Thursday, September 29, 2011

My new favorite Fall cookie -Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies Recipe

I do a lot of cooking and baking and would like to share some of the recipes with all of you. I am going to be making a better effort to make more posts with yummy recipes :)

Today I made the most Yummy cookies (Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies)
If you like apple and caramel you must try these!

1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
-In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.

-Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

-Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)

-When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut.

-Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

-Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.)

If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.

Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

Recipe taken from

New Activia Selects...So Yummy!

with a 3 year old and one on the way it can be difficult to find time for a nutritious meal. I always like when I find nutritious snacks that I can take on the go.

When I am out on a playdate or at a prenatal appointment I have found a new snack that I love to take.

Activia Selects

New styles of yogurt that let you enjoy unique and delicious taste experiences! New Activia Selects brings you great tasting, cultural recipes plus everything you already love about Activia.

There are 4 new Activia Selects

Activia® Selects French- A delicious blended French style yogurt with a smooth and silky texture. Features the popular yogurt recipe from France.

Activia® Selects French– Fruit Bites on the Bottom- Smooth and silky French style yogurt with large and fresh pieces of fruit on the bottom.

Activia® Selects Greek- Thick and creamy blended Greek yogurt, containing 0% fat and an excellent source of calcium and protein.

Activia® Selects Parfait-A blend of delicious creamy Activia yogurt, flavorful fruit pieces, and crunchy granola on top.

I ended up trying the Activia® Selects Parfait in Peach. I love peach and the granola adds a bit of crunch for the perfect snack on the go. I also tried the Activia® Selects French– Fruit Bites on the Bottom in strawberry. This one was a bit richer and had really good strawberry flavor with real strawberry pieces.

The Activia® Selects Parfait are my favorite. I just love the extra crunch the granola gives.

For more information about Activia Selects, check out

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Dannon Activia Selects Yogurt Series and received a coupon to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sock n Boots children's book series

With the holidays around the corner I know many moms and dads are looking for some great new suggestions for holiday gifts.

Recently I was introduced to a great series Sock n Boots.

Sock n Boots are best friends and the stars of the "Sock n Boots" book series. They are "the two most loveable pieces of footwear around”.

The Sock n Boots characters and stories were created to foster a love of reading at a young age and to teach young children valuable life lessons. The stories stimulate positive thinking, while building a bond between parents and children, as well as teachers and students.

The goal of the books is to transform story time into an interactive bonding time.

Each Sock n Boots story begins with a question. Then through the antics of the characters, a lesson is taught that answers the question. Once the story is finished the question is posed again which opens the door for additional discussion and interaction.

As an educator I can tell you this is a great series for kids and I would recommend the series as a holiday gift this Year!

For more information on Sock n Books go to: and

Monday, September 26, 2011


I was so so so excited when I learned JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES had a new DVD to be released. It's one of Shane's favorite Shows. It's even one of my favorites of all the shows he watches :)


Jake and the Never Land Pirates is cable's #1 series among Boys 2-5 and is on track to be Disney Channel's #1 preschool series ever. It is the most co-viewed series among all Disney Junior and Nickelodeon series, with 47% of Moms watching with their preschooler. A music-filled interactive treasure hunt, the series introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney's classic "Peter Pan." Every episode features the animated Sharky and Bones characters as they pop up throughout to perform original pirate ditties, and each episode concludes with a live action music video featuring The Never Land Pirate Band.

About the DVD
The DVD is packed full with seven episodes from the series and two incredible bonus features including Yo Ho, You Want To Be A Pirate?, where Jake teaches viewers how to talk like a pirate, and Pirate Party With Pirate-oke, a collection of music videos performed by The Never Land Pirate Band that allow viewers to enjoy with or without the sing-along/karaoke-like feature.

Retailing for the suggested price of $19.99

This would make such a great Stocking Stuffer for Christmas this year!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rafflecopter Roundup

Welcome to Rafflecopter Roundup hosted by Makobiscribe and Simply Stacie!

RafflecopterRound Up Giveaway

4 people will Win prizes.

Prize #1 A $25 gift code to Amazon

Prizes #2, #3 and #4 Each will win A copy of of Collegeit Software with a full License code.

CollageIt is an easy-to-use and automatic photo collage maker for Mac OS X & Windows, which makes photo collage automatically.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DUMBO 70th Anniversary Edition in Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

Today DUMBO 70th Anniversary Edition in Blu-ray/DVD Combo is Available.
It will retail for $39.99

In celebration of this landmark film’s 70th anniversary, experience the daring adventures of the world’s only flying elephant with a dazzling all-new digital restoration and brilliant Disney Enhanced High Definition Theatre Mix Sound. The inspirational tale of Dumbo, the courageous baby elephant who uses his sensational ears to soar to fame with the help of his clever best friend Timothy Q. Mouse, will thrill and delight audiences of all ages. And now, the award-winning music and empowering messages about friendship and belief In yourself reach new heights in this must-have Blu-ray high-definition presentation of Walt Disney’s classic Dumbo!

