The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: 2011
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Top 10 favorite products I reviewed in 2011

I decided to highlight my favorite reviews of 2011. In no particular order here they are.

Symptom Pak - I was a little reluctant to review medicine but this was generic enough so I did. I love this little pack of meds. It has generic medicine for various illnesses like colds, flu, etc. It has saved me a few times this year. I would definitely buy this. It is so handy to have in the medicine cabinet.

Turbie Twist - Okay this is a product I cannot live without anymore. This is the best thing if you have long hair. I no longer get neck aches when trying to balance a towel on my head. This little hair towel is the perfect product. I now own at least 4 of them and will continue using them!

T-fal Ingrid Hoffman Paella Pan -I love this pan. It is non-stick and perfect for paella but I have found that it is also great to cook hash browns, pancakes and just about anything else I can stuff into it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I loved this pan so much that I went out and bought a T-fal frying pan and and eyeing the other T-fal pans. It is the perfect pan for anyone who cooks.

Change the Tone Crocs - I did a giveaway and did not receive my Crocs until it was published but I wore my Crocs all summer long. They are so cute and comfortable. I have no idea if they tone but I loved them so much, I went out and bought two more pair of Crocs!

George Foreman Grill - Need I say more? If you have ever used a George Foreman Grill then you know how wonderful they are. Easy to use, easy to clean and the best thing next to a real outdoor grill. I can now have steak and burgers in the middle of winter. I LOVE this grill.

Breyers Ice Cream - Hello, ice cream! I got tons of it and it was good. My thighs hate me but it was so delish!!

Flip Flop Moscato Wine - I admit I am not a wine drinker. I use it more for cooking but when Flip Flop wine sent me some Moscato wine, I was hooked. So much so that I drank a whole bottle by myself in a day. No I am not a lush, just in love with this wine!!

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops - Never heard of these but now I can't live without them. They were great when I got a sore throat and great just to suck on during the day. I love the honey flavor. I will continue buying these.

P.F. Changs Home Menu Noodle entrees - I am hooked. I love noodles and these are the best frozen noodles I have had. They are wicked tasty and easy to make. I always pick up a bag when I am at the grocery store. I love having these for a quick lunch or dinner. YUMMO!

Post It Notes - I have this weird obsession with Post-It Notes. I love them. I buy them all the times. My office is filled with them and I use them everyday. So when I got a box of products, I went nuts!

Those are my favorite 2011 products. I am hoping 2012 brings more great opportunities because if I get a product review then you my loyal readers usually get a giveaway and I know you all love the giveaways.

I want to thank everyone who enters my giveaways and supports my blog! Have a wonderful 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

And I want to wish my lovely sister a very Happy Birthday! xoxo Love you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sister Schubert's Rolls Review and Giveaway! 2 winners!!

This Thanksgiving I was looking for dinner rolls for our feast. I usually buy the ones in the bakery section in a box that you heat and eat. This year, I wanted something different and found Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls in our grocery store's freezer.

They were delicious. I had never tried them before but they were fresh and soft and a perfect addition to our holiday meal. When I received the opportunity to review 2 new flavors of Sister Schubert rolls, I jumped at the chance.

The two new flavors are: Soft Pretzel Rolls and Mini Baguettes. Ready in a little as 7 minutes, these rolls are a convenient addition to any meal. Plus they contain only the finest ingredients with no preservatives, artificial flavors and 0 grams trans fat.

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Sister Schubert’s NEW Soft Pretzel Rolls have a thin, slightly crisp outside and a soft, warm center. Whether it’s a delicious snack, a soft roll for your favorite slider or a complement to dinner, Sister Schubert’s Soft Pretzel Rolls are a versatile way to enjoy restaurant-quality taste at home.

Mini Baguettes

Sister Schubert’s NEW Mini Baguettes bring the bakery-fresh taste of artisan bread straight to your kitchen with a golden, crispy crust and a soft, airy center. Ready in as little as seven minutes, simply slice Sister Schubert’s Mini Baguettes and fill with your favorite sandwich ingredients to create a delicious meal, or enjoy a tasty appetizer by dipping the warm artisan baguette in olive oil.

