Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Frozen Pudding Bites #TastyTuesday


For a tasty summer treat, all you need to do is look in your pantry! I don't know about you, but we always have boxes of instant pudding mix in our pantry, and sometimes with have the little individual pudding packs. My son loves chocolate and vanilla pudding- but often doesn't want it in the summertime, because it's too thick and too rich. Sometimes we splurge on ice cream, but the good stuff can be pricey, so we came up with Frozen Pudding Bites as an alternative to ice cream or fudge pops.

Start with pudding!

To make these bites, you will need:
Chocolate pudding (prepared)
Sprinkles
Sheet Pan
Wax paper
Piping bag or plastic bag

Pipe the pudding into bite-sized swirls onto the pan.

I used a plastic baggy, and filled it with the pudding. I cut a tiny slit at the corner to make a throw-away piping bag. B and I took turns squeezing out the pudding, onto the baking sheet, which was lined with wax paper. We made small swirls to make them look pretty. B had a lot of fun trying his hand at using the piping bag.

Add sprinkles, if you like!

B absolutely loves sprinkles with his ice cream, so we thought we'd add them to the pudding bites for some color and extra pizzaz! Sprinkling on the colorful sprinkles was B's favorite step in making these yummy pudding bites.

Delicious, frozen pudding bites!

After all of the swirls were sprinkled, we placed the sheet pan into the freezer for 2-3 hours to let the pudding freeze up. B couldn't wait for the timer to go off, so he could try this chocolatey frozen creation! When time was up, we popped the bites off of the wax paper, into a bowl, and B had his fill of little bite sized pudding treats.

B, enjoying his first pudding bite.

The frozen pudding bites are so easy to make, and chances are, you already have what you need to make them in your pantry. B had a blast helping to make them, and he's been snacking on these bites for over a week. We kept them covered and sealed in the freezer, and once they're all gone, I know we'll have to make more. Maybe we'll try a new flavor! You can also make these frozen bites with yogurt, for a healthy summertime treat!

Hope you'll give these a try and enjoy!




Monday, June 27, 2016

America The Beautiful and Tasty!

Greetings readers! Can you believe that July 4th is a week away?! Me either! Where is this summer going?! Americans love America, I honestly can't think of another country that has as much patriotism as the beautiful land that we live in. Even in economic down time, war, and terror the USA is incredibly patriotic. In fact it seems the worse the situation, the more we come together. 

The best time to celebrate your patriotism in July 4th. Some shoot fireworks, some have parades, and a lot have picnics. Today Id like to tell you about an awesome new subscription box that would be an awesome thing to bring to a July 4th celebration or just to celebrate our amazing country any day of the week,

Discover Our America is a cool new subscription box that celebrates one of the 50 states a month at a time. I was luck enough to get to celebrate a state that is close to my heart and close to my own state. Michigan. I love Michigan, its seriously one of the most beautiful and peaceful places to be. 

Each subscription box is a sweet little package with Discover Our America on the top.
And each of the 50 states on the inside!

I got a lovely note telling me about Discover Our American.

This little book was pretty cool. It told me the back story and explanation of each item inside the box.



Take a journey through Michigan with Discover Our America!!



Josh's favorite part of the pop was a delightfully sweet bag of caramel corn from Detroit Popcorn Company. I'm not a huge fan of caramel corn but this caramel corn was delicious! I was so delicious in fact, the hubby would hardly share it with me. It was sweet, creamy, and had just the right texture. Detroit Popcorn Company has been service Michigan with all its popcorn and concession needs since 1932.  
I'm pretty sure Josh would have fought me for the rest of this bag after I opened it.






The next product is one that I have enjoyed many times was a box of cherry tea from Cherry Republic. It was so fragrant and delicious! I work with two other tea enthusiasts and I shared it with them, they too were delighted by the tea. I make my cuppa with cream and sugar and let me tell you, a little vanilla cream in a cup of Cherry Republic cherry tea is one of the most delicious thing I've ever had to drink. Cherry Republic is a sweet company that is devoted to celebrating the beauty and delicacy of Northern Michigan.







Who doesn't love salt water taffy?! If you don't, try Martha's Original salt water taffy and get back to me on that. It was sweet, colorful, chewy, and so yummy! There were so many flavors in our sample that I can't pick a favorite! There was black licorice though so watch out if that's not your thing! Dating back to the 1800's Martha's Original has homemade fudge, brittle, caramel corn, and taffy to tickle your taste buds!








