Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Signing #1 and another fun announcement!

Hello all!  I hope this post finds you well!  Since releasing my first cookbook almost 2 weeks ago, I'm overwhelmed by your support and kindness!  The book, Slow Cooker Recipes 10 Ingreidents or Less And Gluten-Free is still for sale and going strong.

I'm excited to announce my very first book signing!  It will take place at Filipo Marc Winery in Clinton Twp. on July 13, 2013 from 12-3 p.m.  I will have books there for you to purchase for a special price of $18, as well as samples of a couple of the recipes, paired with some delicious Filipo Marc wine for you to try as well.  It doesn't cost anything to get in, so please come and see me!  Feel free to bring a copy of the book you already own for me to sign as well!  I would love to see many of your smiling faces there!

And now for my second announcement!  I'm going to be co-hosting a radio show, Listen to the Mrs. on WSGW July 2 and July 9.  The show runs form 10:15-11:30 a.m. EST, so please tune in and listen!  I would love for some of you to call in and show your support as well.  You can listen online if you're not local to the Saginaw, Bay City, Flint area!

I'm planning another book signing in Frankenmuth, Michigan, so stay-tuned for details on that!

Want me to do a book signing in your area?  Email me with a location suggestion and I'll check into it for you! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, June 28, 2013

Go Green Lunch Box Review and #GIVEAWAY

As my daughter gets more and more excited about entering Kindergarten in the Fall, one of the things we're looking for this summer are awesome lunchboxes she can take with her. To me, it's important Ella get a lunch at school like she would at home, so finding the right lunchbox, that keeps food fresh is important.

This is the Go Green Lunch Box
And this is a very excited little girl, who is about to go to Kindergarten with the coolest lunch box I've ever seen!

The Go Green Lunch Box set comes with an insulated fabric carrier, a five-compartment food container, and a bottle that will hold eight ounces of water or your child’s favorite drink – all leach- and lead-free.

It also has a unique twist and lock feature that helps keep the freshness of your child's lunch in.

It also locks around each of the four sides and the lid is attached (removable) to the base so your child won't loose one piece!

As you can see above, the lunch box case (which comes in a nice variety of patterns) has a pocket for silverware, napkins,etc. but also has a dry erase board so you can leave your child a personalized message!  How thoughtful is that?!

Look at how much food I can fit into this Lunch Box!  I can't wait to send Ella to school with this lunch box next year.  She's in love with it and would eat every meal out of it right now if I let her!

The Go Green Lunch Box website is super easy to navigate and all of the lunch box sets are extremely reasonably priced.  This is probably the highest quality lunch box I have ever come across I know I will be purchasing more of these in the future.

Now, for the fun part!!!!  Go Green Lunch Box is going to let one of my faithful followers win a Go Green Lunch Box set!  How exciting is that?!  Enter through the giveaway tool below.  Good luck!


*Disclaimer: I was given a Go Green Lunch Box set in order to write this review.  All opinions here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 Excellent Grilling Tips Used By Professionals - Guest Post

5 Excellent Grilling Tips Used by the Professionals
                Grilling is a lot of fun. The taste of the food mixed with all of the juices and marinates coming right off of a grill is an exhilarating sensation. Grilling is also a great way to cook healthy and stay say well. The experience in and of itself can be refreshing and bring about some sense of nostalgia to the excellent summer days with family or friends. Luckily summer is on the way and we can once again enjoy those great warm refreshing days. If you’re looking to better your skills on the grill here are five excellent tips for you.
1.       Use a Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills are renowned for providing a rich smoky flavor to your food. They may require a little bit more effort to use but you will certainly notice the benefits. If you decide to use a charcoal grill make sure that you use additive-free charcoal and a chimney starter. Don’t even think about using lighter fluid.

2.       Clean Your Grill
Keeping your grill clean provides better taste and texture to your food and keeps your food from sticking. It also lengthens the life of your grill, especially if you use a gas grill. Make sure you give you grill a good brush before and after each use while the grill is heating up and cooling down. Every once and a while it is a good idea to give your grill a real good thorough scrub down, but make sure your grill is cool and unplugged from an fuel source.

3.       Use a No-Stick Grilling Spray
Use a no-stick grilling spray that keeps your food from sticking to the grill and tasting great. Use this spray on your food or spray on a paper towel and wipe your grill down.

4.       Determine Temperature by Touch
If you want to know how well done your protein is the best method is to use your finger to touch and feel the meat itself. Rare will feel squishy, medium will feel firm but will still give way, and well done will feel very firm.  Don’t cut into the meat as this will dry out your food. If you must puncture your meat use a kitchen thermometer to determine the internal temperature.

