Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Technically there are 16 days of fall left until it is winter, so I'm not sharing this Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe too late.  Other food bloggers are just sharing Christmas recipes too early.  And besides Pumpkin flavor is never "out of season."  

This super simple Pumpkin Cheese cake recipe has only 9 ingredients.  It takes minutes to make and taste amazing.  So while fall colored leaves are still hanging on the trees I'm going to grab a fork and dig into this delicious cheesecake!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

De-stress this holiday with Crafters & Co. from Hallmark

If you think your holiday season is stressful, then I have a giveaway for you.  Hallmark is allowing me to review some of their Crafters & Co. candles, mug and soap.  Holiday scents and girly goodies are just what any mom needs during those hectic moments the holidays seem to bring.   
I'm going to pour myself a cup of coffee in my new Crafters & Co. mug from Hallmark and tell you all about my stressful holiday season thus far and it all started with an elf.  Yes, you know it, the infamous elf on the shelf.  We are currently in between houses and while I packed and planned and prepared for everything we could or would possibly need to get us through until the new house is finished, the one thing that never even crossed my mind till a couple of weeks ago Alex, our elf on the shelf.  I set aside boxes to be packed and easily accessed for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas trees, birthdays, snow pants, you name it.  If we would need it for a specific purpose I had it in a box. The one thing I forgot about was the elf.  And Thanksgiving weekend I searched through our 10 x 10 storage unit and came up empty handed.  I know he is in there, but there are too many boxes, stacked too tall to go through them all.
A photo posted by @ott_a on

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Foodie Gift Guide

I'm guessing their might be a "foodie" on your gift giving list this year.  And if you are scratching your head about what to give them, let me give you a couple of unique ideas.  I get several food related products to try throughout the year, so I can tell you what will wow your/their tastebuds and what to steer clear of.  So for Christmas 2016 here are 5 gift ideas for people who like food.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Perfect nightlight for a My Little Pony fan

I have a 4 1/2 year old who is obsessed with My Little Pony's.  We have the ponys, the stable, the videos, clothes and now a 3D night light.
3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will loves having these in their rooms and they're also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man's cave or office! The lights are cordless, battery operated and include the back ground sticker.  Find all of these amazing products at Target or Target.com.

Please note I did receive free product in exchange for this blog post.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Keystone Mac-n-Cheese now at Kroger

Keystone Bar & Grill’s Famous Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon Mac & Cheese Now Available at Kroger – Help Celebrate Midwest’s Favorite Comfort Food Going Gourmet with an Exclusive Coupon Offer and a Sweepstakes

Nothing says, “Curl up on the couch with family and friends to watch some football” like a steaming plate of mac & cheese - - except perhaps a steaming plate of artisan mac & cheese!
A recent online poll shows more than half of Midwesterners claim mac & cheese as their favorite comfort food. Now Midwesterners can get a gourmet-twist on their mac & cheese from the grocery store.

For the first time, Cincinnati-based Keystone Bar & Grill is making available to homes across the Midwest its popular, uniquely flavored made-from-scratch Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon mac & cheese dishes in the freezer aisle of more than 200 Kroger stores. For $8.99, you can get a 16-oz serving to eat as an entrée for two, a side dish for four, or as popular mac & cheese bite appetizers for 8.

Limited-time exclusive coupon for my followers:
I worked out a special deal for my loyal followers. Save $2.50 when you try Keystone’s new mac & cheese. Yep, get dinner for two for under 7 bucks (almost 30% off) when you download my exclusive coupon here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Begin Again Farm A to Z Puzzle

My kids work hard at playing.  So when I can find something that is both fun and educational I consider it a win!!  Begin Again offers toys that are eco-friendly, educational and versatile.  While the toys are designed in Colorado they offer wooden or recycled plastic toys with no batteries and no mess.
We have a lot of farm toys, so the Farm A to Z Puzzle was perfect for us.  My two year old dumped it out on the floor and my 4 year old put it together.  This puzzle has 26 chunky pieces.  Each piece is made from rubber wood and is stained, not painted.  All are labeled with a letter that corresponds with the picture of an animal, plant, equipment or person on a farm. Great for children ages 3 and up.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Refrigiwear Extreme Sweater Jacket

After a warm fall the colder winter temperatures have arrived here in central Indiana.  Luckily so did this Refrigiwear Extreme Sweater Jacket so Ott, E could work on cleaning out a fence row.    