Unfortunately, because I live in the boonies, my store didn't have the new rolls available but had all sorts of other Sister Schubert rolls for my enjoyment. I picked up a bag of the Dinner Yeast Rolls instead and they were delicious.

What I love about these rolls, besides the taste, is that they are convenient. Because they come in a resealable bag, I can take one out and pop it into the toaster over and have a fresh roll. If I am having a dinner party, I can make up the whole bag.

I also loved the size. They are small enough to have at dinner but big enough for mini sandwiches or a quick snack. I have always been looking for rolls to use for my sliders and these are perfect. I cannot wait until my store has the pretzel rolls because those would be fabulous for mini Reuben or pastrami sandwiches. Yum! The Mini Baguettes would be perfect for making sandwiches or serving at a dinner party.

Sister Schubert’s Soft Pretzel Rolls and Mini Baguettes are available for a suggested retail price of $3.79 for a six-count bag (prices may vary by store). Check out all their varieties because there are so many tasty choices.

I have a treat for two of my readers as well. Two readers will win one coupon each to try these delicious treats! Just enter on the rafflecopter widget!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winners and other info

It has been a while since I posted winners only because Rafflecopter announces winners for me. Love that. But sometimes there is a glitch and I push the button to announce the winner and it doesn't. I decided to still post them to the blog so people can see who won when Rafflecopter doesn't post them.

So the winner of the La Lechera giveaway is: Ashley Hatten! YAY HER!

I will have one more giveaway going up this month then I am taking a break. We will be heading to Jamaica for Christmas. My cat is not happy that she is being left with the house/cat sitter again. But oh well, kitty doesn't have a passport so she stays here.

In the meantime, check back for a quickie giveaway this week. I will also have 2 New Year's giveaways to make up for the time I am taking off and ignoring the blog.

In the meantime, you can visit Carolyn in Carolina and keep tabs on me. I will post some vlogs and pictures when I am on vacation. YAY!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It was time for a facelift!

I got a little crazy and decided that The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness needed a facelift!

So I set off and hired a blog designer to help me get a cleaner less cutesy look although it is still plenty cute because that is how I roll!

I love it!! I had no idea what I wanted but my blog designer, Sheila, was ever so patient and helped me every step of the way. I tell you that I can be a PITA and she finally got the look I wanted!

She still has a few tweaks here and there and I have to add pages but it will soon be completed! I hope you all like the new look! I know I love it and I still have my screamy girl!! WOO!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Gift Idea! World Vision Catalog + Fair Trade Coffee Giveaway

Every year for Christmas people have long lists of what they want. This year I am sure people want iPads, iPhones, an X-Box, big screen TV etc. Sure those are all good gifts but this year why not give a gift that will actually make a difference in the lives of many.

World Vision’s Gift Catalog offers such gifts. The items World Vision offers in the World Vision catalog range from $16 to $39,000. Every gift you purchase will help a family in need. A few examples of the gifts you can purchase are as follows:

•Two chickens that provide a daily supply of eggs (with plenty of protein and 13 essential vitamins and minerals) – $25

•Feed a family in the US for a day with a Family Food Kit which includes nutritious meals like oatmeal, lentil soup or pasta, and a bean and rice casserole – $16

•Ten fruit trees such as apple trees, orange trees, and mango trees provide the vitamins and nutrients growing kids need – $60

•A dairy cow that can give as much as 5,000 gallons of milk in its lifetime – $500

In addition to the items above, World Vision offers several Maximum Impact Fund gifts that help answer specific, urgent needs of children and families that might otherwise go unmet. One such gift is the Fair-Trade Coffee Set which includes coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica blended by delivered in a bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women. It is accompanied by a hand-carved olivewood scoop made to benefit over 200 orphans of the Kamba tribe.

These are great gifts for someone who has everything and needs nothing. Giving someone a gift in their name is special and unique and you are actually making the world a better place. I believe these gifts really capture what I believe is the true meaning of the holidays. When you order a gift the person you designate will receive a beautiful card letting them know that you bought them a gift in his/her name.