5.       Let Your Meat Sit
Once you have finished cooking let your meat sit for five minutes. This keeps the juices in the meat when you cut into it there for preserving much of the flavor. Wrap the meat in foil if you are afraid of it cooling down too much. Fish is best served immediately off the grill.

Now you will be able to grill like a pro!!!  Let us know how you’re grilling experience went.

This post was brought to you on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray. For cooking tips or more grilling tips visit the PAM website. 
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vodka Sauce Gluten-Free

Who doesn't love a good vodka sauce?  I mean, it's sinful in a couple ways right?  It's creamy and delicious and has a hint of the vodka flavor most adults crave once in a while.  This sauce turned out great!  I was really happy with the consistency, and I really liked how versatile it became....more about that in a bit.

I only added a touch of vodka to my sauce because I was a bit nervous and cautious.  If I make this again, I might add a bit more.  Please feel free to add as much as you think you would like.  I added 1/4 cup and this makes A LOT of sauce, so the vodka flavor was extremely faint.  I would probably add 1/2 cup next time for this amount of sauce.  That being said, I loved the sauce the way it was because it was simply, delicious! Also, my kids were eating this with us, and I didn't want to serve them something with a foreign taste (if you know what I mean)  But, by all means, "beef up the vodka" if you really want that flavor to come through.

Not only did I use this sauce to serve over pasta as you see below, but a couple days later, I added 1 lb. of browned ground beef to about 4 cups of this sauce, and mixed it with 1 lb. of gluten-free pasta.  I added a couple cups of Parmesan and Italian Blended shredded cheese on top, baked it in a casserole dish for about 20 minutes on 375 and had a delicious baked spaghetti the whole family LOVED!

So, we had this for dinner 2 nights, baked spaghetti for 2 nights and enough sauce left over to put in the freezer for another meal later!  Pretty good, huh?!

P.S. I used skim milk (because that's all I had in my house and it turned out well.  It was obviously not as rich, but it was still very good.

This is a gluten-free recipe!

Servings: 10-12

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil (regular crushed tomatoes will work as well)
14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (regular diced tomatoes will work as well)
12 oz. tomato paste
1/4 cup vodka (use up to 1/2 or 2/3 cup if you want more vodka flavor)
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. butter
3 cups heavy cream

Directions: (Use a 3-5 Quart Slow Cooker)
In your crock, dump the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vodka. 
Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Give it a stir and cook on LOW for 5-8 hours, or on HIGH for 2.5-4 hours.
About the last 45 mins-1 hour, add the 4 Tbsp. of butter and recover.
When you're ready to serve, blend the sauce with an immersion blender until it is smooth.
(If you don't have an immersion blender, CAREFULLY blend your sauce in a food processor or blender.  Make sure to cover the lid with a towel in case there is splash.  You don't want to burn yourself!)

Remove 2 cups of your sauce into a bowl and SLOWLY (and I mean slowly) add the heavy cream to your sauce by whisking CONSTANTLY!  This will keep your milk from curdling.  It still might not blend completely smoothly (mine didn't) but it's no big deal.  

Now, you're going to SLOWLY pour this back into the remainder of your pasta sauce while again, whisking CONSTANTLY!

And you are done!  A little bit of work, but nothing too hard.  :)
Serve over your favorite pasta and ENJOY!

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Look Who's Growing Review and #Giveaway!

I love when I'm contacted by a company with a super cool product that I can review!  This one will be around our house for YEARS to come!

Look Who's Growing sells personalized children's growth charts. They have 30 different designs and colors you can choose from, add your child's birth date, and you can personalize it even more by having your child's picture on their chart as well.  You can find all their products on their website,

As you can see, Gavin loves his chart!  We have the perfect size wall right behind his door, where we hung the chart.  The directions given say you can hang the chart with tacks, or nails, or adhesive strips, so I used adhesive strips to hang mine.  I hate putting holes in walls.....I'm funny like that!

The cool thing is, we can use the chart for Ella as well.  She was just as happy to stand there as Gavin was!

You can find Look Who's Growing many different ways: us on Twitter @lookwhosgrowing

Now, here's the super fun part!  Want a chance to win your very own Personalized Growth Chart?!  Well, Look Who's Growing has been kind enough to offer one to one of my fans!  All you have to do is enter the giveaway below!  Good luck!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Metro Detroit Mommy 5,000 Fan Celebration & Birthday Bash

I am super excited to be a part of this Giveaway!  Please take the time to enter.  All of the sponsors are listed below and the rules are clearly stated as well.  You do not need to be a member of the Metro Detroit Area to win a prize, but some are local prizes.  Good luck!

