet.  The puzzle cards are perfect for not only entertaining her, but teaching her at the same time.  This alphabet box is filled with 26 two-piece puzzles, pairing upper-and lowercase letters with lifelike illustrations to match.  Each wooden puzzle fits only with its correct match, so children can work by themselves to learn letters in a way that's frustration free.  Since she's still young to fully know the alphabet, this set will come in handy for some time to come. The pictures on each card are vibrant and children will enjoy seeing them.

Scarlett absolutely loves to imitate me and do a lot of things I do like cook or clean.  She tries to grab the vacuum and help me, and you can frequently see her take napkins or a paper towel and wipe the floor.  It's cute and I like that she likes to help.  I'm always cleaning and she watches me more than I realize! Melissa and Doug's Wooden Wash, Dry, & Iron Playset is right up her alley.  How adorable is this? Your little one will be able to wash, dry, and iron with this wooden 8-piece set.  Make sure you get them a good stain remover product too! :) 

The front-loading washer/dryer features a spin-able window, control knob for choosing wash or dry settings, and an attached ironing board.  A laundry basket, and box of detergent and dryer sheets store conveniently on the shelves.  Imaginative play encourages hand-eye coordination and self-esteem.   The set is not only so cute, but well made too.  Hours of fun will surely be had from it.  Now if only I could get Scarlett to fold the laundry and put it away! 


We frequently do arts and crafts which is one of Scarlett's favorite things.  She loves to play with our dog as well as gets excited to see animals in her books.  We identify them all day long and Scarlett's favorite is a dog. We're working on learning more animal names as each day passes.  With the Animal Stamp Set Activity, this will surely be a set that will make her happy.   It'll be perfect on rainy days and when it's too cold to play outside.  

Mix and match the detailed stamps with images of wild and domestic animals from land and sea, to create hundreds of beautiful scenes.  All the pieces, including 16 stamps, 7 colored pencils, and a durable ink pad store in the sturdy wooden box.  The ink is non-toxic and washable.  Scarlett will love to do projects with her stamps and make her dad a special picture for his office.



Has anyone noticed how much children love tents? There's something magical how little ones can spend hours inside playing and having imaginative fun.  The Trixie Tent would look fabulous in any playroom and any little girl would absolutely love it.  Children can climb inside the brightly colored pink polka-dotted tent that is nearly five-foot-tall to play alone or with friends.   It's a cozy space that's built to last.  We frequently have playdates with Scarlett's friends and I know her pals would love to play in there.  I may even serve them snacks inside too!

I hope this list has given you some ideas for your little ones for Christmas.  All you need to do now is pick the wrapping paper to wrap the gifts with! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Make This Holiday Season an Eco-Friendly One

MAKE ECO-FRIENDLY THE THEME 



I know you may not want to think about it, but the holiday season is rapidly approaching! This time of year is my absolute favorite. I love the Christmas trees and lights, all of the holiday buzz, and of course you can’t forget the baked goods! Baking is a big part of the holidays and pies, cakes and cookies are absolute necessities!
While baking can be fun and of course very delicious, it does have some cons. Think of all of the cupcake liners, the tin-foil and other items that get thrown away during the holidays. It might not seem like a lot at first, but it does create waste over time.
I have some very useful and eco-friendly baking tips that will keep your food tasty, but leaves the environmental guilt at the door!
1. Plan to bake several things at the same time. This way, you reduce the amount of times that your oven has to heat up. While it’s inconvenient, it also saves money on your electricity bill too.
2. If you’re planning on buying new baking pans or dishes, look for brands that use natural materials such as bamboo or recycled materials. These are much better for the environment and cook exactly as a normal baking dish would.
3. Instead of using a paper towel to clean up a mess or a spill, use a sponge. Scotch Brite makes a fabulous biodegradable sponge made from natural fibers that would be a great eco alternative to using paper towels. Or you can just use a regular towel or dishcloth that you wash and reuse.
4.  Forgo the muffin paper liners that you line your muffin pan with. They are discarded instantly and create a lot of waste. Instead of using the liners, spread a tiny amount of olive oil in the tins. The muffins will not stick and you’ll be able to easily take them out of the tin once they’ve cooled.
5. Instead of using cooking spray (which has a lot of chemicals) to grease your pans, use a small amount of olive oil. Just take a cloth and spread it around. Your food will come out easily and you won’t be having chemicals touch your food.
6. It’s important to look for ingredients that are organic and packaged in material that is recyclable or reusable.
These tips are very important in helping to make the world a better place. Even if you’ve never participated in any of these earth friendly tips before, it’s never too late to start.  Just making one of these smart choices will help you to know you’re making a great decision for the earth. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies That Will Make Everyone Say Yum!

Cookies warm the soul and make you smile.  There's nothing quite like a warm cookie fresh out of the oven with a glass of milk.

If you're looking for a satisfying cookie recipe to really make your belly smile, I have the perfect recipe for you.  These cookies are perfect for parties, holiday events, or just anytime of a day.  No occasion is needed to enjoy fabulous cookies. 


I've been making these cookies for years, and I always get rave reviews.  The best part about this recipe is that you can truly make it your own.  Substitute coconut for pecans or even peanut butter if you want.  Whatever you put in the cookies, they'll come out perfect and delicious each and every time. 