Here is what you will get

Deleted scene: The Mouse's Tale
Deleted scene: Are You a Man or a Mouse?
Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo
The Magic of Dumbo: A Ride of Passage
Audio Commentary
Sound Design Excerpt
Original Walt Disney Television Intro

Everything on the DVD plus:

Disney View
What Do You See game
What Do You Know game
Celebrating Dumbo featurette
Animated Short: The Flying Mouse
Animated Short: Elmer Elephant

This is one of those movies that every kid must have!

A big Thanks to Disney for Providing us with a copy of DUMBO 70th Anniversary Edition in Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall is Here and What to do with all these Apples?

It has cooled off here in Michigan and Fall is here. I love all the Fall foods and don't even mind the cool weather. I HATE THE SNOW!

We took Shane to the apple orchard. The cider and donuts were really good and Shane had a blast picking and eating apples.

Last night I made Phil a Homemade Apple Pie to tell him thank you for all the extra help he has been giving me while I have been baking Baby #2. He loves my Apple Pies!

We still have a ton of apples so if anyone has any good apple recipes feel free to leave them in the comments.

What bottles am I using for the New Baby

MAM Bottles! I was super excited to be introduced to MAM this year when my best friend had her son. I fell in love with the bottles right away. They are anti-colic, BPA FREE, easy to clean and work great.

With the Anti-Colic bottle babies feel relaxed and happy from day one. This is because they don't swallow any air while drinking. And this makes the switch between Mum and MAM particularly easy.

With Silk Teat® - no other silicone feels softer
For a smooth flow of milk
With self sterilizing function

MAM not only carries bottles but they carry Pacifiers, Drinking cups, Oral Care and Teethers.

I contacted MAM to tell them how impressed I was with their bottles and was super excited when they offered to send the new baby some bottles, pacifiers and their bite and brush teethers.

The pacifiers glow in the dark so they are easy to find at night if baby drops them and they are orthodontically correct for baby’s jaw and teeth development. The Bite and brush are great for not only teething but help clean babies first teeth.

I am beyond impressed by MAMs products and can't wait to use them with this baby. MAM is sold at many major retailers including Babies R Us and Target.

To learn more about MAM check out their Website HERE.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One of My favorite Etsy shops

zoeysattic and I have a lot in common. We have the same taste in clothes and even in names. Both of our sons were born within a month of each other and both are named Shane.

zoeysattic sells some awesome shirts. She has a wide variety of shirts from maternity to sibling to grandparents, aunts and uncles.

I was very excited to receive this shirt that says due in April!

I love the cute bird and modern design. The shirt is very good quality and washes well.

I am going to be ordering this shirt for Shane with a matching Onesie for the baby as soon as we find out the sex.

Check out Zoeysattic Here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Fall shawl-scarf from Fraas is the must have for this Fall. It works with sweater or draped as a scarf. Great quality and very stylish.


This family business has always combined tradition with innovation – with great success. Today, V. Fraas is the market leader in the manufacture of textile accessories, which are appreciated for their premium quality by the most exclusive brands worldwide.

This Scarf retails for $66

Find out more and see other products Here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blogorama Bonanza ‘11

Welcome to Blogorama Bonanza ‘11

1 winner will win this prize pack From the Ethertons

1. A $55 gift card to Eden Fantasys
2. A copy of chicken soup for the soul inspiration for the young at heart
3. A copy CollageIt Pro software with full License Code

Where I get my Halloween costumes :)

There are so many places to look when trying to find Boys costumes and girls costumes for Halloween. My favorite place to shop for costumes for Shane is

This year Shane wants to be Thomas but he has already decided what to be next year.
He picked the Childs Jr. Swat Costume for next year.

I love this costume and think he will look so cute in it next Halloween.

Costume discounters sells quality costumes at discounted prices. They are our go to shop and I would highly suggest you check them out for all your costume needs.

Bright Starts Review

Bright Starts makes great toys for babies and kids. I owned several Bright Starts toys with Shane and was very excited when they offered to send me something to review for the new baby.

Bright Starts sent me the Lion In The Park Activity Gym

This Gym is adorable. It has a ladybug in the middle that plays 4 different tunes. It also features a Baby-safe mirror, a Spiral sliding bead chaser, a Bee shaped water-filled teether and Colorful bead rattle.

I love that it is machine washable and so easy to set up and take down. Its very portable and can be put in a trunk and taken when visiting friends and family.

The only thing I would change is you can't replace the battery in the ladybug once it dies. It would be nice if you could.

You can purchase the Lion In The Park Activity Gym on Amazon for $27.00.