First I would like to thank the bloggers who are helping to promote this awesome giveaway: 

Mom Among Chaos

A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures

Mind on Movies

Yes/No Films

Daily Leisure

Baby Bear

3 Months Free Mom Sponsor on online Magazine
for Michigan Mommy business owners
Michigan Home Mommy Works

And here are the wonderful prizes: 

$50 cash prize from
Metro Detroit Mommy

Life on Paper Photography by Bri Mason
On-Location Family Photography Session
(two adults with kids)
within 25 miles of Canton.
($175)Brithday Bash/5K Fan Prize:

4 headbands from 
Lilly Bee's Shop
A 31 Keep-It-Caddy and $5.00 gift card ($27.00)

Robin Slawnyk Photography
Free Mini Session ($100)

MDM Bowtique
(2) $20 Gift Certificates

$25 Gift Certificate to
James & Olive

Momcat's Signing Academy
Baby Signing Time Vol. 1 Bundle ($39.95)

Twinkle Fairy Bowtique
4 hair bows and a hanging bow holder ($27)

Sugar Baby Boutique 
Mommy & Me Apron Set $29

Sew Mary Beth
$25 Gift Certificate

B Posh Events
Dora Character for 25 minutes

Over the Rainbow Children Clothing & Accessories
$30 gift certificate
Photography by Life on Paper

Baby Boot Camp Farmington Hills
4 class session (Value $45)

Sadie's Room
Hair Bow Board and a pair of Hair Flowers

Kindermusik at Evola Music of Canton
Kindermusik Gift Basket

Tiny Town Play Lounge
1 month Play Pass

$25 gift certificate

Aries Music
3 Kidermusik gift baskets
(Free class, instrument, music download card, more!)
($25 each)

AirTime Trampoline & Game Park
$25 gift certificate

Alison Elle Edible Art
Elle Edible Art is a cottage food business in Lake Orion, MI.
One dozen custom decorated sugar cookies up to $35 value.
Redeem by ordering through Alison Elle Edible Art
Please allow minimum 2 week notice.
Available for pick-up or local delivery only.
Offer good through December 2013.

An in home organic tan
Bask - Mobile Organic Spray Tans

Boogie Babies
One day play pass (4 winners)

Chelsie Maurer Photography
One free photo session (Expires Sept 30, 2013)

Dolly Madelynn's
BEAUTIFUL 18 Inch Wedding Gown,
Veil and Bouquette Doll Outfit that will fit American Girl
and similar 18 inch dolls (30.00 Retail)

Cindy's Cookies
2 sets of 2 dozen lactation cookies, local orders only ($30)

Slick Sugar
Belly Banter Stickers (3 winners)
Photo by: Brooke King Photography

Kindermusik of Clinton Township and Macomb Township
Kindermusik Storybook, CD, tambourine, and a free class.

Perfect Nanny Match
3 Hours Free Babysitting **
After the first 3 hours of babysitting, family must agree to pay babysitter $12/hr. Family may not use this babysitter again, without going through Perfect Nanny Match's procedures.

One hand-stamped, personalized necklace - winner's choice up to $40 value
Little Painted Polka Dots

Jennifer McArthur Photography LLC
2 gift certificates for $50 each off a regular priced session

It Works, Wrap it up Amie 
It Works!
FREE wrap ($30)

Little Lady
Flamingo Tutu Dress & Leggings Set
and matching Headband ($49)

Cousins Clothing
Belly Banter Promo Donor

Restyle Child
$20 gift certificate and one bottle of Piggy Paint

pArt of Life Photography
mini session, with 8x10 and 4x5 accordion album ($175)

It Works! Independent Distruibutor
Tracy Got Wraps (It Works!)
One Ultimate Body Applicator (Body Wrap) ($35)

Wildtree Cooking with Tammy
$25 in Wildtree Goodies

1 Yoga class and 2 drop in play passes
Nature's Playhouse

Music with Ms. Carissa Knoles
Free Pass to a class of your choice (three winners) $10 value each
Locations all over the Metro Detroit Area
A Slow Cooker Cook Book from:
A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures
two signed copies of "A Kiss Means I Love You" ($32)

Please Read These RULES
  • many of the prizes are for local winners, so therefore I will be emailing the winners asking for their top prize choices.  You do not need to be local to Metro Detroit to win.
  • winners will be emailed in batches asking for their top prize picks.  You will have 48 hours to respond to the email or your prize will be forfeited.  
  • winners can and probably will win more than one prize.
  • YOU MUST complete ALL of the mandatory entries to be entered.  If you only do some you are not qualified to win any prizes. The Giveaway Tools app won't even select you as a winner!  
  • If you have one invalid entry, you risk losing all of your entries.  They will be verified to the best of my ability, so be honest!  
  • Yes, there are over 40 mandatory entries, each participant has donated time, money or a prize to be a part of this giveaway.  Please show support by liking each of the pages.  If you don't want to like all the pages, don't enter!  
  • have fun and good luck!

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