Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lambloaf.... it's like Lamb Meatloaf

The thought occurred to me just the other day...I have been eating lamb for as long as I can remember, but I don't think I've ever had lamb in a meatloaf form.  Every year we get a lamb butchered and have plenty of ground lamb, and I've been known to use that ground lamb as a substitute for other meats in my taco's, lasagna's, etc. so I have no idea why I've never thought to use it in a meatloaf.  Well now that I have, I can tell you this recipe taste amazing.  And I might never got back to a traditional beef meatloaf.  Try it for yourself and I'm sure that you will agree!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Mother's Day Prize Pack from Hallmark

Did you know that 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day?!?!?  Back in 1914, former President Woodrow Wilson officially declared it a holiday.  And while some may think it's a made up holiday by Hallmark, doesn't the mother figure in your life deserve a little notoriety, appreciation and thanks.

And thanks to Hallmark I am reviewing some of their cards and products exclusively for Mother's Day and offering a giveaway to 3..... YES THREE of my lucky readers so you can celebrate Mother's Day in style.    

First up I'm reviewing a couple of the cards from 3 different collections.

·         Sarah Jessica Parker Collection: This collection includes 12 Mother’s Day cards created by a stylish mom herself — Sarah Jessica Parker. Parker worked with the Hallmark creative team to pair vintage artwork from the Hallmark archives with modern touches and embellishments. The designs feature simple, authentic and heartfelt messages, perfect for your mom and friends.

·         Hallmark Signature Collection: Celebrate mom or grandma with a card as unique as she is. With beautiful papers, rich textures and unique embellishments, each card in the Hallmark Signature Collection is handcrafted to be extra special, just like mom. 

·         Magic Prints: Magic Prints is a line of greeting cards and gifts designed for kids to give mom or grandma a hand (their handprint) without a mess! New card designs for 2014 include Disney® characters, Peanuts® characters, as well as a baby’s footprint format — perfect for first-time moms.   

Lastly, the Customly Yours gift.  This unique product allows family members to create personal stories about mom or grandma in their own words, perfectly displayed in a frame chosen from  Creation is as easy as 1,2,3; Choose a display frame, create a custom project and have it shipped for free.
Hallmark has a nice assortment of quotes to get you started that you can use directly or edit a little to match your style or personality.  For example you can personalize the quote by adding a nickname or mentioning something you do together or something that makes that person unique.  You can also create something completely fresh and original as well.   Simply pick out your frame, choose/create your quote and click order, then Hallmark will print it off and ship it to you.

And now for the giveaway.... Hallmark is offering three lucky readers a 10-card pack of greeting cards as well as a special gift from Hallmark. To enter simply click on the Rafflecopter widget below.  Contest runs April 22nd through April 27th.  The winner will be announced on this blog on April 28th and notified via e-mail.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize.  Please note: you must be a US resident to apply.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for checking out these great Hallmark products with me and I hope they help you send a Happy Mother’s Day along to the exceptional women in your life!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Into Savings with the Home Depot

Just wanted to pass along a great contest and money saving deal from the Home Depot.  As the weather is getting warmer I'm sure you have many projects around your house or yard that you would like to tackle and a code for $10 off as well as a chance to win some gift cards would give you a great start to your to-do-list. is giving away $3,000 in Home Depot e-gift cards from 4/21-4/23.  (Fifty $20 gift cards each day.)  The giveaway will run simultaneously with a $10 off purchases of $100 or more deal.

The giveaway will start on Monday, April 21 and run through Wednesday, April 23rd.  Contestants can enter the giveaway by heading to the Home Depot page on and submitting their e-mail address.  At 7 PM (EST) each day of the contest; 50 winners will be selected and 41,000 dollars worth of gift cards will be given out.  Simply click on the image below to get started.   
Contestants can enter the sweepstakes once a day.  This means everyone can enter the sweepstakes 3 times (potentially allowing someone to win $60 worth of gift cards.) will notify the winners and send them their gift card code via email.

