Saturday, November 30, 2013

KidzCanDesign #Review

Ever looked at your child's beautiful artwork and wished you could make it last forever?  Now you can!  KidzCanDesign takes your child's artwork and makes it into beautiful high quality sterling silver jewelry!

I'm going to get right to it!  Here is the picture of both my kids' hands they made during their last couple months at daycare together!  Isn't it beautiful?  I love seeing their little hands side by side.  

KidzCanDesign turned this beautiful artwork into a gorgeous necklace I can wear forever!
I can't wait to show it off!

Isn't that so special?!  This would make a great Christmas present for a grandma, aunt, mom, child, or even a fabulous birthday or Mother's Day gift!  

It's easy to do!  First, you decide what picture you would like to turn into jewelry.  Second, you scan the picture.  Third, you design your jelwelry on  Pretty simple, right?

You can find out more about KidzCanDesign on their website.
You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

*Disclosure: I was given a code for a free necklace so I could provide you with this review.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Deals!

In the spirit of the Black Friday sales, I've discounted the price of my cookbook, 
Slow Cooker Recipes 10 Ingredients or Less And Gluten-Free!  Both the paperback and eBook are on sale at this time!  

So, go get as many as you can afford and spread the slow cooking love!  They would make excellent Christmas, Hannukah and hostess gifts!  Wrap one up in a slow cooker and you'll TOTALLY make someone's day!  I also suggest these for your college-aged family members!  The recipes are easy to follow and don't require any fancy ingredients!  Really, they're the perfect gift!

Hurry!!!!  This offer is for a limited time!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Disney's FROZEN - My Review!

What an incredible movie!!!!!  In my personal opinion, this is Disney's best movie in a long, long time!  I absolutely loved the music, the characters, the story, the surprises......and the list goes on and on!  You HAVE to go see this!  And see it in 3D!  I usually could care less about 3D, but it was awesome in 3D!  The snowflakes alone are just incredible to see, let along everything else!
I'm a huge fan!  I would give this movie 5 stars out of 5!

Like FROZEN on Facebook:
Tweet the official hashtag: #DisneyFrozen
Visit the website:  

*Disclosure: I was given 2 press tickets to a premier of this movie.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Dish Up the Love Giveaway Winner Chosen!

Congratulations to Jennifer Aikens!
You won this BEAUITFUL gift set fro my Dish Up the Love Giveaway!

You have 48 hours to respond to my email with your shipping address to claim your prize or a new winner will be chosen, so please check your email!

Thank you to all who took the time to enter!
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Fashion Angels Winner Chosen! Is it you?!

Congratulations to Angi Magnati!
You won 3 AWESOME prizes from Fashion Angels!

Please be sure to check your email and respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen!

Thank you to all those who took the time to enter!
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My FitAddict Progress Update! Plus DEALS For You To Get Involved Too!

Most of you know, but I'm a HUGE FitAddict Fan!  I've been working with Andrea Lauren of FitAddict Training Virtually for 4 months now.  I look and feel amazing and I can say that with complete confidence!  I have lost 10 lbs. since I started and lost 14 inches.....6 of those inches came from my hips!  I know, right?!!!

Just look at my progress

Do you see how much brighter my smile is??? This is the face of a happy, healthy girl!
I want you to become a FitAddict with me!  Let's get healthy together and keep that 10-15 lb. weight gain off we typically gain during the holidays!  Here is a special JUST FOR US!!!!
You can learn more about FitAddict Training by visiting Andrea Lauren's FitAddict  Facebook Page or by emailing her at

I can't wait to keep these holiday pounds off together and to get healthy together!!!!!  Oh, and be sure to watch "like" the FitAddict Facebook Page so you don't miss out on the Black Friday special she's going to have too!!!!!!!!!

*Disclosure: I am writing this post of my own free will and am not being compensated for it. I do, however workout for Free with FitAddict in exchange for spreading the word.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mohawk Flooring SmartStrand Carpet #Review - The Only Soil and Stain Resistant Carpet on the Market!

In a house where we have a love for food, we need stain and soil resistant carpet!

In a house where we have small children, we need stain and soil resistant carpet!

In a house where we have a potty training toddler......we NEED stain and soil resistant carpet!

Well, we found it!

This Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet is not only BEAUTIFUL, but it's super duper soft and stain and soil resistant!  Can you believe it?!

