Wednesday, November 23, 2011

750 Best Appetizers

Since its the holiday season, and time for parties, it only makes sense that we talk about Appetizers. Because lets be honest who doesn't love Appetizer parties?

Personally I look forward to those parties the most out of the year. I also spend my fair share of time at the local tapas bar (wine and appetizers you can't really go wrong there)

Well thanks to 750 Best Appetizers I can have my own tapas party, without heading to Costco (they have some fancy stuff over there!)

Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman have come up with an amazing selection that are sure to fit any even that you might happen, or might just inspire you to have an event just because.

This time of year something besides the usual crescent roll wrapped hot dog or deviled eggs would be so appreciated at the holiday party, the Coconut Crusted Chicken Satays are so yummy, and my daughter just can't get enough of them. I have a few other ideas for what to bring to the parties that I'm attending this year how about...

Tomato Balsamic Jam  served with some crostini
The Vegetarian Berry Glazed Fig Tart will be the star of my school potluck
The Ultimate Mozzarella Carozza with roasted bell peppers ..
Poppy Seed-Crusted Yellow-fin Tuna
Classic Ceviche (is easier to make then I thought)
Coffee Scented Hazelnuts would make a great hostess gift 

So before you start your menu planning this year, check out the750 Best Appetizers by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman at Robert Rose Publishing, You plan the tapas party and have everyone else provide the wine!

I received a free copy of '750 Best Appetizers for this review. All opinions are 100% mine I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review

Make The Bread Buy The Butter

Some mothers strive to do it all themselves, and I'm not going to lie, I spent the first year of my daughter's life trying to do it all, but there are somethings that are just better left to the professionals. 

If you're lucky when you begin your homemaking career, someone has already taught you that making butter is a pain in the... well you know.

If you're not so lucky, you end up spending time and money, much more then it would have cost to just go to the store and buy a pound of butter.

Enter Make the Bread, Buy the Butter the wonderful book by Jennifer Reese. 

When Jennifer Reese became unemployed she tried it all. From making her own butter, to making her own prosciutto (which I greatly admire her for)

In her book Make the Bread Buy the Butter Jennifer shares her recipes and the stories that go along with them. Its a fun read as well as a tasty addition tho the kitchen.  I've already found myself making my own pita bread which has brought my falafel to a whole new level and saved me quite a bit of money.

If you're a do it yourself-er, or if you'd like to be this book is for you, learn from Jennifer's mistakes or don't and try them for yourself.  You'll impress your family when they find out that everything on the table was made from scratch!

Laugh and cook with Jennifer Reese, Make the Bread Buy the Butter  is a must read for any homemaker

I received a free copy of  Make the Bread Buy the Butter for this review, all opinions are 100 % mine I did not receive any monetary payment for this review.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Deadwood to Redwood

Whats the first thing you think when you see a hitchiker?

For most its 'don't pick that guy up'

As someone who has herself hitched accross the country, I find hitchickers amazing (don't get me wrong, there are some people I just won't pick up)

What if you found out that hitchicker was writing a book?

Well thats exactly what Colin Flaherty set out to do, travel the country and see what it had, WITHOUT a set of wheels.

The book Deadwood to Redwood is amazing, I loved reading every page of it, I love seeing how other people experience the country because its differnet for everyone.

Its also great to read the book to see just how many people actually pick up hitch hickers, 

While I'm sure that the author being able to sleep in hotel rooms made quite a difference in the amount of people willing to pick him up (most hitchhikers from my expereience don't have this luxury)

I really loved meeting all the people that Colin met in the book, I adored reading his thoughts about them, taking his own life experiences into it, the trip to Canada is sure to have you laughing. 

If you haven't traveled the country, or even if you have this book is a great way to get a feel for it.

Seeing the country is quite an adventure when seen through the eyes of a 53 year old hitchhiker!

I received a free copy of Deadwood to Redwood for this review., All opinions are 100% mine, I did not receive anyh monetary compensation for this review. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Give A Gift that Cares+ GIVEAWAY!

During the Christmas Holidays its easy to get caught up in the material, what with the whole gift giving aspect of it and all.

