Saturday, April 5, 2014

My #DisneySide Party

*I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. All opinions are my own.*




Parties are fun! Disney is great. Put the two together and throw in a birthday, you have one great party. (And one cute, little, Mickey Mouse eared baby!)



We received our Disney Side party kit full of great things. First of all it came in a huge box. Inside was all of our Disney Side party supplies inside of American Tourist Luggage, which just happens to be the official luggage of Walt Disney World Resort!

There were lots of great party supplies like Disney napkins, cute, balloons, plates, a tablecloth and more. To play we had Disney bingo and trivia. The HP photo card packs were great for creating invitations and printing photos of the event.


We made up party gift bags with lots of goodies inside. Each person got a Mickey & Minnie Mouse poster, Craisins, a Run Disney poster and bumper sticker. Plus there were balloons, tattoos and stickers. It was a great goody bag without all the sugary sweets and cheap toys that parents cringe about.

Our Disney Side party was a little different. We incorporated it with Zachariah's 8th birthday. He had been talking about doing something a little different this year anyway. We typically have a low-scale party with all of our family at our house for birthdays. But the older he gets, the less fun that is (especially when he's the oldest cousin...by 4 years). So we discussed a few different options and settled on bowling. I knew we could do our Disney Side party along with the birthday fun.


We were able to set up our decorations at the bowling alley. The kids bowled, then we ate pizza and had our special Mickey Mouse cupcakes (in the Mickey Mouse cupcake wrappers, of course). They ran around and played like crazy little boys do. I think it turned out very well. They enjoyed the fun of bowling and the fun of our Disney Side too. They were so busy the whole time, I don't even have a great picture of the birthday boy himself (he's in the green hoodie).




Our Disney Side Home Celebration was a hit! How do you show your Disney Side?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring

With the winter we've had, I'm happy to know that today is the first day of spring. It doesn't mean winter is completely done, but it's time to think spring. I couldn't do it better than with my little lamb!






And now you can see what happens when Mom takes just one too many pictures. Ha ha!

This cute little lamb hat was made by me. The pattern was free from Repeat Crafter Me. Go check her out. Her things are so cute! I've used several of her patterns and adore them.

What makes you think spring?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope that your Valentine's Day was as sweet as mine!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales candy for Valentine's Day Plus Recipes

*Disclaimer: I received this product to review. All opinions are my own.*



Valentine's Day. The day of candy and flowers. Chocolate is good, but there are other great candies to celebrate the day too. How about Mike and Ike? Now that's a sweet treat that everyone in my house loves. It's perfect for this holiday with their special Valentine boxes too.

The product:


MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES Valentine's Day Varieties 
Are the Perfect Candy To Share With Loved Ones

Bethlehem, PA (January, 2014) - Share the passion of Valentine's Day by surprising special loved ones in your life this Valentine's Day with limited edition varieties from MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES candy. MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix, is hitting the shelves just in time for Valentine's Day! Your favorite "hottie" will love to receive special edition HOT TAMALES Cinnamon candy with special HOTTIE Valentine's Day graphics. Go the extra mile for your Valentine this year and create some tasty recipes featuring MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES candies! These recipes were created by Chef Jamie Geller as part of her recent alliance with the leading candy brands.

MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix and HOT TAMALES Hottie both come in a 5 oz box, and are the perfect addition to any Valentine's Day gift. The MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix blend includes Paradise Punch, Strawberry, Grape and Cherry flavors. HOT TAMALES special edition for Valentine's Day is the classic Cinnamon flavor everyone loves and the box comes ready to gift with a tag fully integrated into the packaging! SRP for both 5oz boxes is $1.00 - $1.39.

"There is nothing sweeter on Valentine's Day than candy," says Koren Ivie, Brand Manager for MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES candy. "We are sure consumers will fall in love with MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix as well as HOT TAMALES with Valentine's Day packaging!"

What we thought: This family likes MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES already. My son isn't a fan of the hot cinnamon, so he opts for the fruity MIKE AND IKE. And my husband prefers the HOT TAMALES. Honestly, I like both. We really enjoy the Valentine's Day packaging. They are great little packs that include a spot to write a special message to your loved one. I made sure to give the HOT TAMALES to Matt and sign it "Your Hottie"!

When I saw the recipes for using these candies, I was intrigued. I would have never thought to put MIKE AND IKE or HOT TAMELES in a recipe. But the cookies sound really good. I'm planning to try them soon. (See the recipes below.)

Where to buy: The Valentine's Day MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix and HOT TAMALES are available in stores.


BeJeweled MIKE AND IKE Cookies
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Ready Time: 25 min
Servings: 36

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 Boxes of MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix
  • 2/3 cup margarine - cold
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, put 2/3 c. margarine, 1 c. sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  3. Mix until well creamed.
  4. Add in 2 c. flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  5. Add in chopped up MIKE AND IKE Passion Mix, mix into a dough (will be slightly sticky).
  6. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheets lined with baking paper.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Centers will be slightly soft.
  8. Let cool.


