Two Adorable (And Free) Halloween Printables: You're Gonna Love 'Em!

Scooting around Pinterest and the web this morning in search of Halloween goodness.....and look what I found:

Ghost Treat Boxes are ready to be filled with Halloween treats! Are these not adorable?? (Told ya you were gonna love these!)

Pink Pumpkins For Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness

Buy a pink pumpkin this October. Seriously, a pink pumpkin. October is not all about Halloween, it is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. And this year there is a fantastic way to celebrate both: Pink Pumpkins! The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds breast cancer research, has just announced the release of  pink pumpkins - and they want to see one on everyone's front porch this October!

Kmart's Big Layaway Giveaway!

This post brought to you by Kmart. All opinions are 100% mine.

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This past weekend we were treated to our first bout of the flu. Yep, nothing like the flu bug to remind us that fall and winter are upon us, and of course, the holiday season!

 Kmart is gearing up for the holiday season giving with their awesome Big Layaway Giveaway. Every week there will be one layaway giveaway per store from 9/9/12 to 11/17/12. So for anyone who has started thinking about their holiday shopping and are making their lists, now is the time to start buying a few things and putting them on layaway.

Happy Fall, Happy Planting With Miracle-Gro!

This post brought to you by Scotts Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Fall is my favorite season, hands down. I love the food, the smells, the weather and the colors of the season. It's like everywhere you look, you can easily Find beauty in the Fall. And though I am admittedly not a big gardener type, I find Fall to be inspiring is so many ways, that I want to do things, like gardening, that I might not be inclined to do the other times of the year.
Since I love the yellows and oranges of the season, I would love to do a little Fall gardening around the yard - like planting flowers such as mums and pansises. Miracle-Gro makes it easier for people like me, with little to no green thumbs, to have the gardens we want. Take their Miracle-Gro's  Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables and Continuous Release Plant Food. These two products alone should help me grow some beautiful flowers this Fall.
Then maybe I could make a beautiful flower arrangement like this one I found on Pinterest!

Look at the beautiful colors ...that is what I am talking about!
Find out how Miracle-Gro can help you with your Fall gardening too! Visit the Miracle-Gro Facebook page to like them and get some great ideas for your garden!Advertisement
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Spiced Apples: Easy Recipe Perfect For Fall

There is probably no better aroma than spiced apples cooking in the kitchen! Even the words sound yummy! This is a super easy recipe I stumbled upon, but it is sooo good and smells heavenly. And it can be delicious alone, fantastic on oatmeal (which I am trying to eat everyday now - more on that later,) and too darn good with some vanilla ice cream!

The only things I did different on this recipe is switched out Splenda for some brown sugar and the light butter spread for real butter. I did not use too much sugar either - probably less than 1/4 cup (my kids gobbled it all up, so I guess I used enough anyway!)

10 Gala apples, peeled and cut into 1-in slices
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tsp Splenda  (I used brown sugar here.)
2 tbsp light buttery spread (I used regular butter.)

Put all spices into small bowl and stir, set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan, add apple slices.
Spoon spice mixture over apples, stirring to cover completely. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

((Can't you just smell these spice apples already??)

Oransi Fridge Air Purifier: Pin It To Win It (Because You Are Gonna Love It!)

Refrigerators can be scary. In our house you just never know what might be lurking inside the fridge when you open the door.

Too many times there have been forgotten about food items left in the vegetable bins or something hidden on a shelf behind a larger item. Not to mention those plastic containers with mystery food inside!

The Oransi Ionic Air Purifier was recently put to the test in our kitchen, and I could not wait to see just how well this cute little device handled our refrigerator odors.

Some of the very cool features of the Oransi Ionic Air Purifier:

1. This little guy will save you some money: There are no replacement filters and nothing to clean. The air purifier uses 2 AA batteries that require replacement approximately every 45-90 days. Built-in micro processor controls the operation of the air purifier so it will cycle on and off to save battery life. 

It runs for about 30 min. continuously when you first use it, then for 5 minutes every two hours. The orange light will be on when it is working, and will blink constantly when batteries need to be replaced.

2. Silent: no fans. (yay!)

3. Intuitive. (cute and smart!)

4. Effective in the removal of odors and bacteria to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and your food fresher.

5. Conveniently fits anywhere in your refrigerator. (Have I mentioned how cute this little guy looks sitting on my refrigerator shelf?)

6. Attractive neutral color and cool contemporary design.

7. Easy operating instructions: Insert batteries, Turn it on, Freshen your refrigerator!

8. Patented Piezo-electric technology: allows for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone that is found in standard ionizers.

The Oransi Fridge Air Purifier has been in my refrigerator now about two weeks now.