But what if you could give a gift to someone that truly needed it, yes even more then your cousin needs ANOTHER angora sweater.

How about giving food to a family on the USA for just $16?

For just $32 you can buy a child an education, much cheaper then that laptop.

What I really like about World Vision Gifts is that it gives an opportunity for kids to really see what they can give to another person. This year I'm planning on letting my daughter help me choose an item to send to a family or person somewhere else. This will be one of her gifts that she recives from us.I think that being able to give is a gift in itself.


The World Vision Gifts offers unique gifts from $16 to  $39,000
buy a child $385 of new toys for just $35
No matter how you want to give, or what your price range is; there is a way to do it with World Vision Gifts

If you want something to wrap up in pretty paper check out the Thai Beaded Necklace which is priced at $60, and you can even get a matching bracelet for  $40!  These were both made by a project for vulnerable girls in Thailand! 

So while you're doing your holiday shopping this year, consider a gift from World Vision Gifts You can read the following press release for more information on World Vision Gifts

Giveaway!!


Win a Beaded Necklace!

I was sent a beautiful beaded necklace for this review, its super long and it can be doubled around my neck or wrapped around my wrist for a really cool bracelet! I've gotten lots of complements and since it comes from World Vision Gifts I feel really good about wearing it. and the people over at World Vision Gifts are offering one for you readers!

To win one visit World Vision Gifts and tell me what you'd like to give to someone else. Large or small I just love all the ideas and would love to hear what you readers love out of the World Vision Gift Catalog. Leave a comment below by December 3rd 2011 and I'll pick a winner. Be sure to leave your e-mail address if its not linked up to your comment!

I received a free beaded necklace for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review/



Monday, November 14, 2011

Veteran's day discounts for Military Families!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of DollarGeneral. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Its Vetrean's day and we should all be celebrating,

Too often American's forget about the men and women who are fighting for them. 

Now wihie I support the effort to bring them home its still important to honor those people, even if we don't believe what they are fighting for, they are still fighting for our freedom and if it weren't for them , we would be in a much worse spot.

Iits also important to remember the families of those troops who are over here missing mommy or daddy. All in all those families truly sacrifice for the rest of us. 

That being said I always think its great when a store offers a military discount to Military families and Veterans. 

This year from November 11  Dollar Genera is offering a Veterans Day Discount!!

Dollar General will be an in store Discount for Veterans and Active Military Families of 10% off! No coupon needed!

And for the rest of us can also celebrate with the Dollar General's Veteran's Day discount every customer can get a 10% discount online! The deal lasts from November 11-November 13 2011 All you have to do is enter the code VETERANSDAY at checkout!

While your at the website share your support to on the troops by uploading a video like the ones at the link below

http://dollargeneral.com/military

 

Also available at the Dollar General site are care packages that you can order online to have sent to the troops overseas, packages include shampoo, toothbrushes and other essentials as well as treats! These packages are available with FREE SHIPPING!

Head on over  and check out the Dollar General's Veteran's Day discount

As always check out the Dollar General  Facebook as well!

Visit Sponsor's Site

The Olive Tap

I have a confession to make

I've eaten two french baguettes in the last two days....

But its for a review!! I had to, just HAD TO make sure that the amazing Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar that I was sent from the Olive Tap was a real thing.


Because honestly it tasted like heaven.

When I first opened the package, after I had jumped for joy at the sight of a free sample of tasty oil and vinegar was how thick the balsamic vinegar was in the bottle. Not your everyday cheap-o bottle


I was also sent theTuscan Herb Olive Oil, at first I wasn't sure I would like it, but when added to the balsamic vinegar gifts I really loved the way that it tasted, and hence that is why I ate all the olive oil and vinegar with two loaves of bread..

The Olive tap has some amazing oils and vinegar to try the Sorrento Orange Olive Oil is next on my list.

If you are having a hard time with gift shopping this year, The Olive Tap is a site worth visiting, there is no gift that tops one of yummy food, especially a bottle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar which can turn a night where funds are low, into a gourmet affair. 