Make sure to check out The True Spirit of Christmas Tour Facebook. For the third consecutive year, World Vision staff will be traveling across the world this December to see the impact that goats, sheep and other gifts have on families and children.

I also have a gift for one of my readers. I have a bag of the Fair-Trade Coffee Set which includes coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica delivered in a bag of African fabric hand-sewn and accompanied by a hand-carved olivewood scoop to giveaway courtesy of World Vision.

Enter below on the Rafflecopter widget!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wish Bone Entertainment Kit Review and Giveaway!

I love the holidays. I love them because I get to make huge meals to share with family and friends. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I make quite a few meals that require all day to create. Turkey, Ham, and Prime Rib Roast are favorites at my house and I also have to make all the delicious side dishes as well.

My only problem is that while cooking is that I still have to feed hubby but I am too busy for that. Plus, there is never enough room in my kitchen to make more food than I am making.

I resort to snacks to keep him and any other of my guests out of my hair. I love making cheese plates, dips and chips and other easy and fast snacks.

This is where Wish-Bone comes in. I recently had the opportunity to try a few new Wish-Bone products and they are the perfect additions to holiday snacks. The products I was able to try were the Light Buffalo Ranch dressing, Buffalo Ranch Dressing and Guacamole Ranch Dressing.

These are great for salads, of course, but I used them as a dip instead. The Light Buffalo Ranch Dressing was perfect with veggies. I loved the regular Buffalo Ranch dressing for chicken wings. Hubby likes his wings mild but I like mine spicy. I always have to go with mild and add hot sauce. With the Buffalo Ranch dressing, I get spicy wings now! The Buffalo Ranch dressings are made with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and they are delish.

My favorite though was the Guacamole Ranch dip. It has a hint of avocado and that with the Ranch flavor is delicious. I ate almost a whole bag of Frito's with the dip because that's how I roll. I am also going to use this dressing as a dip for my famous taquitos that I make sometimes as a party snack.
I love these new flavors. I have always used Wish-Bone ranch dressing as a dip but these new flavors offer a unique choice for dips now. Visit the Wish-Bone site for some great recipes as well. I was amazed at how much you can do with salad dressing!!

And guess what? Yes, I have a similar prize pack to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. Let me tell you that you will love the chip & dip set! You will also like the new Wish-Bone flavors.

The prize includes:
Two-piece Chip and Dip set
1 bottle Wish-Bone Buffalo Ranch Dressing
1 bottle Wish-Bone Buffalo Ranch Light Dressing
1 bottle of Wish-Bone Guacamole Ranch Dressing

All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter widget below! Good Luck!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hershey's Horneando Juntas (Cookie Exchange) and Giveaway!

The holidays are the best time especially for making sweets! Every year about this time we have a cookie exchange at work. I also make cookies for my husband's work as well. It is one of my favorite things!

I love baking but I am not that great at it because I cannot follow a recipe to save my life. Baking requires precise measurements and cooking times etc. So I always need easy recipes.

But every year, I get my mixing bowls out, buy supplies and get baking. One of my favorite cookie exchange recipes is Chocolate Chip cookies because who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies, right? I also love making Mexican Wedding Cookies because they are easy and delicious. And sugar cookies with a Hershey Kiss on top always go over great.

This year, I am making all my favorites and maybe trying some new recipes from the Cocina de Hershey's (Hershey's Kitchen). The Polvorones de limon y coco (lemon and coconut cookies covered in powdered sugar) look so good they might be added to my recipe box. There are so many great recipes, I cannot wait to try them.

It is so much fun trading cookies and recipes with friends and family. One of my co-workers always brings in her mother's secret recipe cookies but will not share the recipe and I don't blame her!

I don't know if you all participate in cookie exchanges but you should start because it is a simple and inexpensive ways to give gifts to loved ones. I know I always pack my cookies up in little Chinese take out boxes with holiday tissue paper. I have also found some beautiful holiday tins as well.

