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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Build A Dream Playhouses review and giveaway

Can you remember how much fun we used to have playing outside with only our imagination, what we found out in the yard and if we were lucky a cardboard box? Our imaginations would run wild and that box may be our castle, a racecar, or even a submarine and we would spend hours playing til mom called us for lunch or the street lights came on and the lightning bugs showed up which was our sign that the day of play was over. This same sort of fun can still be had with the Build A Dream playhouses.

Build a Dream Playhouses was founded by a father who wanted to make the future of his city of Cleveland, the state of Ohio and his childs imagination brighter. The goal is to deliver safe, affordable, eco friendly products that stimulate and encourage the imagination of children. The imagination of a child is very important to their developing minds. The Build A Dream Playhouse supplies the child with a blank canvas for children to paint their dreams. The way that the Build A Dream Playhouse products are created where each child can use their personalities to personalize their playhouse. The playhouses are made up of corrugated cardboard that allows them to be colored, painted, decorated, and customized to please every child's dreams and are durable to last through play as well. They go through safety test and pass those that are handed down by the CPSIA. The playhouses are made up of 80% of recyclable goods and are 100% recyclable.

We were able to review the Pop N Play castle. Many of my readers know that my grandchildren are known on my blog as the Princess and the Prince. Every little Prince and Princess needs a castle to play in. Oh the good times that are ahead for them. I believe that my daughter will have as much fun as my grand-kids both sharing in the decorating of the castle as well as watching their imagination at work. So much fun.

Buy: You can purchase your own Build Your Own Dream Playhouse from their website at shipping in the U.S. is free.

Win: One of Annies Home readers from the U.S. will be able to win their choice of playhouses

To enter this giveaway you must visit the Build A Dream Playhouses facebook page and let them know you entered the giveaway on my blog and what your favorite playhouse is. Come back here leaving comment letting me you did this and what your choice of playhouse was.

Extra Entries:
  • share with me a memory of you when you were little and what you imagined you were
  • follow my blog
  • follow Build A Dream Playhouses on twitter
  • follow my blog on twitter
  • tweet about the giveaway (1 entry per tweet unlimited) leave link in comment
  • comment on any post on this blog
Giveaway starts now and ends May 28, 2011 Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

Thank you to Build A Dream Playhouses for sending a product to review and the hours of fun that it will provide. I shared my own thoughts and opinions in this blog post.

Little Brown Church

This one is a old one and a good one. Was one of my daddys favorites I can remember standing next to him many different times in church as he belted out the words of this song in his deep voice. That was a great feeling that makes for a great memory.

Pretzel Crisps Review

Pretzel Crisps have quickly become a favorite among my teens. They no longer have to choose between a pretzel and the crisp of a chip. Pretzel Crisps are thin spreadable cracker that allow individuals to snack healthy. Pretzel Crisps have been on the market since 2004 but just recently being picked up by my teens. The crisps offer a snack that is low fat, low calorie, and wholesome snack that I can feel good as a mother buying my teens. Pretzel Crisps were founded by Warren and Sara Wilson who are known as snack food pioneers also creating bagel and pita chips. Pretzel Crisps are perfectly sized flat like snack that are perfect for eating alone or spread with dip or salsa. There is a variety of great flavors such as garlic, buffalo wing and others.

I work out of the house and my teens are always on the go and thus we need a snack that will keep us going, one that has some nutritional value and can easily be taken wherever we go. Pretzels Crisps meet these points of interest for us and are better for us than the regular potato chips. With only 110 calories per serving and no fat they are healthier for us as well. Both the American Dietetic Association and American Heart Association recommends have goals for the public that advises limiting fat in the diet. Pretzel Crisps are easy to take along on a days journey. They fit in small spaces like the glove compartment of a car, lockers, backpacks, purses, or wherever you store the snack for the day.