For a gift that lasts all year long, check out the Olive Taps Sampler Clubs! Where you can sign up to get seasonal pairings of oils and vinegar four times a year! Doing a little holiday shopping for yourself never hurt anybody!

At some great prices, you can't go wrong with The Olive Tap this year!


Head on over to the site and pick up some gift packagesto give to family, friends, or just to have on hand in case someone unexpectedly gets you a gift! 

I received a free sample of Tuscan Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar for this review, All opinions are 100% mine I did not receive any monetary payments for this review. 

The Cult of Lego

I grew up with Legos, 
Building with them, throwing them, fighting over them.

But I never thought of enjoying them later in life. Or of doing anything with them besides building farms for my Lego cows.

The Cult of Lego is not a group of nerds who worship the Lego King (although I'm not doubting that such a secret society probably exists)

Its a book by Joe Baichtal and Joe Menoabout the amazing things that people have done with Legos over the years. Projects which far exceed my barn and fences (they were darn nice though)

Everything from Lego Leagues to customized Lego figurines.

Lego Harpsichords and Lego Bible Scenes.

A Lego Costume!

Lego art and my personal favorite, Legos for Autism Therapy!

A fabulous book for any collection, but especially for the dad or granddad who is always enthusiastic about Legos. Maybe for the college student who hasn't quite given up on that box in the basement?

Whoever is the Lego lover in your life, this is a book to share with them, or just read for yourself. You'll find yourself constantly amazed at the masterpieces that people have created with the tiny blocks, as well as the communities that they have built while doing so!

I received a free copy of The Cult of Lego for this review, all opinions are 100% mine I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Caring Cross

Sometimes there are people that you try to shop for and there really doesn't seem to be the proper gift to give them. Well I have a suggestion

My Caring Cross supports Christian Families in Bethlehem who make them. They also are wonderful reminders to pray or just a way to show people that we love them.

The crosses are made from Olive Wood, which is an ancient tree, that has been used for everything from anointing oil to a building material.

The crosses make wonderful fundraisers for Church or Youth Groups get the crosses for just $3 plus postage and sell them for  $7!

Each cross fits perfectly in the palm of the hand, but its not a tiny cross. It fits into the contours of the hand. 

They are also available for wedding gifts! I love this idea because its so much more meaningful then a candle or something that people will just throw out.

I carried the cross around and shared it with a few people that I came into contact with and everybody seemed to really love them. Its a bold and beautiful gesture to give someone such a special gift.  Its wonderful for a special occasion, or even more special to someone who needs some comfort.

I like carrying the cross around, I keep it in my car as a reminder to pray throughout my day. I keep it as a reminder that someone is watching me. I keep it as a reminder that I have someone who cares.

As a special deal for Mommypants readers My Caring Cross is offering two crosses shipped anywhere in the U.S. for just $10.00 that's a $2.00 discount!

GIVEAWAY!

My Caring Cross is offering a FREE olive wood caring cross to a Mommypants Reader!
To win!

MANDATORY: Visit My Caring Cross, and tell me one thing you learned about the crosses, by leaving a comment below
extra entry: 'like' my caring cross by visiting their Facebook page
Be sure to leave your e-mail address below if you're email isn't linked up to your comment!
I will pick a winner on December 1st 2011
GOOD LUCK!

`

I received a free olive wood cross  for this review, all opinions are 100% mine I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gentle, Organic Shampoo for your little one

When shopping for baby shampoo or any shampoo really, it can be tough to navigate the lists of ingredients, and I'll be honest I don't know what they all are! 

Which is probably why the first thing I noticed about the products I was sent from Dolphin Organics was the easy to read list of ingredients, not only does this list in easy to read print which ingredients are in the shampoo, the labels ingredients as organic, natural or artificial, its good to see the last column empty when it involves my child!

I really loved the label, and I would appreciate more companies being so honest in their ingredients!

I was sent the  Baby Shampoo and Body Wash as well as the Hair Conditioner the first thing I noticed was the smell, well I guess the better way to put it would be the lack of smell. Instead of some floral scent or essential oil. It smelled like nothing. I like that a lot when it comes to my daughter. Its nice when a product says 'scent free' that its actually free from smells!