Thanks to Hershey's I received a great gift pack filled with lots of goodies to help me this year with my cookie exchange. You can also win a wonderful prize pack like mine. The prize pack includes:
(1) bag of HERSHEY’S® KISSES® Chocolates
(1) can of HERSHEY’S® Cocoa
(1) $10 Visa Gift Card for the purchase of additional recipe ingredients
Apron and Mixing Bowl

YAY! All you need to do is fill out the info on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Big Holiday ReVeal Giveaway and Asian Meatball Recipe!

I love the holidays because it is the one time that I can go all out and cook some wonderfully inspired food.

Thanksgiving is easy because I go traditional but Christmas and New Year's is when I can get a little crazy and try new recipes. I especially love making appetizers for my parties.

This year thanks to the Mountain States Rosen, a cooperation of lamb and veal producers and processors, I have found some really great recipes I can try. Mountain States Rosen has been producing high quality veal and lamb for over 45 years. Mountain States Rosen sets the standard in quality and fully integrated food safety systems with its all American Milk Fed Cedar Springs Nature veal brand. Mountain States Rosen veal is hormone free and free from artificial tenderizers.

I love veal. But it is one of those meats that I don't often purchase at the store. It is hard to find veal where I live. When I do find it, I always tend to go to my favorite recipes: Veal Marsala and Veal Scallopini.

I checked out some recipes and found that I could it use for almost anything including veal burgers, meatloaf, or even a pot roast. Veal is the perfect meat for the holidays. It is tasty and can be used in a variety of ways.

I received a recipe from Mountain States Rosen that I know I will be trying for the holidays. I never would have thought of making Asian Meatballs but these look yummy.

Asian-Inspired Cocktail Meatballs

1 lb. Mountain States Rosen veal
¼ cup panko crumbs
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons lite soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry Sherry wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon chile sauce (such as Sambal)
3 scallions (white part only) sliced thin
1/3 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together except ground veal and Panko crumbs. Add veal to egg mixture and blend well. Add Panko crumbs and fold into meat mixture. Form about 16 one-ounce meatballs. Place on baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven 20-25 minutes.

For an easy dipping sauce, combine ½ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons green scallions (sliced), ½ teaspoon chile sauce (such as Sambal) and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve room temperature. Garnish with fresh cilantro or thinly sliced scallions.

I cannot wait to try this recipe. I love anything Asian inspired. Plus, this recipe is easy to make. I think this would also work for making Veal Potstickers as well. This holiday might be a great time to consider veal as a new tradition in your household!

And thanks to Mountain States Rosen, I have a really cool kitchen gadget to giveaway: a Meatball Baller. How fun is that? No more getting your hands full of raw meat because the meatball baller will do all the work for you. What are you waiting for? Enter to win on the Rafflecopter widget.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nestle La Lechera Review and Giveaway!

I recently had the opportunity to try Nestle La Lechera products. I got a cool basket with products and gifts.

The basket I received included some regular condensed milk and also some Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche condensed milk. It also included several recipe cards. After looking at several of the recipes, I decided to make a Dulce de Leche flan.

Now, when I was little my mom and abuelita made flan all the time.

It was a staple in our house. They used to make me eat it but I never liked it. I always thought it was too sweet and I also thought it had a weird wiggly texture that I couldn't stomach.

As I grew up, I never ate it again and, thus, never learned how to make a good flan. So, in honor of my granny, I decided to make a flan at least one time in my life.

I love to bake but I stick with the easy peasy stuff like cakes and cookies. When it comes to more involved baking, I prefer to just go buy it. Baking requires exact measurements and being technical, something I am not known for. But luckily, the La Lechera flan recipe was pretty easy.

Basically, you caramelize some sugar for the topping. Then the recipe
called for mixing 2 cans of Nestle condensed milk and one can of the Dulce de Leche with 6 eggs. This is where it got wonky because once I blended it, it looked pretty watery but since I had no idea what I was doing, I went with it.

I put the caramelized sugar on the bottom of the ramekins that came in the basket and then added the mixture. I then cooked it in a bain-marie (water bath) for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, it was done.