The giveaway will run simultaneously with Home Depot's best deal of the year.  $10 off purchases of $100 or more.  Promo Code: SpringHD.    This deal starts Monday, April 21 and will run through Sunday, April 27th.
One thing I look forward to every spring is planting all my flower pots and hanging baskets.  Luckily the Home Depot has everything I need to get my green thumbs in the dirt and flowers planted.  Just like last year I plan to pick up my potting soil, fertilizer, annuals and any other gardening supplies I need to make some beautiful flower containers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I think she likes the lambs

I have to admit.... I was a little nervous taking MacchiOTTo out to the barn to see the lambs.  If you'll recall last fall we joked that instead of building a fence to keep the sheep in we would need a fence to keep her out.  Well the months passed by, winter came and went and we hadn't been up to visit the sheep for quite a while and I just didn't know quite how she would take to the ewes and lambs in the barn.  For some kids the barn can be dark with scary shadows.  It may smell different and the sounds of the sheep bawling may be intimidating.  So I took her out to the barn a bit apprehensively because I wanted this to be a positive experience for her.  

I dressed her warm in her pink bib overalls, a winter coat, mittens and hat and pink boots.  We walked out to the barn on a crisp March morning and when I opened the door to the barn, little MacchiOTTo walked right in.  And, right on up to the sheep pen where she pointed and said "Lamby." "Sheepy." "Baaaa." She walked up to every pen and tried to reach inside to pet them all.  It didn't matter if the ewes stomped their feet at her or if the lambs ran in the other direction she was happy to see them and determined to pet them. At one point she found the latch to a gate and was trying to open it so she could get in with them.

Monday, April 7, 2014

GoodNites start with good night routines

Tracking Pixel
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites®.
This is the 2nd post in a series on GoodNites(R) Bed Mats, as I'm happy to be partnering with them regarding their products and information for bedtime routines.  
At our house bed time is a regular rountine that we have down pat.  Every night we follow a tight schedule of events that takes place in a systematic order that everyone knows.  We like organization and structure in this house, so bed time is no different and I think for our child; by know what comes next it helps to ensure a relaxing end to the day and sets her up for a good nights sleep.

We start at our designated time each night and get a quick bedtime snack and a drink of water.  Then it's off to the bathroom to take a bath.  After drying off we get in our jammies, brush our teeth and hair and pick out our bedtime story.  After reading our story we turn off the light, crawl into bed and say Good Night.  And our little one knows what comes next at each stage of the process because right after her book is done she points at the light and says, "Turn Light."  And after she gets under the covers she always says "Good Night."  And, we never hear a peep out of her after that, as she goes right to sleep.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Better Nights Sweepstakes

Tracking Pixel This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites®.
This will be a 2 part series I'll be blogging about GoodNites(R) Bed Mats and the success you can have to make them apart of your goodnight routine to ensure a peaceful nights sleep.  I'm happy to be partnering with them to tell you how easier they can make your mornings and provide you with worry free clean up. And, to share with you some information about a giveaway and twitter party.  Did you know that 1 out of every 9 kids wets the bed?!?!  And, that GoodNites(R) was voted the 2013 Product of the Year for their simple and easy to use night time proteciton?!?!  But before I get to all that, let me tell you about the Better Nights Sweepstakes that GoodNites(R) is hosting and how you can win!  

GoodNites(R) is giving away a 3 month supply of Bed Mats and a series of gift cards totaling $5,000 to reward the winner's child with a complete bedroom set. Simply go to GoodNites(R) Facebook page to enter and to view the official rules.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

4 Crock Pot Recipes, a Cookbook Review & a Giveaway

If you've been following along the past two weeks, then you'd know my oven broke and we've been eating out of our crock pot.  But as fate would have it; Gooseberry Patch sent me a copy of their new Slow Cooker Cookbook to review, so the timing couldn't have been better.  We've been trying out lots of the recipes in this book and now I can give away a copy to one of my readers!!! 
101 Super Easy Slow Cooker Recipes has main entrees, side dishes and desserts.  One thing I really like about this cookbook is that each recipe has a picture right next to it.  The spiral binding makes it easy to open and lay flat on your cabinet.  And, I must say all the recipes look quite tasty.  Another unique feature is that the recipes are broken into chapters by how long they take to cook.  Example: the first chapter is recipes that are 1 to 6 hours and the second chapter is 6 to 8 hours and so forth.
So before we get to our giveaway lets recap some of the recipes I made.  Please feel free to click on the links to be taken to the full recipe and you can always pin the recipe on pinterest so you can make it later.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bagel Thins and Sandwich Thins and Pocket Thins... Oh My!