SmartStrand Carpet has hundreds of different patterns and textures for you to choose from. This particular carpet is called "Beach Basics Down to Earth" (in case you would like to order this exact SmartStrand Carpet!)
Because this carpet is stain and soil resistant, I never have to worry about the kids eating on it (or my son peeing on it.....he's 2.5 and potty training and you ALL know how that goes!). My son is munching on an English Muffin with cream cheese and you can see below my daughter is spooning in a giant helping of yogurt.  YUP!  I don't worry about my kids eating yogurt on this carpet!
I don't even have to worry about my kids rough housing on it, spilling things and making a mess, because I know how easy it will be to clean up.

We've also eaten at the proper people do.  And I swear, more messy accidents happen when they eat at the table, than on the floor!  LOL  This carpet can literally handle it all.

We'll have YEARS to come with the SmartStrand carpet!  It not only cleans up beautifully (it's had yogurt, milk, bananas, pee, you name it, on it...) it also vaccums beautifully as well.  My sister was over recently and immediately touched it and said "THIS is what we need though-out our entire house!  Where did you get this?!" I told her to watch for my Mohawk Flooring post this week!

After trying this SmartStrand carpet rug, I now want SmartStrand Carpet in my entire house!  Hardwood floors are beautiful, but carpet is so nice and warm!  This carpet is so soft and feels amazing on your feet.  

If you would like to find out more about Mohawk Flooring and SmartStrand carpet, you can visit them online at
or browse the SmartStrand Catalog here.

To find the SmartStrand dealer nearest you, simply go to

*Disclosure: I was given a Mohawk SmartStrand Rug in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.  

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Furby Boom #Review

If you have a child who is 6+, I'm sure you've heard of a Furby Boom!
If not, I'm here to tell you about it!

Remember the Furbys from 20 years ago? Well, think of that but totally sooped up!

This Furby interacts with you just like past Furbys, but it does SO much more!
Not only does it come in many different fun colors and patterns, it has cool digital eyes and 5 new personalities.
The coolest feature of this Furby, is it interacts with the new FREE Furby Boom app!
On the app, you can name your Furby and it will always remember it's name from then on.
You care for your Furby by showering it,

 feeding it, giving it xrays when it's feeling under the weather and it will even go to the bathroom on a toilet!
Not only do you take care of your Furby on the app, but you earn eggs and they hatch into Furblings you can name too!

Furby runs on 4 AA batteries.
You can purchase Furby for an approximate retail price of $64.99 at retailers nationwide. has some pretty great prices on Furby Boom and if you have Amazon Prime, it's free shipping!

You can connect with Furby online here:

*Disclosure: I was gifted a Furby Boom in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pumpkin Soup - Gluten-Free

3 words......Easy, Delicious, Decadent.

I've never been tempted to make Pumpkin Soup before.  To be honest, it's always intimidated me.  I know, me intimidated?  Right?!  It happens to the best of us, folks.  So, here's how I decided to make Pumpkin Soup....

My daughter's class had a Pumpkin and Apple day as they wrapped up learning about both fruits.  We were given a list and my eye went right past all the pumpkin and apple muffins, cookies and pie and right to "pumpkin soup."  I'm the crock-pot lady, right?  The crock-pot lady has a reputation to uphold, so I had to bring something in a slow-cooker!  LOL  Seriously.  I'm that strange, I know.

All of the kids in Ella's class tried the soup.  50% liked it and 50% didn't.  I'm completely impressed that these 5-year-olds all tried it!  It was exactly the reaction I was expecting because it's probably not the normal texture of soup they're used to.

With all that being said, this soup was incredibly delicious.  It was smooth, creamy, decadent, sweet and comforting!  Most importantly, it was pumpkiny!!!  (I just made that word up.)

This would be a great appetizer to serve all your guests on Thanksgiving!  You could even serve it in hallowed out pie pumpkins!  How pretty would that be?!

*Note: I apologize for not having pictures for the entire recipe.  My camera died during this process.  Frustrating, but that's just how it goes!  LOL

Servings: 8-10

(2) 29oz. cans pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vegetable bouillon powder (or 2 cups vegetable broth/stock)
2 cups water (don't add if using vegetable broth/stock)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup natural applesauce
1 quart heavy cream

Directions: (Use a 5 Quart or larger slow cooker for this recipe)
In your crock, add the pumpkin puree, vegetable bouillon powder and water.
Add the nutmeg and cinnamon
 applesauce and maple syrup.
(This is the point in which my camera died)
Stir it up and cook it on low for 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 hours.