Pretzel Crisps website offers great ways to serve them up. One of these great ways is the Zesty Fiesta:
■Original Pretzel Crisp®

■Sliced salami

■Jalapeno cheddar cheese

For a zesty combo great for barbecues or buffets, top a savory Pretzel Crisp® with a folded round of salami and a thin wedge of spicy jalapeno cheddar

You can find Pretzel Crisps in the deli section or snack department of many great stores to find a list of stores where they are available visit here
Pretzel Crisps are on facebook and twitter as well

we were sent a variety of Pretzel Crisps snacks to prepare for this review. We were not compensated in any other manner and were happy to share our own thoughts and opinions in this blog post.

Repeat Post: Strawberry Jello Pretzel Dessert


The blog Coupon Cookin' for their tasty traditions  wanted to know our favorite holiday mea. I can only say that this recipe went over superbly at our Thanksgiving get together and will make a return visit for Christmas dinner as well.


Read more about it at,1913,152173-244197,00.html

Content Copyright © 2010 - All rights reserved.


2 c. crushed pretzels (grate in food processor)

3/4 c. butter, melted

3 tbsp. sugar

Mix above ingredients into 9 x 13 inch pan. Press flat onto bottom of pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Let cool.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. sugar

8 oz. Cool Whip

Mix together until smooth. Spoon over pretzel layer.


2 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello

2 c. boiling water

2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries

Mix strawberry Jello and boiling water together. Add sliced strawberries. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until slightly jelled. Pour carefully over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

also check out great recipes on Thursday Cooking at Diary of a Stay at home Mom

Smart Ideas

I found these ideas while blog hopping around check them out for yourself

Cool way to display jars and use as well found on Shabby 2 Chic

Yard and Garden Ready

I love to decorate the yard and garden as much as I like to decorate the inside of my house. What do you think>

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
freckled laundry

Beauty In How He Made It


The Cheesecake Factory serves it up right. Here Irish Coffee and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Red Potatoes Bacon and Cheese

6-8 red small red potatoes

1 stick butter
1 pkg. Hormel real bacon pieces
3/4 cup cheddar, shredded
Garlic salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and cut into quarters. Grease bottom and sides of glass baking dish with olive oil. Place potatoes in a dish and slice stick of butter into 1 tbsp. pats and place on top of potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cover with cheese and bacon pieces. Place back in oven until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.

Recipe Source: My Daily Moment

Giveaways I Entered Today

I love vintage items and yes that includes jewelry as well. The older styles of yesterdays wears has a romantic feel to them for me. I just entered a great giveaways where the etsy shop Suitable Girl offers the winner a great prize. To enter this giveaway head over to the blog Momma Told Me Giveaway ends  May 28, 2011

I just entered a giveaway on the blog New Age Mama to win this little beauty. The giveaway is sponsored by Petie Mae Jewelry This giveaway ends June 1, 2011

See Kai Run those cute shoes for kids are simply adorable. I entered a giveaway on the blog My Silly Monkeys where you can enter as well and the winner will recieve a nice prize consisting of see kai run shoes. This giveaway ends May 25, 2011

The great smell of Scentsy is now available with a great buddy as well. These cute little animal buddies range from frog to a monkey but all are adorable. I entered to win one of these super cute Scentsy Buddies on the blog Networking Witches and you can to. The giveaway is sponsored by Who Needs Wicks You have to do so before the giveaway ends on 5/19/2011

Blondie Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350° F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, then stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the centers are just set and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes.

recipe resource: Elizabeth @ Real Simple

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tomato and Nectarine Soup

4 nectarines (about 1 1⁄2 lb), pitted

3 large tomatoes (about 1 1⁄2 lb)

1⁄4 cup finely chopped scallion

1 cup ice water

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste

3⁄4 tsp salt, or to taste

Garnish: chopped fresh mint leaves

Purée 1⁄2 the nectarines and tomatoes in food processor or blender. Dice remaining nectarines and tomatoes; stir into purée with remaining ingredients. Serve, or refrigerate up to 4 days. Garnish servings with mint

Recipe Source Womans Day
Mommy's Idea

Wow!!! I am so glad this is Friday. I had a five day stretch of work this time. Today was my 5th day. I just fixed a meal that I think pleased my family. OBrian Potatoes with polish sausage browned together. pretty yummy if I say so myself and very easy.

