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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Auroroa Giveaway

Do you all remember the Auroroa Gifts product  review that I shared just the other day here on Annies Home? Well I have some great news one of Annies Home readers will be able to win one of those great Auroroa gifts for thier selves. To enter this giveaway simply read the Auroroa product review that I shared here and let me know what one of the featured products you liked the best then come back to this post and leave me a comment letting me know which one it is.

Extra Entries :
Giveaway ends 1/22/2011 Good Luck Email must be included in comment or on blog profile

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little One Books Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Relax & Surf Sunday

 Its time for another relax and Surf Sunday. So I plan to do a bit of surfing around and if you happen to surf by here please leave a comment and i will surf by your place and follow as well


sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little One Books Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi giveaway

Is it a bit cold where you are? I can tell you that where I am the weather outside is very cold tonight and all I am looking for is a lovely blanket to wrap up in. I would love to win the nice warm Lambswool Micro Fur Reversible Throw Blanket that the blog Mommy Living The Life of Riley is hosting in a giveaway. The winner of this throw blanket will win the choice of color from Cozy Coverz! (ARV $40) If you want to go enter this giveaway head over here

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little One Books Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Friday, January 7, 2011

Little One Books Review and Giveaway

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? I did her name was Dee and as the story goes as my mother tells it Dee came into my life played for quite some time and then one day quietly was not there any longer. My children have never had an imaginary friend as my mother describes mine yet all in all I have seen them use their imaginations through play and activities that they have participated in. In part I associate imagination with items that children see in every day life, through quality programs that they watch on T.V. and through books and videos that they have read and watched. Little One Books offers books, music and video that children of a variety of ages will love. Imagination is very important to children through the stages of development. The opportunity to grow with a rich source of imagination thought process and creativity by being able to escape and get away from it all mentally for just a short period of time. The ability to "think outside of the box" allows them the opportunity to produce more creative results when learning and working. For these reasons we must when ever possible offer our children the tools and time to grow a valuable imagination.

As I mentioned one thing that we can do is offer them books, music and video to be able to gain knowledge about other places, people and activities that go on around the world and beyond. Little One Books can help to do just this as they offer wonderful tools in the form of books, music and video. If you are not aware of who Little One Books are here is a bit of information about them:

Little One Books is an outlet that was created by a set of loving grandparents. They were very much like me and took being a grandparent as an important job and wanted to do all that they could. As parents this couple had placed a spotlight on the role of reading books, listening to music, and playing video. They knew that the three activities were very important in a child's early life. When it came time to buy such items for their granddaughter they were astounded about how many products were on the market. They searched out the very soft music that they were looking for and were surprise by the time that it took to do so. Because of their search they devised a guide in Little One Books to help others make informed choices from the vast amount of products on the market for children. Little One Books specialize in quality books, music, and video for children birth through age five. Each of the products available have been personally reviewed and selected and the choice of why the product was selected is available in the "Why We Chose" section of each product page

Upon being offered the opportunity to take a look at Little One Books and select a product that my Little Princess would love I decided to think about what she liked. I know that at the age of two her mother does not let her watch a lot of T.V. but she does love her videos. So I decided that I would select a video for her and the perfect one that I found was one that starred her favorite character Elmo.

Recommended for children ages 2 years old Perfect for Princess who was 2 this past September. Among the reasons this book was added to the items available at Little One Books was because of the interaction that the characters in the DVD offered, not only is the video playful but also teaches valuable lessons that helps prepare children for preschool. I believe that the written observations that are shared on the Little One Books website offers information that helps to make a valuable informed decision. Knowing what the DVD offered would help a parent to better decide if that is the video for their child or if they would be better off with another. I personally feel that this video will be one that my Little Princess will love and be very thankful that her Nana got for her. Not only will she love it but I think that her mommy will be thankful as well.

Buy: you can purchase wonderful products for children birth to age 5 at the Little One Books website. Reasonably priced with a wonderful selection available and even better a description about the product that is created by individuals with children in mind.

Win: one of Annies Home readers will receive a $20 gift certificate from Little One Books to purchase a product of their choice.

