Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hot Sox Review

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I received a free pair of these funky fun socks in order to review them and I am very happy about that. I love unique and colorful socks; always have, always will. I was given a choice from a few different themes and chose The Birth of Venus socks from Hot Sox new collection of famous artists inspired socks. These reminded me of one of best girlfriends, Beth, and I immediately knew they would make a fun impromptu gift for her. I had to try them on of course to give them a proper review but I will be mailing these to her shortly and am sure she will love them, as well.

They have so many different sock designs to choose from. Here is a small taste, but please check out their website to see their full selection. HotSox

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What a fun way to spice up an outfit!

These socks are comfortable and affordable. Most of their socks retail for about $8.00 a pair. This price is in line with similar products currently on the market. The elastic at the top of the sock is secure and my socks did not slide down at all, which is a pet peeve of mine. I do not like it when my socks don't stay up. These delivered in that department.

All in all, a good product. If you love cool socks as much as I do, here are all the ways you can find and snag a pair of your very own. Thanks for stopping by!

HotSox Website
HotSox on Instagram
HotSox on Twitter
HotSox on Pinterest
HotSox on Facebook


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Pinion Pins Review & Giveaway!

Have you heard about Pinion Pins yet? I hadn't either until I was contacted by the company asking if I would be interested in trying out their product a couple weeks ago. Was I? Of course! I love trying new things and sharing them with others. I was up for the challenge.

One package includes 8 pins and caps, plus 1 magnetic key. Retails for $19.95

So what are Pinion Pins? They are an "innovative new pinning system that allows you to attach materials together and have them stay fast."

Images from:

They were originally created as a solution to help hold comforters, duvets and sheets together. And they do work great for that purpose. I always have mismatched sets of blankets and sheets on my bed. These pins do help keep all of my layers together while the hubby and I toss and turn in our sleep. Keeps things from getting bunched up and twisted. I was intrigued by this product and wanted to see what else I could use these handy little pins for around the house.

Firstly, Easter was coming around and I had made these adorable Salt Dough Easter Egg decorations that I had found on Pinterest. I wanted to hang them up for our Easter party but wasn't sure how or where I should put them. The eggs turned out a little heavier than I was anticipating. These pins hold up to 10 lbs. so I knew they would be up for the task. They worked famously, held steady and didn't ruin my curtains. Yay!

My favorite use for them though is to keep the diapers on my two and a half year old twin boys. Or as I have come to call them, the "Deuce of Hazards." It is not necessary all of the time but if you have ever had a child that likes to remove their diaper or onsie at the exact wrong time or place, you will understand how great these pins can be. A couple of months ago I went in to get my twins up from their nap and found a horrific site. They had removed their diapers and "painted" practically everything in their room guessed it...poop. It was awful. Now, we are in the process of potty training these little rascals and they are still getting the hang of when and where to remove their diapers. These pins have helped me greatly in this way.

Now, these pins are sharp and you would need to take special care when placing them onto your child's diaper but I am confident that they are safe to be used in this manner. I pulled with all of my might to practice and the caps did not budge without the use of the magnetic "key." I even let the twins try and they could not pull them apart either. They won't be able to remove them and choke or hurt themselves in any way.

I do not use cloth diapers but I imagine, for those parents that do, these pins would help with the cost of cloth diapers. You wouldn't need to spend oodles of money on the new fancy cloth diapers. You could go old school and the diapers would be very secure without the use of regular old safety pins, which have popped open for me unexpectedly on occasion. That never feels very good.

I pinned right through the "tape" of the diaper.

Placed the cap on securely.

And used the key to remove the Pinion Pin when ready. Easy peasy. No mess, no fuss. Great!

These pins are very versatile and I am sure the ways of use are endless. You should give them a try. Here is where you can find some for yourself:

The Pinion Pins website!
Buy some on Amazon!
Like them on Facebook!
Follow them on Twitter!