Next up from the lovely town of Detroit is the morning angel we call coffee. This smooth brew is the perfect pick me up any time of day. Fresh roasted and 100% Arabica beans gives Detroit Bold Woodward Ave. coffee a kick in the pants to get you going. Detroit Bold believes that the auto industry shouldn't be the only industry supporting Detroit, that's why they have been roasting their beans since 1914.








Continuing on, from Michigan we have the What The Fudge bar from Zingerman's Candy. This delish candy bar was covered in dark chocolate and filled with melt in your mouth fudge. It was super rich, which I didn't mind because one or two bites was enough. I kept it in its box in the fridge and it lasted me for 4 days, I've never had a candy bar so satisfying that one or two bites is all you need. I highly suggest you try these bad boys out! The candy bars come in 4 flavors, a peanutbutter  Zingerman's offers chocoalate, brittle, mashmallow and more. Zingerman's itself has been around for a long time but the manufacturing just started in 2009. 
.








 From fudge to good ol chocolate, we have Sanders Fine Chocolatiers dark chocolate sea salt caramel. This was yet another delicacy that my husband would fight me for however, I didn't tell him I had one because I will also fight you for chocolate and sea salt caramels. The sweet, the salty, the creamy, ugh so delicious! Seriously though Sanders Fine Chocolatiers knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to candy. This was one of the best chocolate sea salt caramels I've ever had, and it should be! Sanders has been making chocolates, candies, and confections since 1875. Id love to head up to Michigan and get Sanders famous bumpy cake. With multiple flavors like chocolate fudge bumpy cake with butter cream bumps, fudge icing, and rich devil's food cake, how can your mouth not water?








Last but not least is one of my favorite treats that hails from the great mitten to the north, Faygo. I honestly didn't know Faygo was a product of Michigan until I got my box from Discover Our America! I've always know of Faygo because its in every grocery store and convenience store in North West Indiana. Thankfully I got to taste a flavor that I've never seen before, Rock & Rye. Im not going to lie, I was a little scare by the name because when I see rye I think bread. So I was thinking that this was going to be some strange flavor that's popular in Michigan but nobody else would ever drink. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, its a cream soda flavor and its delicious! Have you ever had red cream? Faygo Rock & Rye blows those out of the water. It was delicious and now I'm sad that its not available in store around here! Lucky for me I can get a regular Faygo cream soda any time I want. Did you know that Faygo started in 1907 and was based upon frosting flavors? Now you do! Grab a delicious Faygo today in one of these exciting flavors; Redpop, Rock & Rye, Rootbeer, Cotton Candy, Orange, Grape, Candy Apple, Moon Mist, Twist, Gingerale, Cherry Cola, Pineapple, Pineapple Watermelon, Pineapple Orange, Jazz' Blues Berry, Raspberry Blueberry, Fruit Punch, Ohana Punch, Ohana Lemonade & Ice Tea, Ohana Lemon Ice Tea, Sparkling Cherry, Sparkling Grapefruit, Sparkling Orange, Sparkling Lemon Lime, Cola, Creme Soda, 60/40, Black Cherry, Peach, Dr. Faygo, and Gold.




So readers, if you want to sample 5-7 goodies from each of the 50 states, Discover Our America is the subscription box for you. These boxes would make a great gift for anyone, including yourself! If you don't want to commit to a subscription, or if there is just a state you want to try you can check out the shop section and pick from three states; Michigan, Hawaii, or Georgia. So love America, taste America, and be America. God bless the USA!


Want it? Buy it!
 Go check out Discover Our America and don't forget to use the special 15% off code just for MBP readers! 

 BLOCKPARTY15

Special thanks to Josh Henschke and Discover Our America for this awesome opportunity. I enjoyed working with you, and I truly love your product! 






A New Pfister Faucet and a Partial Kitchen Update


Thank you to Pfister for providing me with product, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared below are my own. 


Our house is 64 years old! While we have made some updates in the 14 years that we have lived here, our kitchen has been stuck on the to-do list for most of that time. 

Recently, we had a the chance to become a "Friend of Pfister", which gave us the opportunity to choose from a selection of pretty great faucets. Since our old one was leaking from the spout (spraying a small stream of water everywhere), I jumped at the opportunity and selected the Pfister Pfirst Series Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet, figuring that it would go best with our kitchen while at the same time giving it a little bit of an update.