I had a wonderful visit with my precious prince and princess. Our visit was a great one and I can't wait to see them again. This is planned in June. A nana and papa can never get enough of our super cute babies.

The flood of 2011 left many of our favorite places on the river ruined and beyond belief. Here is our favorite fish restaurant on the river. As you can see the doc has floated away from the restaurant itself. Hopefully the water will go down and we will be able to eat some catfish there this summer.

These are just a few of the things that the conversation of our lives was about this week. What is the conversation where you are>

Oranically Grown Baby Review

Organically Grown has been a sponsor on Annies Home before and I just adore the fact that their products are 100% organic cotton along with the sweet way they look. Just take a look at a few of the cute items that are listed in the Organically Grown Baby clothing line.

Don't you just love the sweet colors. The 100% organic cotton insures that they will be soft just like the little one that will be wearing it.  also love the simple print picture on many of the outfits Reminds me of the days gone by. We were able to review a super cute ladybug bodysuit. It made the perfect baby shower gift for a dear friend of ours expecting a little girl.

Organically Grown has new items in their line up and include toddler and infant clothing. The toddler collectionis made upof adorable two-piece outfitsfor boys and girls in sies 12 - 24 months, and 2T to 4T Organicaally Grown earth friendly slogans are found on the tees of each set. The  Oranically Grown infant collection features three piece sets with baby gowns, body suits, jackets, pants, blankets and hats. Each of the sweet pieces are found on a padded hanger.

I have shared here before why the right choice to me is organic. Awareness has been recently been more and more been placed on the effects of pesticides and toxins and the impact they have on the environment. Choosing to buy organic is the right choice for our earth, for each other and for our children. Consumers have a voice in how things areproduced if we choose organic textile productinos those in charge of producingsuch items will take notice and increase production. Organic cotton offers all the high quality, soft and cuddly texture with none of the harshchemicals to irritate your childs delicate skin. The products are breathable and cuddly and als are recyclable renewable and biodegradable Organically Grown products are perfect fit for budget and consience, eco friendly and affordable as well as stylish.

Buy: you can purchase Organically Grown products for the entire family from their website located at

Thank you to Organically Grown for sending us the beautiful bodysuit for review purchases. The thoughts and opinions in this post are those of mine.

The Blog Entourage

Apple Cheesecake Crumb Pie

Apple Cheesecake Crumb Pie 

Yields 1 small 6″ pie.


•5 ounces (1 cup) flour

•2 teaspoons sugar

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced

•1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

•3-4 tablespoons cold water


•1/4 cup flour

•2 teaspoons sugar

•1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

•pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

•1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

•3 tablespoons butter


•1 small apple (I prefer Honey Crisp)

•pinch of orange zest (optional)

•1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

•1 teaspoon flour

•pinch of salt

•6 ounces cream cheese, softened

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla

•1 large egg, at room temperature

•1/4 cup sugar

•2 teaspoons cornstarch

•Caramel sauce for serving (optional)

First, make the crust: stir together in a small bowl with a fork the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and use your finger tips or a pastry cutter to blend it into the flour. 2.Once all the butter pieces are about the size of small peas, add the vinegar and a small amount of water, stirring between each addition. Add enough water so that the dough comes together in a ball, but isn’t overly sticky. 3.Form the dough into a disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the crumb topping: combine all ingredients except butter in a small bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until well incorporated. Set aside.

Now, peel and dice your apple into 1/4” chunks. You should end up with about 1 cup of diced apple pieces.

