Monday, July 21, 2014

FREE Sign up for $50 gift card giveaway!

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 Without any prior planning, I have been taking a break from the blogging world this summer, and I have just been enjoying time with my family.
I wanted to give you a heads up though. 
Giveaway Goddess is hosting a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! If you are a fellow blogger, click below to sign up to be apart of the giveaway. If you are not a blogger, plan on coming back to be entered to win!!
50 Amazon

Giveaway Goddess is hosting a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway and we need your help promoting! This will be a high traffic giveaway so get on the list early to have your links towards the top of the RC.  You can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Picketfence, YouTube, and Instagram.

Dates: 8/4 – 8/18
1 Prize $50 Amazon Gift Card
Promote 4x per week

SIGN UP HERE

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

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I have a new recipe to share with you!
This dish is delicious folks!!
The great thing about this recipe is that it can work with whatever pasta you have on hand. We've used shells and tortellini. You could use ravioli, penne, spaghetti, anything! You can even go gluten-free here.

Ingredients
1 lb box pasta
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
salt 
pepper
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp flour (or corn starch for gluten-free version)
1 1/2 c. half and half

Begin by boiling the pasta and cooking it according to package directions.
In a saucepan, saute chopped onion and minced garlic with a little olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and chopped spinach. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and half and half and add to the tomato mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese and bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with sauce and serve.
Enjoy!   

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Recipe adapted from Bombshell Bling

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ice Ball Maker {Review}

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* This is an advertorial. I received this product free in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

When I saw the opportunity to review the Ice Ball Maker I jumped at the chance, I think I was just really curious to see if it would work :)
Well, I am happy to say that it did!
I wish the shape of this cup didn't make the ice ball look lop-sided, it actually looked pretty cool.
This is what the tray looks like.
Each ice ball is about 2".
The tray is made out of a flexible silicone type material.
 To make the ice balls, place the top part of the tray over the bottom part, and pour water through the opening in the top of each mold.
This part was a little messy at first, I think it takes a little bit of patience. You need to fill the water up to the fill line, but the water kind of overflowed a little bit into the other molds, and out the side.
We dumped it out and started again, this time going a little slower.
After successfully filling the molds with water we placed the tray in the freezer.
My son was so excited to see how these would turn out, he asked me every few minutes if the ice was frozen yet.
I was reading through some of the reviews on Amazon, and someone had a brilliant idea of using the tray to make popsicles and put a stick through the hole! We will definitely be trying that out in the near future :)
After a little while in the freezer, voila!
An ice ball :)
 It was a perfectly round shape, but it did have a few pieces of ice sticking out the side where the excess water was.
We had family over on Monday for Memorial Day and had them put the ice balls in their drinks, and they were quite the hit :)
The ice balls do take longer than normal ice cubes to melt, leaving your drinks cold and undiluted.
I would have to say the only down side is you can only make 4 at a time, but if you are planning a get together, you can freeze some ice balls in advance and have enough for everyone!
You can order the Ice Ball Maker on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8RVMC8
or you can visit the Home-Complete website at www.Home-Complete.com to see the ice ball maker along with all of the other products for sale.
Enjoy your drinks this summer!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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I am so excited to share this soup with you today!
This recipe was added to our rotation just a few short months ago, and we've made it A LOT :)
Before making this I had never cooked with cauliflower...ever...weird, I know.
I was intrigued when the recipe said to roast the cauliflower first, and was excited to try this new technique.
I have to tell you, after I roasted the cauliflower, I snuck a couple because I wanted to see what flavors I was dealing with, and it was so good! You could actually just eat it like that. But, you should also try it in this amazing soup :)
Just a quick note, if you recall, my mom is a celiac and my parents were over one night while I was making this. I wanted them to have a chance to try it, so I decided to substitute 1 Tbsp corn starch for the 1 Tbsp flour, and it became gluten-free!
Ingredients
1 whole head of cauliflower
3-4 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced (or 8-9 baby carrots)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp flour (or corn starch)
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400.
The first thing you'll want to do is roast the cauliflower and garlic. 
Cut the cauliflower into individual florets and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the cauliflower on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil. 
Toss the garlic with a small amount of olive oil wrap it in tin foil. Roast both the garlic and cauliflower for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and roasted garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and add the heavy cream. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper and heat through.
You can leave the soup and eat it this way, or working in batches, you can transfer it to a blender and chop or puree.
We've had it both ways, and we prefer it chopped in the blender.
Add a little parmesan cheese and enjoy!