Next, I noticed that the shampoo was pretty thin, this worried me at first, I thought 'lame watered down shampoo' But upon reading the back I saw that Water ( or aqua or agua or any other fancy name used to confuse me that its just water in there) Was not on the list. Taking a note from my use of Castile soap, I remembered that sometimes less really is more so I tried a tiny bit on Bella's head.

I was really impressed, it got very sudsy and when I rinsed there was no complaint of soap in the eyes.

The same went for the conditioner, a small amount went a long way and it had my daughter's hair clean, and tangle free,

Dolphin Organics carries some great products sure to please you and make you feel good about what you're using, give it a go! 

I received free samples of Dolphin Organics products for this review. All opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

Thugs, Drugs and The War on Bugs

When I first moved to Northern California I was introduced to all sorts of ideas about health care. 

I learned about eastern vs. western medicine, I took Valerian root to ease my anxiety. I started eating whole foods because I learned about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

It was when I got pregnant with my daughter that I started to look at western medicine from a new view. I didn't see all the need for interventions and why oh why were there SO many c-sections in New York City? Why did hospitals have higher c-section rates then midwifes and home births.

Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs talks about these issues, is healthcare in America really helping us the way that it should?

The book shows a whole new view of the health care system, one from an  outside perspective, one that's not a paid advertisement for pharmaceutical and vaccines.

For some reason it seems crazy to me that the 4th leading cause of death in America is properly perscribed medication and that hospitals are the third!

Before you make decisions on your health care read Doctor Brad Case's book, if  for nothing else it will give you a perspective that's a bit different and make you think about any health procedures before you decide to take the leap.

I would love to go into my conspiracy theories, about evil hospitals, but there isn't enough time for that.  The way that we believe now is the way that we have always been taught, its up to us to get as much information as we can about the realities of our health now if we want to change the future.

Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs is the first book in a series by Doctor Brad Case, and includes The 20 Steps to Perfect Health. The book is long and easy to get lost in,

So get informed, check it out!

I received a  free copy of Thugs Drugs and the War on Bugs for this review. all opinions are  100% mine. I did not receive any monetary payments for this review.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The No Cry Picky Eater solution

Do you have a picky eater on your hands?

For some parents its easy, their kids will eat just about anything they see in front of them. 

For a long time now I've always put it off to just being good kids, or having parents that are vegetarians...  

That was until I read The No Cry Picky Eater Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. 

When I first picked up the book I noticed that right away Elizabeth didn't blame me for my child's lack of veggie enthusiasm.

I also noticed that it was FILLED to the brim with tips and tricks for getting your child to try new flavors (or even reintroduce some that weren't so favorable) by using different shapes, sizes and  colors. 

Elizabeth also gives some great advice on how to transition kids to new foods like adding a bit of a healthy choice to a previous favorite.

In the first part of the book, I appreciated that it helped me decide if my toddler was getting the nutrients in the food that she needed. Of course I could take her to a nutritionalist for this sort of information and if she was having any signs of malnutrition I would have, but for a healthy girl, I just wanted to make sure she was getting everything she needed. 


In the last section of the book there are some fun recipes to try at home. The recipes are yummy and appealing to kids, while at the same time being healthy!

If you have a picky eater on your hands don't give up, there is a way to get them to love green veggies just as much as you do (or in my case hopefully more then I do)  

The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution is a great book for new parents, or for those who are just struggling to get through dinner without a fight! 

Elizabeth also has some other great books so be sure to check out her website!
I received a free copy of  The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution for this review. I did not recieve any monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are 100%mine



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hot, fresh and.... Gluten Free?....for free

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

 

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 10.37.57 AMIf you have recently discoverd an allergey or intollerance to gluten. i'm going to make an educated guesss that you  miss the taste of warm crusty bread fresh from the oven. 

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 10.37.57 AMWell now the people over at Schar Foods Euroe's leading Gluten-free food brand has re-launched thier sub sandwhich, ciabatta rolls and baugettes! Yes you read that correct thats three products, all bread related

Not only that but the Schar club is offereing a free sample kit to the first 2,000 members to request one!  