I'm blogging today with a review of Thomas Bagel Thins.  Please note all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are my own, but the coupons for free product, information, and gift card have been provided by Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins® and Bagel Thins ®. 
Ott, E is the breakfast maker in this house and he makes a great tasting egg sandwich so he put the Thomas Bagel Thins to the test with his recipe.  These Bagel Thins are 110 calories, cholesterol free, low in fat and contain zero grams of Trans Fat.  While shopping for these I noticed they came in 3 flavors: Plain, 100% Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin and Everything.  I selected the 100% Whole Wheat to try with our egg sandwich.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Crock Pot Apple Butter BBQ Spareribs

Remember last fall when I made Apple Butter in the crock pot?!?!  Well I found a new use for it with this recipe for ribs.  I made the apple butter in the crock pot and now I'm making the ribs in the crock pot with a recipe I found in Gooseberry Patch's new 101 Super Easy Slow Cooker Recipes.    Apple Butter BBQ Spareribs has a sweet and savory flavor that makes these ribs finger licking good.  And with only a couple of ingredients and 8 hours in the crock pot you will have a meal that you just want to sink your teeth into.

If you aren't a fan of onions, like me, then you can use 1 T. of dried onion flakes in stead of an actual onion. This will give you the slightest bit of flavor without using the actual onion.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Winter BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot

Another day without an oven here at the Ott house and another crock pot recipe to share.  This recipe is for Winter Barbecued Chicken.  And for those cold snowy nights when you are stuck inside and yet dream of warmer days and backyard grill outs... then this recipe is for you!!!  The BBQ flavors of this dish will simmer in your crock pot all day and you'll think this chicken came straight off the grill.  Enjoy this dish with some cornbread and vegetables and I think you'll find it chases the winter blues away.    

And I'm happy to share that this is yet another recipe out of Gooseberry Patch's 101 Super Easy Slow Cooker Recipes, which you will be able to win a copy of this cookbook next week, right here on the blog.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hawaiian Ham Sammies

I was introduced to Hammie Sammies a couple of years ago and they are great sandwich for those times you are in a hurry.  But I have to admit, when I saw this recipe in Gooseberry Patch's new 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes cookbook for Hawaiian Ham Sammies... I think I might have said so long to the old way of making them.  It doesn't get much easier than using your crock pot to make them and I have to admit the addition of a BBQ flavor topped with pineapple had everyone in the family going back for seconds.

The Gooseberry Patch recipe called to serve these on Kaiser rolls, however I used Hawaiian Bread and loved the flavors!!!  I also used 1 T. onion flakes instead of chopped onion, but that's because we aren't big onion eaters.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dijon-Ginger Carrots

I use my oven just about everyday.... but I never realized just how much that was until it broke down.  You see, I was baking in my oven and noticed that it was taking longer than usual to preheat.  Then, when I put my things in the oven it was taking them longer to bake.  About twice as long, so I finally came to the conclusion that my oven was.... broken.  I called a repairman who came to the house the next day and told me our oven was to old to find a replacement part for soooooo.... off to the appliance store we went to pick out a new oven and while we are waiting for it to be delivered and installed I have been using the crock pot for all our meals.  While we wait for our new oven to arrive, I've got a lot of crock pot recipes to share with you over the next couple of days.  

And as luck would have it, Gooseberry Patch sent me their new recipe book to review 101 Super-Easy Slow Cooker Recipes.  (Ironic... I know.)  But, it has been a lifesaver these past couple of days so to start off I'm sharing their recipe for Dijon-Ginger Carrots, which made for a great side dish to prepare and quite tasty carrots.

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