When it is cooked, ladle out about 3 cups of the soup into a bowl and SLOWLY blend in the cream with an immersion blender.  If you don't have an immersion blender, use your blender or a good whisk.  What you want to do is temper the cream so it does not curdle in the soup.  
Continue adding the cream until it's all in.

SLOWLY pour this tempered cream mixture into the soup in your slow cooker, again, using your immersion blender or a good whisk.

Let it warm back up a bit on WARM, then serve and enjoy!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

NatureBox Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations to:
Chris Fedor!
You've won a NatureBox full of healthy and delicious treats!
To claim your prize, you must contact me within 48 hours of the email I sent or a new winner will be chosen.

Didn't win, but still want to try NatureBox?  I don't blame you!  You can try it for a GREAT price!
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Delivery Man Coming to Theaters Nov. 22 #Review

I was super excited to be able attend one of the first private screenings of Delivery Man WAY back in July while I was in Chicago.

What a GREAT and FUNNY Movie!!!
Here's a little synopsis of the movie:
David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is an average guy, working for as a delivery driver for his family’s meat company.  He is however, incredibly immature and irresponsible and is in major debt.  David discovers he is the biological father of 533 children and 142 of them are suing to learn his identity.  For once in his life, he decides to do the right thing and tracks each of the children down, one by one and becomes involved in their lives, while they are unaware of his identity.  At the same time, David’s girlfriend, Emma (Cobie Smulders), announces she is pregnant and he promises not to let her down (even though he's never followed through with any of his promises before.)  Along the way, David runs into some snags and there are some hilarious and heartfelt moments.  This is definitely a must-see movie during the Holiday season!

 The film releases nationwide on November 22, 2013.

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A Slow Cooked Thanksgiving!

Before I learned the art of crocking, I used to panic about when I was going to cook everything, how I was going to keep things warm while I switched one thing out of the oven and put another in, etc. etc. etc.  Now that I have MASTERED the art of crocking, panic no longer has to ensue!  Everything is done and I can relax!  When I serve dinner, all I have to do is take the lids off!  LOL!

To make your Thanksgiving a bit easier, I've assembled a few Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes for you, to help make your Thanksgiving a bit less stressful!  Save the oven for the precious 22 lb. Turkey if you're serving a large crowd, or if you're serving a small crowd, keep that oven space for some pies!

This year, my family is all coming to my house!  I'll be making the Green Bean Casserole, Baked Potatoes and Sweet Acorn Squash in my Slow Cookers!  (The other sides my family have covered, but I wouldn't be surprised if they brought something in a slow cooker too!

*Note: Not all of these dishes are Gluten-Free!

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:



Leftover Turkey Soup Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Birthday Giveaway Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of my Birthday Giveaway!

Kristy Marie, you won the 3 Quart Crock-Pot Slow Cooker!

Melissa Koontz Mangas, you won an Autographed Copy of my Cookbook!
Didn't win the cookbook, but still want one?  Find out about all the ways you can order it here!

Thank you to all who took the time to enter!
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's a birthday Celebration and I'm Giving Presents Away!

Hello Everyone!
Today is my birthday, which just so happens to be my favorite Holiday of the year!
To celebrate, I'm giving away a 
3 Quart Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and an Autographed Copy of my book!


Here's how you enter!
THIS CONTEST CLOSES AT 11:59 EST , NOVEMBER 13, 2013! *Extended from original date of Nov. 12.

1. Invite your family and friends to like my page on Facebook by "sharing" one of my recipes on your page and asking them to go "like" my page and leave a comment there saying you sent them.

2. Come back and leave a comment below on this blog post with your facebook name (very important!) and a link to the post your shared on Facebook. Make sure this is a link to the actual post, not just to your page!  To do this, right click on YOUR name on that post and then click "copy link address."

For every person who mentions your name on my facebook page, you will get one entry into the drawing for the Crock-Pot Slow Cooker or my cookbook!

GO!  Have fun!
Open to US Residents ONLY!  Sorry other friends!
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Dish Up The Love with World Kitchen- Recipe Contest and #Giveaway

Now here's a recipe contest you can feel REALLY good about entering! 
Dish Up The Love with World Kitchen, help feed families across America with the Feeding America network and win prizes!