To enter this giveaway follow my blog and  visit Little One Books and let me know what you would choose if you were the lucky winner

Extra Entries:

  • follow Little One Books on twitter
  • like Little One Books on facebook leave a message letting them know that you entered this giveaway (3 entries)
  • follow my blog on twitter
  • tweet about the giveaway linking to @littleonebooks and @shopannies (2 entries per tweet may tweet 1 time per day)
  • leave a comment on any post on my blog (2 entries each)
  • share this giveaway on your blog , facebook, or other giveaway or social site (5 entries each) leave link in comment
giveaway starts now and ends January 21, 2010 Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count. entries that just say enter me will be thrown out

as I mentioned we received a DVD for review purposes only and thank Little One Books The thoughts and opinions shared in this post are those of mine alone

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little One Books Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Making Snowflakes

It was snowing here in Southern Illinois and we took the time to make some snowflakes in the indoors as well I love snowflakes each one is different. I really love the big snowflakes because you can see the details of their beauty. If you want to make a few snowflakes of your own simply follow these directions found here

Other great ideas for making snowflakes include:

Make Your Own Paper SnowflakesMake Your Own Paper Snowflakes

Super Snowflakes Craft Kit (Makes 12)Super Snowflakes Craft Kit (Makes 12)

Shared on Fingerprints On The Fridge blog

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Friday Fill Ins

1. It's 2011; I _____.

2. _____ pickles.

3. Thankfully I have my _____.

4. _____ the best things in life.

5. I am so _____.

6. _____ bowl _____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!
1 Its 2011 I am so excited
2 sweet pickles
3  Thankfully I have my new job
4 Friends are the best things in life
5 I am so blessed
6 glass bowl of fish
7 Im looking forward to blogging a bit, tommorow I will go back to work and sunday I am looking forward to the bible drillers
sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

5 Question Friday

1. What is your current favorite book, and why?

I have many that I love but my favorite will always be the Bible

2. Do you go to the dentist regularly?

no and probably would be better off if i did

3. What is your worst memory from High School?

The Ag Teacher at my school died when I was in high school he was one of my favorite teachers and was grieved by many of my class mates as well

4. What do you hope to be remembered for in your life?

I would love my legacy to be that I loved and cared for my children and was a good mother, that my job as a CNA touched many and the care I gave was second to none, that I was a wonderful carrying wife and that you could tell just from meeting me that I was a believer in Jesus Christ

5. Are you superstitious or do you have any superstitions?

no real superstitions but a few I observe like spilling salt, walking under ladders etc...

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Corn Spoon Bread

3 cups whole milk

2 cups fresh corn kernels or one 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed

3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


1.Heat oven to 350° F.

2.In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk and the corn to a boil.

3.In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining milk and the cornmeal. Whisking constantly, slowly add the mixture to the boiling milk. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs.

4.Transfer to a buttered casserole or cast-iron skillet. Bake until golden and set, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Old Mountain Pre Seasoned 10120 7 Impression Cornbread Pan, 12 Inch x 5 1/2 InchOld Mountain Pre Seasoned 10120 7 Impression Cornbread Pan, 12 Inch x 5 1/2 Inch

I so love these little types of pans to cook my corn bread in so I thought I might share the link

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 By Nancy Dell-Aria from Woman's Day
September 1, 2004

These cookies are great in my opinion for a couple of different reasons. First they are made of ingredients that are commonly found in my kitchen and second because there are only 60 calories for cookie. Making this cookie lover who would like to get fit very happy.

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 cup each granulated sugar and light molasses

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat baking sheet(s) with nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in molasses, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon and salt (may look curdled). On low speed beat in flour. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop level tablespoons 1 1/2 in. apart on a baking sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes until tops look dry. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely.Store airtight at room temperature up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months

Baker's Secret Air Insulated Large Baking SheetBaker's Secret Air Insulated Large Baking Sheet
EZ Baker Three Piece Cookie Pan SetEZ Baker Three Piece Cookie Pan Set

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Aurora Gift Review

One thing that I think I will never grow out of and that my grandbabies share with me is my love of plush animals and toys. They are so playful and cute and Aurora is among the top suppliers of the plush toys and gifts.  Aurora the lead supplier of affordable, high quality gift products was established in 1981. Since that time the company has ascended to become a respected leader in the character & contents industry. Aurora offers everything in a gift that a giver is looking for great prices many under $20, high quality, and large variety of products for a range of children and adults who represent nearly every walk of life. Aurora also is active in international manufacturing, R&D and distribution resources are hallmarks of Aurora's success.  Aurora products are sold at a variety of retailers including zoos, department stores, high end toy stores, top gift chains as well as hospital gift shops, florist, and candy stores

We were happy to receive a variety of plush toys from Aurora. Among the items we received were:

Dreamy Eyes
I just love these little guys their super cute expressions, big eyes and appealing cuddle material that just melts in your hands. Just feel the super cute plush toy and you won't want to put it down. There are a variety of characters including the tiger, pony, pig, cow, lion, elephant, monkey, giraffe, cat, pug, chihuahua, frog and lamb. I personally love this collection and feel like they would be super cute to decorate a baby room with. Just remember for safety sakes never place them in the crib of a sleeping baby. The manufactures suggested retail price of characters in this collection are $12.99 and are recommended for children 2 years and up. You can find more about this great collection of characters at at 

retro yoohoo & friends

One of Aurora’s international famous characters are the YooHoo & Friends™ The new collection of the retro yoohoo & friends will please both kids and collectors alike. The characters are ubber hip and dressed in 60s, 70s, and 80s retro clothing styles. The retro collection was fashioned with some of the famous pop culture icons of those decades (think Elvis, Madonna, Travolta from Saturday Night Fever etc.) There are a couple of different sizes of characters. The five inch "retro" yoohoo & friends are available in seven styles including 70s Love, Punk Rocker, Pop Singer, Vegas, Flash Dancer, British Rocker and Disco Dancer. I can just imagine giving these to a friend my age and how the memories would fly back or gifting them to a child in my life and introducing them to some of the past greatest music. A slightly larger 8 inch version is also available and these characters include punk rocker, 70s love, flash dancer and pop singer. All of the Retro YooHoo & Friends characters squeal with the same characteristic sound The suggested price on these plush toys range from $8.99 to $14.99. Interested in learning more about the super cute yoohoo friends then check out the website at  There children and their parents will learn all about the YooHoo & Friends natural habitats, play games, download desktop backgrounds and coloring sheets, raise an online version of YooHoo & Friends characters The suggested age of this plush assortment of toys is 5 years old to tweens and can be found at
fancy pals

This next style of toy that we received were not only precious for Christmas but I think are perfect for Valentines day. All decked out in hearts and flowers several of the fancy pals say just what a valentine should. Fancy Pals are among the top sellers for Aurora and to me this would be from how very cute the product is. Fancy Pals are composed of a purse and a plush animal in one. Aurora are the creators of the original pet carriers. Have fun interchanging the adorable animals, mixing and trading the animals to the carriers. Carriers vary from six to eight inches in size and are at a suggested price of $12. Find these adorable gifts at

The cute little monkeys just seem to be hanging around Aurora for a bit just adding personality, lovable smiles and of course their banana in the tail. The pair of Cheeky Charlie and Carmen are hot commodities that everyone is falling in love with. Why not they are super adorable and I believe are perfect of any little boy or girl. I could personally see them decorating a little boys room or possibly hang around a jungle theme. These characters are at a suggested price at $17 and are recommended for children 3 years of age and up. You can find them at  or on Facebook at  Shop Aurora online at

Aurora Plush Fancy Pals Pet Carrier Princess KittenAurora Plush Fancy Pals Pet Carrier Princess Kitten

Aurora Plush 8" Yoohoo Pammee Pop SingerAurora Plush 8" Yoohoo Pammee Pop Singer

A Few Articles That Attracted My Attention May Yours As Well

Five Easy Tips for Meal planning can be found at SnackPicks If you are in a rut on your meal plans or are wanting some useful information on how to start be sure to check out that article here

Find yourself to busy to eat? Well then check out this list of 12 Healthy Snacks for the Supermom. We all need to keep our energy up no matter how fast our day goes. You can read this article here

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi

Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

The weather outside is just perfect for some delicious soup. This veggie chili from Southern Living 2008 cooks in the slow cooker for a delicious easy to serve supper meal.

2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)

2 celery ribs, diced (1/2 cup)

1 medium-size sweet onion, diced

Vegetable cooking spray

2 (8-oz.) packages sliced fresh mushrooms

1 large zucchini, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

1 yellow squash, chopped (1 cup)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

3 cups tomato juice

2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

4 (15-oz.) cans pinto, black, great Northern, or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

Sauté first 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and squash; sauté 3 more minutes. Add chili powder and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 5 more minutes. Stir together tomato sauce and tomato juice in a 6-qt. slow cooker until smooth. Stir in diced tomatoes, next 2 ingredients, and carrot mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

Note: Cool leftovers, and freeze in plastic freezer containers or zip-top plastic freezer bags for up to 2 months.

sponsors this week include Barefoot Books, Balboa Pillows Aurora Gifts Little Ones Happy Baby Foods Zutano and PawParrazi