RefrigiWear, is a leader in cold-weather gear, and offers warm, long lasting, reliable products to men and women who enjoy their favorite outdoor activities, even when the temperature dips well below freezing. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Crock Pot Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

The other day Miss MachiOTTo had to take something orange for show and tell at school.  We found a variety of orange colored toys and stuffed animals, but she insisted on taking a sweet potato from our garden.  Her teacher said she was very excited to tell the class she helped harvest them out of the ground and show the kids the orange color on the inside.  So in honor of her thinking outside the box, I did a little of that with this recipe for Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili which I made in the crock pot.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How to Tailgate with a Toddler

Fall is here and so is football season.  And, just because we have kids now, does not mean we are going to miss out on attending football games and all the pregame festivities.  While our tailgate may look a little different than the pre-baby years, we have found a couple of ways to incorporate our football traditions into our growing family life.  Whether you tailgate under the Friday night lights, at a college or professional game here are some great ideas, tips and tricks to make your get-together fun for you and toddler friendly.
1.) Have activities for them to do during the tailgate.
        We took along a ring toss for them to play with, as well as a football to toss around.  You could also bring bean bag toss, ladder golf or even sidewalk chalk if you park on a hard surface.  l also had a "Cheer Gear" station with pom poms, foam fingers, hand clappers, stickers and tattoos.  Both kids and adults could play with the items, shake the poms and noise makers or even dance with them. (if there is music)  And heres the best part... all of these items I got for FREE.  Various businesses or organizations may have booths around the stadium and hand out these items in the teams colors.  You may be shaking a pom pom with an insurance company logo on the handle, or a foam finger that says Big Ten Network, but it doesn't cost anything, it's fun and gets everyone in a game time mood.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Coffee Flavors at Gloria Jean's

We had a couple of days of cool weather.  (then it got warm again)  But in those few days I got into a fall like mood.  I decorated for Halloween, I picked up some pumpkins and I started drinking Gloria Jean's Fall Flavored Coffee.  Available now through November 6th at all locations, this assortment of fall flavors is sure to help you maximize your enjoyment of changing leaves, football and apples.
The first flavor I tried was their Caramel Apple Nut.  A rich aroma of candied apples and warm nuts and taste great with a plain creamer.  Next up I tried their Pumpkin Spice.  This was a full flavor drink.  And lastly I tried the Caramel Pecan Roll.  When you brew this coffee you will swear there are cinnamon rolls baking in your oven too, as it smells that good.

These 3 seasonal flavors can be purchased in store or online and easily made at home.  For more information and shop locations be sure to check out their website and facebook.

Please note Gloria Jeans did send me product samples for this blog post.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Perfect Mornings Mean Perfect Measures

Please note this is a sponsored post on behalf of the J.M. Smucker Company and their Folgers Perfect Measures product.

What does your perfect morning entail?  Sleeping in?  A hot breakfast?  Kids dressed and ready to start their day?  Morning News?  Hot Shower?  While your list of blissful morning details may be long.... I'm guessing cleaning up coffee grounds off your kitchen cabinet and drinking weak, watered down coffee are not on that list.  That's why Folgers has made Perfect Measures coffee tabs. Pre-measured and ready to go, simply count out your tabs and drop in your coffee maker.  No scoops, no guessing and no mess.
Here is a quick video I made showing how easy you can make your next perfect morning cup of coffee.  (And for fun I made a quick and easy fall season coffee creamer you can add to your drink. If you like Pumpkin Spice you will LOVE Chocolate Pumpkin!!!)
And now for that recipe.......

Monday, September 19, 2016

crock pot Quinoa Casserole

I have found a recipe for your football viewing pleasure this fall.  It is so good it can be used as a casserole, dip or inside a tortilla.  Serve along side some chips and salad and you have a great meal.  Serve with some chopped lettuce and more tomatoes and you'll have a burrito.  Or grab a bag of chips and dip and you have a delicious appetizer.  Any way you serve it, you're going to want seconds, so fire up the crock pot as this will feed a crowd.

And this recipe calls for Quinoa, (which Ott, E tells me is related to common lambs quarter a weed probably found in your garden) and is high in protein, fiber and Vitamin B.  It is also Gluten Free, and taste similar to rice when used in this dish.