All you have to do is submit your favorite recipe and why it's important to you.  It can be a recipe passed down from generation to generation, or a new favorite created in your very own kitchen!
All entries must be submitted by December 25, 2013, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Here's how and why you want to enter this contest:
For each recipe you submit, you will be automatically entered to win a collection of Baker's Secret, Pyrex and CorningWear products valued at $110!  Here's what they look like:

  • A different winner will randomly be selected each week for 4 weeks.
  • When the sweepstakes ends, Top Chef All Star Antonia Lofaso will select a winning recipe and its accompanying story to receive the Grand Prize - an all expense paid trip for two to New York City for Valentine's Weekend to continue dishing up the love!
  • World Kitchen guarantees a minimum of 450,000 meals (monetary equivalent of $150,000) to Feeding American and member food banks from Nov. 7, 2013 through December 25, 2013.
  • TO ENTER THE CONTEST please visit
I am so excited about this contest!  I'm planning to enter either my Sweet Potato Casserole, or Lasagna!
I'm going to sweeten the deal even more!
Dish Up the Love with World Kitchen has agree to let me give away the Dish Up the Love collection pictured above!!! 

Enter below on the Giveaway Tool.
Good luck!


*Disclosure: I was given a "Dish Up the Love" prize set in exchange for this post.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Italian Beef Stew - Gluten-Free

On Halloween, we went to our neighbors' house for dinner.  Tracy served us a delicious beef stew.  I ate two bowls.  It was perfect for a cold, wet night!

Well, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  So, of course I had to try and recreate it!  LOL  One of the things she did, I've never thought of.  She told me she left the roast whole as it cooked, then cut it up.  So, I tried it!  Wow!!!  The meat was so tender and juicy!!!  Let's face it, sometimes the beef in stew can be "tough."  This was FAR from tough!  The exact opposite actually.  I don't think I'll ever made been stew with "stew meat" again!

This recipe has very few ingredients.  I tried to stick with the very basics.  Meat, potatoes, onions, carrots and some spices.  The list of ingredients look long because of the spices.  Don't let it fool you.  It's not time consuming to dump a bunch of spices into your crock ;)

Now, gather up those few simple ingredients and get that crock a cookin'!!!!

Servings: 8-10

3-4 lb. chuck roast
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
5-6 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 onions, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium or no salt added)
6 1/2 cups water

Directions: (Use a 6.5 quart or larger slow cooker for this)
Place the roast in your slow cooker.

Add in the onions, potatoes and carrots.

Next, add in all the spices.

Lastly, add the broth and water.

Cook on LOW for 10 hours, or on HIGH for 5 hours.
Take the roast out and chop/shred it, then place it back into the broth and veggies.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pumpkin Zucchini Date Muffins - Gluten-Free

Persistence pays off!!!!!  A few weeks ago, I made my first batch of these muffins.  They tasted GREAT, but like most gluten-free baked goods, they didn't cook well on the inside.  They were a bit "gummy."  So, I couldn't share the recipe with you.

Fast-forward to a week later.  I made another batch and changed the flour proportions.  This batch was as heavy as a brick.  LOL  I couldn't give you that recipe either.  You'd probably curse me, LOL.

Now, rewind to a few days ago......I was DETERMINED to get this right.   I did a little bit of research on baking soda and baking powder proportions and by gosh, by golly!  I GOT IT RIGHT!!!!!  My muffins not only tasted GREAT, but they were light and fluffy too!!!!  I have two secret ingredients in these....the orange zest and the dates.  Every time you get a bite with a date, it tastes a bit like a piece of caramel.  I'm totally on board with that.  The orange zest makes all the flavors "pop!"

These muffins are a HUGE hit in my house!!!!  My kids LOVE when they come out of the oven.  They can't wait to get their hands on them!  My husband, who is not gluten-free, loves them.  He can't believe they're gluten-free!  Even my 2.5 year-old LOVES them!

So......Drum Roll Please.......................................
I bring you, some amazingly healthy, incredibly delicious, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Zucchini Date Muffins!!!

Servings: This recipe makes 24 muffins

2 1/2 cups oat flour
1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (mine did not contain xanthem gum)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups tightly packed shredded zucchini (water squeezed out)
1/2 cup natural applesauce
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar in the raw
zest of one orange
8 dates, diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  
Spray two muffin tins with non-stick spray.
In a bowl, mix together the oat flour, gluten-free all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, zucchini, applesauce, eggs, vanilla orange zest and sugar in the raw.

Add this to the dry goods along with the dates and mix.

Tip: I find using an ice cream scooper is an easy way to proportion these muffins....and not make a mess in your muffin tins!
Scoop the batter into each muffin tin.  If you choose to, you can sprinkle some oats on top of your batter for "decoration!"

Bake them for 18-20 mins.  Your toothpick should come out clean.

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