HOT TAMALES Snickerdoodles
Servings: 2 dozen

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) HOT TAMALES Candies, coarsely chopped*
  • 1/4 (2 oz) salted margarine, softened
  • 1/4 (2 oz) shortening
  • 3/4 (5.6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt (increase to 1/4 tsp if using unsalted margarine)
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*This candy is quite sticky so the best way to chop it is with a lightly oiled knife.

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the margarine, shortening and 3/4 cups sugar. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients (except the candy) into the creamed mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chopped candy and mix until the candy is evenly distributed, a few minutes more.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle).
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form dough into balls the size of small walnuts (or use a tablespoon scoop). Roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place the cookies two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets in the oven at the halfway point. They are done when they look puffed in the middle and slightly brown at the edges (the tops of the cookies will form cracks). Be careful not to overcook.
  8. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and let cookies sit on it for another minute or so before removing to cooling rack; cookies will flatten out as they cool.
  9. These cookies are best served warm, straight out of the oven, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beenevolence Lip Balm

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*




The product: Beenevolence Lip Balm is made with everyone in mind. They are packaged in a simple tube that is gender neutral to appeal to both men and women. The three varieties are natural, peppermint and cinnamon. These all natural lip balms are made in Austin, Texas.

What I thought: I like having a simple, no frills lip balm around. They are especially great for the boys in my house. It's nice to have a healthy, natural product, and the added bonus of something without frills makes it a product that we can all use and enjoy.

Where to buy: You can check out Beeneveolence Lip Balm at their Etsy shop.

Elle Naturals Lip Balms

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*



I love finding products that are from small, US companies and naturally made. It's not always easy to find such things that meet high standards we have for the things we use. Here is a lip balm that will live up to your expectations.

The product: Elle Naturals is a small company located in Austin, Texas. They produce lip balm from natural ingredients on a small scale. They use things like plant oils, beeswax, and essential oils as ingredients in their lip balm.

They make their lip balm in the following flavors: Coffee Butter French, Coffee Butter Vanilla, Green Tea Butter Lemon, Green Tea Butter, Mango Butter Coconut, Mango Butter Lima Lip, Shea Butter Grapefruit and Shea Butter.

What I thought: I was happy to find a nice lip balm that is made naturally. I'm also happy that this supports a small business. I like the variety of flavors that they offer too.

Where to buy: You can purchase Elle Naturals from their website https://www.ellenaturals.com/.

How to connect: You can find Elle Naturals on Twitter and Facebook.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MUPPETS MOST WANTED Not Nominated for Awards

Can you believe it?!!



Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.

Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen March 21, 2014.

Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey, Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour where they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper.

NOTES:
·         Director James Bobin returns to Muppets mania. For his work as Disney’s “The Muppets” director, Bobin was nominated for BAFTA (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer). He co-created HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords," which he wrote, directed and exec produced.
·         Bret McKenzie, who won an Oscar® for best original song for “Man or Muppet,” returns to the Muppets stage as music supervisor. McKenzie created, co-wrote, executive produced and starred in the hit HBO television series “Flight of the Conchords.”
·         Ricky Gervais is the creator of “Derek” and the Golden Globe®- and Emmy®-winning series “The Office” and “Extras.”
·         Ty Burrell is an Emmy® Award winner for his role in TV’s “Modern Family.”
·         Tina Fey is a Golden Globe®-, Emmy®- and SAG Award®-winning actress and writer Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “Mean Girls,” “Date Night”).
·         In the grand tradition of the Muppets, the film features a host of cool cameos. Revealed so far are Danny Trejo, Tom Hiddleston, Celine Dion, Salma Hayek, P Diddy, Christoph Waltz and Ross Lynch.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Get the Look: Lizzy Caplan at the Golden Globes

Hitting the red carpet for the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards, "Masters of Sex" star Lizzy Caplan dazzled as the epitome of understated glamour. "Because Lizzy's beautiful dress is so structured with amazing gold beadwork, I wanted to keep her makeup relatively simple," said Burt's Bees Lead Makeup Artist Katey Denno. Katey began with Burt's Bees Peony Lip Shimmer ($5, www.burtsbees.com), followed by a super-hydrating coat of the Burt's Bees Caramel Daisy Tinted Lip Balm ($7, www.burtsbees.com) to lock in the subtle color. "To achieve a perfect red-carpet glow, I added a cream blush and a cream illuminizer along the highlights of her face, and used three shades of eyeshadow along with a black-gold liner and black mascara for a sultry eye," says Katey. 



*This article is shared with permission. Watch for my upcoming review of the products mentioned.