Ten years ago and it seems like yesterday. I cry as I remember the horrific scene I watched on TV that day. Especially for those who lost family members in the tragedy. I can't begin to imagine what those directly involved experienced but my heart aches for them.

I will never forget 9/11/01!

Friday, September 9, 2011

CafePress Review and Giveaway

CafePress makes all sorts of personalized items. Pretty much anything you could want personalized they have from shirts to laptop sleeves to drinkware.

I love their Shirts. I could spend all day on their site and I have already bookmarked some items I plan to get for Christmas presents this year.

I was sent 2 maternity shirts to review. I had such a difficult time picking just two because they have such a large selection of shirts and I liked so many of them.

This is my favorite Shirt

It washes well and is just adorable. Plenty of room for when my belly gets bigger. The only thing I would change is that it would be offered in green writing to be more gender neutral.

The other shirt I picked was

This is great right now at the beginning of my pregnancy to let people know I am expecting and it's my second baby.

Both shirts are quality shirts that wash well and that I just love.

CafePress would like to offer one of my readers a $50 Gift card to Cafe Press
The $50 CafePress Coupon Code can be used to personalize a gift, t-shirts and more!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Tuneables DVD/CD Series-children learn music

There’s no denying the value that music learning brings to a child.

That is why The Tuneables a new 30-minute animated DVD/CD series, sponsored by the Music Intelligence Project takes a unique approach to music education.

It features great animation for children (ages 3-8). Children are introduced to the magical world of Tuneville, where the delightful Tuneables characters encourage them to hear and sing tonal patterns in songs, develop their rhythmic skills, expand the range of their singing voices, and become immersed in the sounds and melodies of classical music.

This is Shane's favorite DVD. I am not surprised as he loves music and he is learning a lot about music. I know what a benefit it will be to him as he continues to grow up.

You can learn more and purchase the Series HERE for $29.99.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tykes Tees Review

After becoming pregnant I started looking into maternity shirts for me and shirts for Shane to say he is going to be a big brother. I found the cutest shirts at Tykes tees etsy shop.

I was sent the baby feet maternity shirt which has become my new favorite maternity shirt. It is soft, washes really well and I get lots of complements when I wear it.

She also sells some adorable shirts for kids. I am planning on getting Shane the I'm the Big Brother Shirt.

Check out Tykes Tees Here to see all the adorable shirts she offers!

Friday, September 2, 2011


I am almost 8 weeks pregnant and I have not been feeling well at all. I have been very very tired and nauseated all day long since 6 weeks. I also have not been able to eat much and the thought of any sort of meat makes me even more nauseated.

Who knew something the size of a blueberry could cause such havoc...LOL

I actually had some nausea and tiredness with Shane but not this bad. I also craved meat with Shane. I loved meatballs and cheese burgers with him.

This time around fruit, soft serve ice cream and cold coffee items like iced coffee have been my cravings.

I am kind of thinking it might be a girl. Most of my friends and Shane are saying girl. Phil and my dad think it's a boy.

We will be finding out around Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

KICKER-I KICK150 iPhone/iPod Clock/Dock/Radio/Alarm GIVEAWAY

One of the things I always wanted to have for my iPod was a Clock Radio. I was beyond excited when I found an amazing system from Kicker.

The I-Kick150 dock uses technology from KICKER’s 30 years in high-performance car audio with an exclusive tuned-port enclosure for enhanced bass response and the clearest sound available.

Kicker has superior full-range speakers and an integrated amplifier featuring digital signal processing to deliver larger-than-life, signature KICKER sound.


-Fits all iPhones™ and 4th-gen. or newer dockable iPods® with a most stable connection. (3rd-gen. or older iPods are usable through the Aux-In jack.) An isolation bracket secures the iPhone or iPod and reduces vibration during extreme volumes
-A dual alarm is the convenient way for two to wake
-A large snooze button within easy reach
-A no-fail, internal power back-up that saves all settings without the use of batteries
-A sleep timer can be set up to 120 minutes
-An LCD clock display has 10 brightness levels for an optimum glow
-An An auxiliary-input so you can connect it to your computer,satellite radio units, CD players or additional media players
-Twelve radio memory presets lock in favorite stations for listening at the push of a button
-Handy 1/8-inch (3.5mm) headphone minijack provides another listening option

THE I-KICK150 is available in Black and White and Retails for $199.95

We can't say enough good things about the I-KICK150. The sound is incredible. We love all the features including the dual alarm and sleep timer. One of our favorite things is the no-fail, internal power back-up that saves all settings without the use of batteries. Its really nice to know if the power goes out we will still have the use of our I-KICK150. We give this system 5 Stars and would suggest it to everyone.

Check out Kicker HERE...they offer many amazing Products.


Kicker has offered one of my lucky readers an I-KICK150 in black or white.