When the faucet arrived however, something clicked in Matt's mind and he decided that if we were going to install such a nice new faucet, he wanted to replace the entire sink, cabinet and all!



We Don't Really Have Pictures of the Old Sink (It Was Pretty Hideous), But You Can Get the Idea of How Much it Needed to Be Replaced From This Picture of Drew!


Our New Counter, Sink, and Pfister Faucet

While I am enjoying the extra counter and cabinet space this partial kitchen update provided, my favorite part of the update is the faucet. It's definitely eye catching, but the Pfirst Series Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet has many great benefits:

-Installation was super easy
- The high arc spout will allow me to fill my larger pots with greater ease
- The handle includes buttons that allows me to switch from stream to spray in just a click
- The pull down spout makes it easier to ensure that I am getting every inch of stuck on food off of my dishes
- Comes with the Pfister Pforever Warranty® that covers the finish and function of the faucet for life

While we opted for the Pfirst Series Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet, we did find some other pretty great choices from Pfister.  Here are just a few that caught our eye:


Brushed Nickel Ashfield 2-Handle, Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet - LG531-YPK - 1
The Ashfield 2-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

Stainless Steel Bixby 1-Handle, Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet - F-538-5LCS - 1
The Bixby 1- Handle, Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet





The Privé 1-Handle, Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet

Pfister also has a great selection of Bath Faucets and Accessories, which is great for us, since our bathroom needs and update and we are looking to add a second bathroom in the (hopefully) near future. 


If you are planning to update your kitchen or bathroom, I would definitely recommend the Pfister brand. Be sure to check out their Kitchen and Bath Design Blog for some great design ideas and inspiration. You can also keep up with the Pfister brand on social media sites like FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.







Ruggable Washable Rugs: High Style, Low Maintenance


Thank you to Ruggable for providing me with product, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

My home is in desperate need of a makeover. Our house is small, and is a craftsman style bungalow. We love the bungalow charm, but our indoor space is small, and getting smaller by the day with two adults, a child, and a baby. We love for our home to maintain its charm, however, we like modern style, as well. I am always hesitant as to whether or not we should make big purchases for new decor in our home. Let's face it- when kids are in the mix, it's hard to keep anything nice-looking.

We have original hardwood floors throughout our home, and as much as I love them, they are prone to scratches. Area rugs have become a wonderful way for us to tie a space together, as well as serve as a soft play area and floor protector from our kiddos.


RUGGABLE.COM

It's no secret that area rugs can be expensive, and they can be hard to clean. Most folks think that it's not worth it to spend money on a rug that will wind up being destroyed by their children or pets. I fought the 'keep the rug clean' battle with my family for a long time, until we discovered Ruggable- a whole new rug system that won't leave you crying over spilled milk.

Ruggable is an innovative 2-piece washable rug system. which can be taken apart... and washed! Each Ruggable system consists of a base and a cover. The base stays on the floor, and the cover peels right off, and is machine washable! Purchase you base, your cover, and then place the rug in your home for a whole new look! When you want to change it up, just purchase a different cover, and replace. You can change the look of your rug as often as you wish!



We were sent our own Ruggable system to try out, and couldn't wait to see what it looked like in our home!

The Fretwork Tan 5x7 Ruggable Cover- I love this modern design!

We chose the Fretwork Tan cover, and love the way it looks in our dining room. Right now, our dining room is sort of an all purpose room- doubling as an office. That means that the room gets used a lot for play time with B and Baby S. We chose this Ruggable cover, because we loved the design, and we looking for something neutral. 

The rug was easy to put down. We simply unrolled the base, place it where we wanted the rug to go, and then laid the Ruggable cover over it. The system uses a cling technology to stick together. I have been amazed that there hasn't been any slipping. The cover has stayed perfectly attached to the base- even after we've walked and laid all over it.

Baby S loves to have playtime on the Ruggable rug!

The Ruggable system has been a hot topic among guests in our home. They have all loved the design, and we've loved telling them about this awesome rug system. My favorite part is that it's machine washable. I remind everyone to remove their shoes before walking through the house, but the reality is that it doesn't always happen. When dirt gets tracked in, I simply remove the cover, and throw it into the washing machine. It can also be dried in the dryer- talk about convenient!