Add the apple to a medium bowl and toss with the cinnamon, flour, salt and orange zest (if using). Set aside. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, egg, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside while you prepare your pie crust. Preheat the oven to 375°. Roll the pie dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 8-9” in diameter. Carefully transfer this to a 7” pie tin and fit it in the bottom gently (do not ever stretch pie dough—it will shrink back in the oven). Fold the overhanging dough under the edges to form a double crust and make a pretty edge, either with a fork or your fingers. Do not prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Transfer the pie tin to a small baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven. If the crust has puffed up, gently push it back down before pouring the cream cheese mixture on top. Add the diced apples on top, followed by the crumb topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If the crumbs aren’t brown enough, broil for a few minutes. This pie is great at room temperature, or even chilled. Serve with caramel sauce
recipe source: dessert for two

Photobucket monday mania

Great Family Style Recipe

Oh this recipe is what I would consider the perfect family meal. You can find the recipe at Miz. Helen's Kitchen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 lb of Italian pork sausage, (then cooked, drained, crumbled)

4 1/2 cups cubed day old bread

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

10 eggs slightly beaten

4 cups whole milk

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp onion powder

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat a skillet on medium high. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until browned all around. Make sure the chunks of sausage have some space around them or your meat will steam and not brown. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and let sit on some paper towels on a plate to soak up the excess fat. Crumble into smaller pieces. Place bread in a well buttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder and pepper. Pour evenly over the bread and cheese. Sprinkle sausage and optional ingredients over the top. At this stage you can cover and chill overnight, if you want to prepare ahead. If not, let sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

shared on $5 dinner challenge

Strawberry Pie

When my daughter was  younger we created cookbooks of sorts for them We used construction paper threaded together with yarn and pasted recipes and pictures of food from magazines that they really liked. This allowed them a chance to have a working cookbook when they moved out of the house. My oldest daughter has moved out and cherishes her cookbook that she made. One recipe that may have been included is this Easy Summer Recipe that is frugal as well.

Easy Summer Recipe from Pet-Ritz

Quick ‘n Easy way to perfect pies. Light, flaky pie crusts every time with oven-ready Pet-Ritz Frozen Pie Crust Shells and a delicious topping of Pet Non-Dairy Whip.

Strawberry Glacé-Pie
Bake and cool 1 PET-RITZ Pie Crust Shell.
Wash and hull 1 quart fresh Strawberries. Cut up 1 cup berries.
Mix 1 cup Sugar and 3 tablespoons Corn Starch in 2-qt saucepan. Stir in 1 cup Water gradually until smooth. Add cut-up berries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and clear. Stir in few drops Red Food Color. Cool.
Stir in remaining berries, saving 1/4 cup for garnish. Pour into PET-RITZ Pie Crust Shell. Chill until firm, about 3 hours.
Garnish with PET Whip Topping and berries. Serves 6.

Food Trip Friday

Delicious Breakfast Recipe

2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter

1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen spinach

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Flaky Layers refrigerated original biscuits (8 biscuits)

4 ounces thick-cut slices Canadian bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

8 Eggland's Best eggs

2 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8 jumbo muffin cups or 8 (6-ounce) glass custard cups with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up spinach if necessary, until spinach is hot. Remove from heat; set aside. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in each muffin cup, pressing dough 3/4 of the way up sides of cups. Place heaping 1 tablespoon bacon on dough in bottom of each cup. Top each with spinach mixture. Using finger or end of wooden spoon handle, make 1 1/2-inch-wide indentation in center of each cup. Break 1 egg into each cup. Top each egg with 1/4 cup cheese (cups will be full). (If using custard cups, place on large cookie sheet with sides.) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until centers feel firm when touched and biscuits are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan to serving plates. Serve warm

Recipe Source: Crisco
I am so pleased to let you all know of a new sponsor on the blog Annies Home. Western Chief the makers of shoes for adults and children. Be watching for an upcoming review.