(your welcome)

Once you sign up , you'll see a colum titled 'tootbox' and under that will be a section that reads 'giveaways' simply click on that link, fill out the form and then wait for your free samples!

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 10.37.57 AM 

Schar club rolls are GMO-free, low fat and a great source of fiber. All you need to do is pull them from the freezer! They are heat and serve so you'll have warm crusty rolls, to go with your favorite diner. I love the idea of being able to have an acctual sandwich at lunch, and from the looks of these breads on the site, I don't think I would even miss the gluten variety! 

I'm always confident in foods that come from Europe, the standards of food are quite high over there, i rarely find myself dissappointed when I spend the extra few dollars on european foods. And if there is one thing that I can say for Europe they know how to make some great bread.

Schar club seems like a great program for those who need to choose gluten-free foods. Which one of the gluten-free foods are you most excited to try? I'm excited about the Ciabatta rolls (mmm my fav) Let me know in the comments below which one you want to try! 

And  do yourself a favor and sign up for  the free sample !

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Puppies vs. Babies

This post brought to you by Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.

If  you haven't yet heard about the Puppies vs. Babies on Animal Planet you are missing a pretty adorable show. 

While I odn't watch it all too often, Annabella is in love with it. Puppies and babies are pretty much her two favorite things (well two of the other twenty things that she labels her 'favorites')

Well the people over at Puppies vs. Babies are having an online contest where one puppy or one baby will be the winner of $5,000!  The entries for the Puppies vs. Babies online contest have been selected so now all you have to do is vote! I have my own opinion on the matter.

PvB-CuteDar-Green-300x250-Backup.jpg

Personally I think babies are much cuter then puppies for these reasons.

If my baby eats her poop, at least she's eating her poop, not some random poop on the sidewalk

  1. If a baby looks like his parents its cute, if a puppy looks like his owners its weird.
  2. Lets be honest, baby clothes are adorable.
  3. First Words
  4. Puppy Food......yuck
  5. Babies vomit less
  6. Dogs smell
  7. Walking a puppY in the rain greatly reduces the cuteness factor

Who do you think is cuter? Puppies or babies? Leave a comment below and don't forget to vote in the Puppies vs. Babies online contest

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WINNER!

Congrats to Kimberly! The winner of TheTommee Tippee Manual Breast Pump! I'll be sending you an e-mail Kimberly!




Kimberly said...




Our little girl will be here around Thanksgiving. I still need a breast pump because I felt weird adding one to my registry. :)

Homemade for the Holidays

If you're like me then the idea of shopping around for an impersonal gift to give isn't your style.

I like to give gifts that scream personal, gifts that come from the heart whether they be handmade rice bags  for sore muscles or just a massage for those muscles.

I'm always glad to give something that I am proud of to my family and friends. 

Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg is just that book. But it goes beyond the holidays. The book is filled with gifts from the kitchen that fit into any time of the year. Pick a recipe from Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter or Celebrations and your gift will never be out of place. 

The book has recipes for all types of cooks, the Chocolate and Cinnamon Swirl Meringues are not only rustic and beautiful, but they are quite simple to make and last for three to four days!

Candied Citrus Peel is elegant and it can be used by the receiver in a variety of ways.

I'm looking forward to bringing some Summer Berry Vodka to the hostess of my next summer BBQ (and keeping one in my refrigerator to impress guests. Since it lasts up to two months, I can cover the whole summer with two batches!

A great gift for that man if your life who loves nothing but meat, hook him up with some Pork Rillettes, tender pork belly, shredded and packed into jars, wonderful with some hearty bread and Pickled Vegetables!

Bring your garden to friends who might not have one with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

And what better way to show your significant other you love him then by making him a box of Chocolate Valentine's Cakes.

Gifts from the Kitchen is a book that every homemade mama needs, especially if you are the type that likes to impress, or just bring a smile to someone's face!

I received a free copy of Gifts from the Kitchen for this review. I did not receive any cash payments for this review. All opinions are 100% mine

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