And now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will win one package of Pinion Pins! You can enter right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by! You stay classy San Diego...just kidding ;-)

** I did receive one box of Pinion Pins for free in order to conduct an optional and honest review.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Boardwalk Food Company Beer Bread Mix: Review & Giveaway!

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Oh boy! I wish the picture of my sandwich did it more justice. What a deliciously serendipitous meal!

So, a while back I applied to try and get a box of this beer bread mix to review from a new small Florida based business called Boardwalk Food Company. I didn't even care what flavor they sent me, I just knew that I wanted to taste some. Which actually may surprise some people in my life because I do not drink beer. Not a fan. Except for cider beer that is. Love me some cider beer. But, cooking with beer...that I LOVE to do! Beer Cheese Soups, Beer Brats on the grill, Beer Breads, Beer Battered foods...all good stuff. When I was automatically denied to receive this fun product I was a little bummed out, but only for a few moments. My Mom's voice popped into my head saying, "The answer is always no unless you ask." So, I asked again...and was approved...obviously ;-) Yay!

Now, I had this beautiful box of Lemon Poppy Seed Beer Bread Mix and waited for some inspiration. It says right on the back of the box to add one 12 oz. bottle of beer (or soda) and bake. So easy! I already knew I wanted to use beer to really get the full intended effect of the product. I even thought about buying a bottle of Leinie's Summer Shandy but figured that may have been done by someone else already. So, I waited some more. I am very patient. It totally paid off.

Saturday afternoon, out running errands with my three littles and I pass an estate sale. Woo hoo! At the end of their driveway was a box of free stuff. Right on top...five old issues of Taste of Home magazine in perfect condition, just waiting for me to come by. Score! They ranged in dates from 2008 to 2010 but I did not care. I just like recipes. And cooking. And baking. know this already. Moving on...

At home I sit and open the top issue in the stack and within just a few pages I stumble upon my unexpected inspiration. A very small section where the magazine staff tells us their favorite yummy quick bread concoctions. First idea on the list is "Lemon Poppy Seed Bread made into a chicken salad sandwich". DING! DING! DING! We have a winner. (Thank you Jan Briggs, Editor, for having such a great idea way back in the Summer of 2010) The light bulb flashed on bright in my head. I had just been grocery shopping the day before and scored two Lemon Pepper Seasoned Whole Chickens on clearance at Cub Foods for $4.29 a piece! (3.25 pounds each) I didn't have a specific plan when I purchased them but knew that I couldn't pass up such a deal. As a family of seven on one income I am always looking for great deals on food.

Saturday night I roasted one of the beautiful little birds. Mmm!

Sunday morning, after the kids were all fed and playing happily, I retreated to my "happy place" and started to "play."

Time to make some bread.

As the box says, I added one bottle of beer to the mix. We usually have beer in the garage refrigerator for guests so I went out to see what kind we had on hand. Summit Horizon Red IPA. A Minnesota beer. Even better! (Psst...I'm Minnesotan) A little bit on the darker scale of beer which was perfect because I didn't want the bread to be too sweet, as I was going to be using it for sandwiches.

Mix together until just moist, pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake it for 55 - 60 minutes at 350°.

When done baking, spread melted butter on top of the loaf and then sprinkle it with sugar. The box said to use 4 Tbsps. of butter but I only used 1 Tbsp. and it was plenty. I did not want the bread to be too soggy for my sandwich slices.  At this point it smelled and looked amazing.

It sliced up perfectly! Nice top crust while being soft and warm in the middle. I tried some and it was very good. I could definitely taste the beer and can see how the possibilities would be endless with this product. Different beers and sodas would bring out so many flavor combinations. Super fun!

Now, it's time to make the Chicken & Apple Salad for the sandwich filling. Here is one of my own personal recipes I thought would pair perfectly with the Lemon Poppy Seed flavored bread.

Chicken & Apple Salad Recipe


1/2 of the meat from a 3.25 lb. roasted chicken (white & dark)
1 small apple (I used a Braeburn)
1 celery stalk
1/4 of a red onion
1/2 Cup Mayo
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt & cracked pepper to taste (I used Himalayan Pink Salt)


Rough chop the chicken into chunks.