My opinion?

I love it! I mean, I really, really, really.....


I open the door now without any strange odors greeting me! It seems fresher and cleaner overall inside the fridge, and I am very pleased. It really is doing, in my opinion, what it is supposed to do - clean the air in my refrigerator so it smells amazing.

These little guys really are amazing. They retail for about $39.00, but you can purchase one now for $29.00 at Oransi!

Visit Oransi’s Facebook page and/or Twitter page to read more info about this and other Oransi products. 

Enter To Win an Oransi Ionic Air Purifier!

Mandatory First Entry: Pin the picture of the Oransi Ionic Air Purifier directly from my blog (up at the top of this post) to one of your own Pinterest boards. You must complete this entry to be eligible to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I received one product sample in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own. No other monetary compensation was received.

First Comes Kindergarten....Then Comes 'The Sickies'

Only Two weeks of  Kindergarten, and we already have a sick little boy. Didn't take long.

He woke up about 4 A.M. this morning and told me he had 'the sickies.'

My happy-go-lucky five-year-old has been feverish, achy and sad most of the day. So has his mommy.

{Le Sigh.}

 I guess it is to be expected, after all these 5 year old kids are hanging out in the bathrooms (eek) and then sharing everything from food to crayons with I-can-bet-just-about-anything-you-want  hands that were not washed since they left home that morning.

Anyhoo, since my little guy is sleeping at the moment, I thought I would share these 'reminders' from of things you can do to try and help your little one when they are dealing with a cold or flu:

  • To loosen mucus, have your child sit in a steaming bathroom, keep a steam vaporizer or cool-mist humidifier on in his room, and keep plenty of tissues on hand for nose-blowing.

  • For a cough or sore throat, honey (half a teaspoon for ages 2 to 5, 1 teaspoon for ages 6 to 11 and 2 teaspoons for ages 12 and up) can be soothing, as can cold fruit smoothies, ice pops, or a warm bowl of chicken soup. A mentholated vapor chest rub, such as Vick's, can also help kids 2 and up.

  • If your child has a fever of 103ºF or high, call the pediatrician. For a mild fever, a tepid bath and dressing in light layers can offer relief.

  • For diarrhea and vomiting, be sure to offer rehydrating drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade, and small portions of bland foods like rice, For diarrhea and vomiting noodles, or toast. Call the pediatrician immediately if there is blood or bile in the vomit, or blood in the diarrhea.

  • Acetaminophen is approved in children younger than 6 months, but consult your MD. For kids 6 and up, ask your doctor to recommend an over-the-counter cough or cold medicine, and give doses according to directions. 

  • A mentholated vapor rub, such as Vicks, can help soothe coughing in kids over 2, but it can irritate airways and increase mucus in kids under two. Do not give your children aspirin as it has been linked with Reye's syndrome. 

Remember to call the pediatrician if:

Your child's cold or flu doesn't go away within a week
Your child has a high fever (103ºF degrees or higher)
Your child is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than a few hours, or if there is blood or bile in the vomit or blood in the diarrhea
Your child has difficulty breathing, or the lips or nails turn blue
Your child complains of ear pain
Your child seems unusually lethargic, sleepy or cranky

And my nosy self curious mind wants to know: Will your child (and you) be getting the flu shot this year?

I ask because I have not gotten the shot, nor have my kids, and I am really wondering if we should this season. If this weekend is any indication, we may be in for a long flu season around our house.


Shhh... A Homemade Fishsticks Recipe 'Borrowed' On Account of My Kids!

I came across this crunchy homemade fish sticks recipe at Woman's Day, and decided to 'borrow' it on account of my kids.

One would think that as their kids get a bit older (we are talking 5 and 8 here) that they would be easier to feed. One might be wrong.

They seem to be getting pickier and I seem to be getting less creative.

Not a good combination come dinner time.

It has become much too easy for me to reach in the freezer and grab the box of frozen fish sticks, pop them in the oven and serve the kiddos.

So when I found this recipe, I decided to try and make my own fish sticks to surprise the kids. (and hopefully get back at least some of my cooking 'mojo!')

What You'll Need:

1 1/2 pound(s) red-skinned potatoes, cut in 1-in. chunks
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup(s) whole milk
4 ounce(s) Cheddar, shredded (1 cup)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1 pound(s) flounder or sole fillets, cut in 1-in.-wide strips
4 cup(s) baked potato chips, crushed
3/4 teaspoon(s) paprika
1/2 cup(s) tartar sauce
3/4 cup(s) grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

To Make:

Heat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl until foamy. In another shallow bowl, combine the chips, paprika and ¾ tsp salt. 