For a printable version of the recipe click here

Recipe adapted from Cooking for Seven

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Square By Square Game {Review}

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Hi everyone!
I have a review for you today that I am really excited about.
This is a game called Square by Square.
As soon as I had read a little about it I knew I wanted it for my son. 
Are you wondering why?
Well, I love anything that will challenge his growing and developing little mind, and it's fun!
How can you go wrong with that?!
So, the game comes with 14 blocks, 60 cards with different puzzles (with hints on the back...yes, I did need to peek a few times!), a game board to hold the blocks in place, a little pull-out drawer to store the cards, and a mesh bag to keep it all together.
The game actually arrived while my son was at school, and I have to admit I couldn't wait for him to get home...I totally opened it and tried it out :).
I picked up my son and my nephew from school, and as soon as they came in the house they started playing.
It is a 1 player game, but they actually decided to take turns, and they would even pick out puzzle cards for each other to try and stump one another.
 On the box it states the game is recommended for 5 and up.
My son is 5 and my nephew is 7, and I think it was perfect for them.

I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to review this game, and I would highly recommend it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Flannel Baby Blanket

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I'm really on a baby kick here lately.
I feel bad.
When I was pregnant last year there were so many things I wanted to make for my baby, but I just didn't have the time or resources to get much done.
I think I'm making up for not making my baby as much stuff by making stuff for others :)
I found this adorable soft flannel fabric at my mom's house and knew I wanted to make something with it.
 My sister-in-law is pregnant with a boy, so I had an idea for a baby blanket, one you could use to lay on the ground if your at someone's house, or outside on the grass.
So this is what I came up with...I think I this project only took me about 35-40 minutes.
I have a lot of step-by-step pictures for you, and I will try my best to describe how this all comes together :)
To make it easier, I will refer to the fabrics as 'the animals' and 'the stars'.
When I found this fabric the animals measured at 46"x44" and the green stars measured at 36"x44" (but I ended cutting that one, I will explain in a bit).
To start out, I laid out the animals facing up and folded over 5" on every side.
 At each corner I then unfolded the fabric and pulled the point out.
 I then lifted the corner up and pressed it together all the way down to make sure it was touching at the base...so it looks like a triangle...if that makes sense.
 Then fold the 'triangle' over and lightly press with an iron to get a crease.
Pin along the crease.
 Here is showing you the back of the pins on the other side of the triangle.
 Do this to all 4 corners.
 Sew only along the crease lines.
Starting at the folded side and making your way along the crease.
Don't sew all the way to the end of the crease line though, you want to leave a small opening.
Here is the line I sewed along the crease.
 Then, cut off the excess 'triangle' part.
 Turn the fabric out the right way and you should have nice, even corners.
I did grab my iron and press down the corners really quickly to give it a nice crisp look.
 Here is a full size shot for you.
So the stars fabric was originally 36"x44" so I cut it down to 29"x27" so it could fit nicely into the animal fabric.
 I then tucked the stars fabric underneath the edges of the animals like so...
 Next, I went around the whole thing and tucked the animals back under about 1/4" and pinned it around the whole blanket, through all of the layers, just so it didn't have a raw edge.
Remember earlier how I said to not sew all the way to the edge of the triangle part?
It's because as you are going around to fold under the animals you have to have a little extra fabric at the corners as well to tuck under...I hope that makes sense...
 I then sewed a straight line around the whole blanket right along the edge of where the two fabrics met.
 Here's what the stitch looks like.
 And here we have our finished product!!
I was pretty excited that I was able to make it how I had pictured it in my head!
The finished size ended up being 36"x34".
 Here are some closeups so you can see more of the detail, just to help you understand what I did.
 
This is what the under side looks like.
You won't be able to see the diagonal lines on the corners, but you will be able to see the straight line all the way around. 

                            
 I had to put my little chunk on the blanket to give you an idea of the size :)
I think he wants one of his own :)
Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Grapefruit and Blood Orange Popsicles

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With the warm weather approaching I have the perfect healthy treat to help your family cool down!
Popsicles are a staple at our house during the summer months.
It's one of my favorite things. 
Sitting on the porch with my son, talking, and cooling down with some popsicles make for some good memories.
Make it some homemade popsicles and it can't get any better. I love these because I know exactly what's in them :)
A big shout-out goes to my husband who introduced me to this delicious concoction :)
I had never had blood oranges before, and one day while grocery shopping I saw a bag and had to grab some. I've always wanted to try them.
Well, the bag was a little bigger than we could take down, and they were already pretty ripe, so they weren't going to last too much longer.
My husband told me to just squeeze them and make juice to just use them up. We also had a grapefruit, and he said the two flavors would mix well together.
So, I got to squeezing! (We don't have anything fancy, just a little glass jar with a lid on top where you can twist the fruit on and the juice trickles down.) Well, I LOVED how the juice turned out.
My son had a sore throat/cold at the time so I thought it would be soothing to have something cold while getting a lot of Vitamin C, so we made these popsicles. They were a huge hit.
The flavor we've got going on here is amazing folks!
Ingredients/Directions
All you need to do is squeeze the juice from 1 grapefruit and 6-7 blood oranges.
Stir in about 1/4 c. or so of cold water and maybe 1/2 tsp. of sugar and pour into your popsicle makers.
We were able to make 6 popsicles.
 Place in freezer until frozen and enjoy!
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