In a perfect world, this rug would be the centerpiece and focal point of a beautifully designed room. My reality is filled with the pitter-patter of little feet, in a home that has less space than we really need, so we've made it work for the time being. I can't wait to get into a larger space, and use this rug in a different way. What happens if the rug cover no longer works with our color or design scheme? Easy fix- we can just purchase a new cover, and we'll have the look of a new rug, without having to spend an arm and a leg!


Details

Washable Rug Cover $99.99

Nonslip Rug Pad $49.99


Classic, Geometric,  Fretwork Rug Design

Ruggable 2pc Rug System 

Ships between 1 - 2 business days

Cover Attaches to Pad Surface with Cling Effect™ Technology

Custom Nonslip Rug Pad Required

Covers are Washable & Interchangeable 

Wash/Dry Covers in Home Washing Machine

Rug Pad Washed Separately 


Check out some of the other Ruggable covers I am loving...

Chevron Dark Grey
Chevron Gray


Lattice Pink
Lattice Pink


Solid Red
Solid Red


Floral Damask Mimi Yellow
Floral Damask Yellow


There are so many fun Ruggable options to choose from! I would love to have a Ruggable rug in every room of my home. They are beautiful, durable, they stay in place, and best of all- they're washable! I think they're an amazing value for the price of the 2-piece system, and definitely worth looking into if you're in the market for a new rug. Several designs are even great for indoor/outdoor use- dress up any space you wish!

Want it? Get it!

Head on over to Ruggable to browse all of their lovely designs. Look for Ruggable ar Lowes! Connect with Ruggable via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Special thanks to Ruggable for allowing me to experience their amazing rug system in my home.



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dragon's Race to the Edge: Season 3


Hiccup and Toothless are back along with your favorite Dragon Riders in an all-new action-packed Season 3 of DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: RACE TO THE EDGE.  The high-stakes continue as the Riders advance in their hunt for Viggo, Ryker and their expanded Dragon Hunter army.  Tune in as the Riders encounter new dragons, a seemingly reformed Dagur, an underground Dragon Fighting arena, and learn along the way that Viggo has a Dragon Eye and dragon fortress!


“Buffalord”
The riders discover the rare Buffalord dragon while searching for a cure for the Scurge of Odin.Turns out moving it is even harder than finding it. 

You can watch an all-new season of Dragons: 
Race to the Edge on Netflix June 24.


A Cool Summer Dessert: Graham Cracker Ice Box Sandwiches


Looking for a cool and easy dessert to keep on hand this summer? One of the easiest treats (and least expensive) is a Graham Cracker Ice Box Sandwich! My uncle used to make these, and he'd always have them in the freezer for us when we visited him. They are a low calorie, tasty snack that can be whipped up in a jiffy, and stored in the freezer for weeks. You can make a few at a time, or a big batch to enjoy through the summer!

Just two ingredients are all you need!

Start with a tub of whipped topping and a box of graham crackers. I purchased these at Aldi (if you're not shopping at Aldi, you're missing out on their awesome food, and LOW prices!). You can go with the brands you prefer- I find these are just as good as name brand products, which I would pay 3x as much for.

Graham crackers and whipped topping are all you need to make this tasty treat!

Let the whipped topping soften a bit. Take two full graham crackers, and get ready to make a yummy sandwich! Be careful when handling the graham crackers, as they can break easily.

Spread the whipped topping on the graham cracker, and top with another graham cracker.

Simply spread the softened whipped topping onto a graham cracker, and then place another graham cracker on top to make a sandwich. You may want to go back and fill in the gaps or smooth the edges once you have done this. It's a lot of fun to make these with your kids- it's an easy dessert that they can help you make, and it's fun to eat them in the process! Be warned, though- it can get a bit messy (which is half the fun, if you ask me!).

Wrap in parchment or wax paper, and freeze.

We wrapped 2 sandwiches per sheet of parchment paper. I was able to get eight sandwiches into a double freezer bag. I placed the bag in the freezer, and let the sandwiches freeze for at least three hours before serving. It was hard for B to wait that long for the initial sandwich, but discovered that it was well worth the wait!

If you don't want to build individual sandwiches, an alternative method is to line a 9x13 pan with the graham crackers, spread the whipped topping over it, top with graham crackers. Freeze for three hours, and then cut squares.

This is one of our favorite summertime treats. They are fun to make, cost effective for those summer budgets, and super delicious! We hope you'll give them a try, and enjoy them as much as we do!

Stay cool!