The ingredients for this recipe are:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup of flaked coconut 

Steps:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture and then stir in chocolate chips and flaked coconut. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.


The cookie dough is beautiful.  Soft, golden brown dough mixed with large coconut flakes and chocolate chips.  What can be better? 


When your timer dings, you'll be left with the most scrumptious cookies your taste buds have ever enjoyed.  These round beauties are soft, moist, and full of fantastic flavor.  Coconut and chocolate are two classic flavors that can't be beat.




Make sure to enjoy a cookie or two.  If you're me, maybe even 3.  Don't forget to pair your sweet treat with a glass of icy cold milk.

*Recipe Courtesy of Nestle*




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halloween Fudge Made in The Microwave to Make Your Belly Happy

Halloween is just around the corner and I couldn't be more thrilled.  Scarlett is going to be a giraffe this year and I'm sure will look adorable.  I've been seeing a lot of really creative and unique Halloween treats floating around the internet lately that would make anyone's taste buds happy.

Fudge is one of those treats that seem complicated to make, but in the end it's not.  You can make this fudge in the microwave and you don't need a candy thermometer either!


Ingredients: 

1. 1 can of condensed milk (14 oz)
2. 2 cups of milk chocolate chips
3. 8x8 baking pan

Instructions: 

Pour condensed milk and milk chocolate chips into microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute on high.

Mix condensed milk and chocolate chips until it becomes closer to a fudgy substance.  

Take an 8x8 pan and line it with aluminum foil.  Make sure to grease the foil well so the fudge doesn't stick.   Pour in batter and spread it evenly.  I like to top with Halloween sprinkles or candy corn.  You can even do a monster or witch theme if you want.

Let the fudge chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.




You'll be left with delicious fudge that your friends and family will gobble up in no time.  You'll be asked to make it time and time again.

*Recipe taken from Tip Hero

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with GOYA Foods and IMUSA +Giveaway

Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th-October 15th and there's no greater way to celebrate this occasion then by making your taste buds happy! I'm always up for any meal that contains cheese, chicken, black beans, and rice.  Luckily, a lot of hispanic dishes feature these ingredients and what could be better than that?



In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to create a dish that combines easy everyday ingredients that everyone has on hand, but give them a latin twist.  The dish had to serve two purposes: to be delicious, and be easy to make for anyone's skill set in the kitchen.  IMUSA and GOYA Foods are two brands that are near and dear to the hispanic community. 



I browsed through many recipes online trying to find one that stood out to me, but in the end I wanted to create something new and different for my family.  Chicken is such a versatile staple in latin cooking that I knew I could do so many things with it.  Combining peppers, black beans and cilantro to put on top of chicken on a bed of GOYA quinoa seemed like a wonderful recipe creation.  Of course you have to cook everything in IMUSA cookware! 

Frequently, I like to challenge myself in the kitchen and create new dishes and recipes that I haven't yet tried.  I've gotten much better over the years and sometimes surprise myself with what I can do.  The perfect side dish for a chicken dish in my opinion is arepas.  Who doesn't love those thick and pillowy cornmeal cakes that would make anyone smile? I tried my hand at making cheese arepas and was very pleased with the results.  They came out golden brown and definitely picture worthy.  They were extremely easy to make and were similar to making pancakes.  My husband was impressed and even my daughter loved them too!



After I made the arepas, I began chopping up my peppers since that takes the most time.  I love the combination of green and red peppers together, it's such a beautiful pairing! I like to dice my peppers small, because I don't like huge chunks.  



GOYA's adobo seasoning works well on any poultry including chicken.  It's a wonderful versatile seasoning that will spice up any meal with flavor.  For my chicken, I like to use boneless, skinless chicken that is thinly-sliced because it cooks quickly.  I seasoned the chicken with adobo and as it started cooking my kitchen began to smell heavenly.  I then added a few sprigs of cilantro as well as  a whole can of black beans to cook together with the chicken.  Add the chopped peppers at the end so they don't become mushy fast. 


The cilantro meshed wonderfully with the peppers and black beans.  A sauce started forming with the olive oil and I couldn't wait to dig in!



As I was cooking the main entree, the quinoa was cooking side by side.  In just 14 minutes the quinoa was done and ready to be plated.  Quinoa is a wonderful ancient grain that is versatile and works well in a variety of dishes.  The chicken finished at about the same time as the quinoa which was perfect timing.  I used the quinoa as a bed to put the chicken on top of, and the bean, cilantro, and peppers mixture went on top of the chicken.  All of the colors meshed beautifully together and I couldn't wait to taste it.  Of course I had an arepa to go with it on the side.


I'm very proud of this dish and will certainly be making it again.  Not only was it incredibly easy and delicious, it was quick to make too! My husband absolutely loved it and was impressed by the amount of flavor it packed.  This is a perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love. 

Don't be afraid to challenge yourself in the kitchen and create a dish that everyone will love. In honor of doing that, IMUSA would like to give one lucky winner a cloth tortilla warmer. This makes it easy to serve fresh, warm tortillas at any meal.  It is for microwave use and keeps tortillas, breads, or arepas warm for up to 1 hour while everyone eats dinner.