Dip the fish in the egg and then in the crushed chip mixture, pressing gently to help them adhere. 

Transfer the fish sticks to the prepared sheet and bake until light golden brown and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir together the tartar sauce and tomatoes. Serve with the fish and mashed potatoes.

"Smashed Potatoes'

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt, reduce heat and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, return to the pan and mash with the milk, cheese and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper; fold in the scallions (we skipped the scallions. Just saying.); cover to keep warm.

Easy enough, and not really much different than the mashed potatoes I already do make, but somehow the 'smashed potatoes' just sounds so much more fun.

Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails Review

I was given the delicious task  of reviewing Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails last week, thanks to the awesome people from SheSpeaks.

I was smiling like crazy so happy when my package arrived. I received the Blackberry MerlotStrawberry White Zinfandel, and White Pear Pinot Grigio flavors to review,and believe me, I could not wait to try them.

I dutifully went right to work and put the liquid pouches into the freezer. The directions say that it takes about 5 hours for the liquid to get nice and slushy, but our freezer took a bit longer - about 7 hours. Of course, my opening the freezer door frequently to 'check' on them probably didn't help much!!

"Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails require no mixing of ingredients, ice or blenders. Simply place the liquid pouch in the freezer for five hours, gently massage, tear open the top, squeeze to pour into a glass and enjoy a smooth frozen wine cocktail with all the great taste and same alcohol level as Arbor Mist Wines."

When the pouches felt slushy and well-chilled, (and the kidlets were in bed for the night) I decided to try the Blackberry Merlot, while the husband opted for the Strawberry White Zinfandel. I also tried some of the Strawberry, and shared some of my Blackberry with him.

While both tasted icy, refreshing and sooo good, we both agreed that our favorite of the two flavors was the Strawberry. I found the Blackberry to be just a bit too sweet for me, while the Strawberry White Zinfandel was much lighter tasting. This is probably why I prefer white wine over reds normally.

We saved the White Pear Pinot Grigio frozen wine cocktail for the weekend, and we each enjoyed a glass while watching the sunset from our backyard deck.  I found this one to be absolutely fruity and yummy - and would probably pick it as my favorite. I also decided to try adding in a little seltzer water and I loved it even more. The husband drank his sans the seltzer, as he preferred to get the most of the wine flavor. Each of the Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails contains 6 percent alcohol, the same alcohol level as Arbor Mist Wines.

Overall, I loved the taste and the convenience of these frozen wine cocktails. They would be perfect to have for barbecues and back yard parties. Each pouch makes a perfect serving or could easily be shared with two people. I definitely think these would be awesome to have in the freezer for times when you feel like rewarding yourself with a treat, but do not want to open a bottle of wine.

Disclosure: Thanks to SheSpeaks and Arbor Mist for providing the samples to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own (and the husband's!)

Home Made Cough Syrup Recipe

I just came across this home made all natural cough syrup recipe shared by the awesome Nancy on her blog, Good Food Matters.

Check out the ingredients........ all items from the kitchen.

I suggest you try and pop over and get the recipe when you can! I have been searching for something like this, and can't wait to mix up a batch. There is always a ticklish throat, a sore throat or a cough going on somewhere in our house. And if I can find an all natural remedy, you know I am going to try it before any store bought stuff!

Happy Labor Day!!

Feel Like Doing a Little Early Christmas Shopping?

 So what are you doing this Labor Day weekend besides BBQ-ing and relaxing? Have you thought about maybe doing a little early Christmas shopping?

Yes. I am serious. 

Okay, so summer has not officially ended, and we are about 8 weeks away from Halloween. But time has a way of flying, you know.....

Anyhoo, in case you do get the urge to shop, Lalya Grace wants to help you out by offering an additional 15% off  items that are already on sale! - a sale on sale items - now don't you love that?

Just type in the promo code saleonsale when you order, and you will save even more money on the cute stuff already marked down. This code is valid through 9/30/12! (So even if this weekend is a no spending money zone for you - heck, you have all month to take advantage of this offer!)

So look at some of the items already on sale:

Any foodie lovers on your gift list this year? Check out the  Naiya Hostess Apron. Cute, right? 

I always love anything Petunia Pickle Bottom, and their Organic Sashay Satchel is way cool. It  moves effortlessly from a satchel to backpack, and from diaper bag to handbag and defines modern style.

And while you are browsing around, you really should also check out the fantabulously (that is a word, isn't it?) cute stuff from the blabla kids line featured at Layla Grace. During the month of Sept., Layla Grace is offering 10% off  blabla kids purchases with promo code bla10!

Happy Labor Day! (and happy shopping!)