Dice the celery nice and small. I love some crunch in my chicken salad but like to keep the pieces nice, small and fairly uniform in size.

And the red onion.

And the apple. If you are not going to use the diced apple right away, I suggest tossing them in a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown too quickly.

Once the fruit and veggies are all in the bowl with the chicken, add the salt and pepper. Do not be afraid of the pepper. Just go right ahead and grind away.

Gently toss them all together dry and then mix in the mayo and Dijon, adding more salt and pepper if you see fit.

Perfect creamy deliciousness. This recipe makes about 3 cups prepared. Place a couple spoonfuls between two slices of bread and enjoy. I used the Lemon Poppy Seed Beer Bread and it truly was a fun combination of flavors. I would definitely make it again. Yummy!

If you get a chance to try out these fabulous beer bread mixes from Boardwalk Food Company, I highly recommend it. Here are web links so you can get your hands on some, too:

Boardwalk Food Company website.
Follow them on Twitter!
Check them out on Instagram!
Like them on Facebook!
And don't forget about Pinterest!

Don't worry! I haven't forgotten about the giveaway! One lucky reader will win a tasty box of Beer Bread Mix for their very own. Flavors available to choose from are Original, Lemon Poppy Seed, Rosemary Sea Salt or Cornbread. Thanks you so much Boardwalk Food Company!

Good luck and thanks for reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I did receive one box for free in order to write an honest review.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Butter Flavored Coconut Oil Review

Yum! So, I sit down to write this review and begin uploading the photos to this post and my stomach starts growling quite loudly. Yup. This stuff is good. Real good.

Butter Flavored Coconut Oil made by Golden Barrel in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They offer a variety of products like molasses, syrups, oils, sugars, mixes and more. I had the chance to receive a free jar from the company directly in order to try it out and write up a review. I was glad too. I had already been eyeballing their products via the interwebs since I had recently discovered their Instagram feed @goldenbarrelbp. I really want to try their Shoofly Pie Mix. It sounds perfectly delicious.

They asked if I would just give it a try in place of butter for some of my recipes. Why not, right? I thought about the possibilities, deciding that popping popcorn and baking cookies would be an obvious choice. So, I put those two ideas on the back burner for a bit. A couple nights after I received my jar in the mail was a gorgeous Spring night. Here in Minnesota, after a long cold winter, the second it's finally nice enough to grill...we do! Homemade burgers on our Weber charcoal grill is one of my all times faves! That is what I make first nearly every year.

When I have a big juicy burger I love sauteed mushrooms and onions with mine. I cook 'em up in a little butter, minced garlic, salt and cracked pepper. The perfect burger topping in my book. Why not give the coconut oil a try instead?

The butter flavored coconut oil melted perfectly as butter. Smelled pretty good to me, too (...and nothing like coconuts, which my husband was a little worried about...'cuz he and coconuts aren't really friends, you see.)

Anyway, they sauteed up nice and golden. Crisp and tender at the same time. Mmm!

 Piled up nice on my super duper burger. They were wonderfully delicious and lightly butter flavored.

The next night I decided to try it out again since it went so very well. I like to add a layer of vegetables into my pasta dishes sometimes. I love to hide veggies in my childrens' food. Some days more obviously than others. Ha!

Again, they vegetables cooked nicely and tasted very good. I also like the hint of color that the coconut oil gives to the food. The butter flavoring I'm sure.

Within the following week I had an opportunity to use the coconut oil in place of butter when popping kernels for family movie night and in chocolate chip cookie dough for Easter treats. The popcorn turned out perfectly. I didn't even use extra butter afterwards. just some salt and a little white cheddar powder. The cookies were soft and chewy. No one would have guessed I didn't use real butter. All in all a good product and something I would use again. Thank you Golden Barrel for the opportunity.

Where can you get your own Golden Barrel products?

Butter vs. Coconut Oil:

According to Google...

You can read the full article from HERE