I am not flan expert so I can only hope it came out right. I have to say that it was actually quite delish and I liked it. I think the dulce de leche condensed milk made the difference because it gave it a very rich taste.

One a side note, I have to say that if someone gave me a spoon and a can
of the La Lechera dulce de leche, I could eat the whole can by myself with nothing else. It was so delicious.

For my first ever flan in 47 years, mine was pretty darn good. Hubby and mother in law enjoyed it as well. So I have to give a thumbs up to La Lechera for helping me make my first flan!

Thanks to Nestle La Lechera, I have a basket like I received for one lucky reader. The La Lechera Holiday Flan gift basket includes Nestle La Lechera’s sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche products, a $25 Visa gift card, a set of ceramic ramekins and a disposable digital camera! Woo. Let me tell you this is a fantastic little prize.

The way I look at it is that if I can make a flan, anyone can. This is the perfect prize for the upcoming holidays! So what are you waiting for? Enter on the Rafflecopter widget and good luck.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Winner!! Movies on Demand!

The winner of the Movies on Demand giveaway is:

Brenda Gaines

Congrats! I have sent you a email. You have 48 hours to get back to me. After 48 hours, I will choose a new winner. So send me your info!!

I want to thank the Movies on Demand for the cool prize. I also want to thank everyone who participated. I appreciate your continued support! Don't forget to enter my other giveaways!! I have quite a few giveaways going on!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drano Snake Plus Review and Giveaway!

The problem we have at my house is my hair. It is long, thick and wavy. When I shower, it tends to fall out and get stuck in the drain. My hair along with the shampoo and soap always clog up the shower.

I am not kidding when I saw that we should buy stock in Drano because we use it all the time. When I received the opportunity to review the new
Drano® Snake Plus kit, I was so excited because I knew this is a product we could use.

The Drano Snake Plus combines an easy-to-use 18-inch flexible tool with a powerful pro concentrate gel which clings directly to the clog and helps dissolve it away.

Drano® Snake Plus is also easy to use:

* Insert the 18-inch flexible tool into the drain opening and move the tool up and down to better loosen the clog, then remove and discard the tool.
* Pour the entire bottle of Drano® Pro Concentrate Gel down the drain and let the powerful formula help dissolve the solution for 30 minutes.
* Flush the drain with hot water to free the drain of any remaining clogged materials.

I thought the snake was going to be a little weird to use and it was but once I got it down the shower drain and started wiggling it, it was easy. When I pulled it up, it had a bunch of my long hair attached to it. Ooky! But I knew that meant it was working.

I put in the gel and then washed it down with hot water about half hour later. The shower drain was clear! I cannot tell you how great that was. It was so easy that even I could figure it out.

I wouldn't use this for our regular vanity sinks because they do not get so clogged up but I would on the tougher clogs we get in the shower. The snake really helps getting the grunge out. You cannot use the Drano on toilets.

Drano Snake Plus is available for purchase in the home cleaning sections of food, drug, do-it-yourself and mass-merchandise stores such as Target, Walmart and CVS.

I have one kit for one lucky reader to try on his/her drain. You know the drill!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give the Gift of Disney Magic ~ D23 Silver Membership Giveaway!

I have been a Disney fan since I was little. We lived in Los Angeles and every year we were lucky enough to visit Disneyland a few times a year. When we had visitors from Costa Rica come to our home the first thing they all wanted to do was visit Disneyland. We loved when visitors came!

When I moved to Florida and, subsequently, met my husband we began visiting Disney World a few times a year. We loved visiting. We tried to go to every resort and get on every ride. People forget that Disney is just not for kids. Disney has so much to offer us "big kids" as well.

What we love most about Disney is that there is so much for us to do. We loved gong to the parks and enjoying the rides but we also loved seeing the shows. The resorts are great. As wannabe foodies, we really enjoyed visiting the restaurants and having a gourmet meal with some delicious wine. We also loved going for the spa services as well.

Now that we live in North Carolina, we rarely have the chance to visit as much as we would like. It is harder for us to get our Disney fix. Luckily, Disney offers us Disney Lovers the opportunity to keep up with everything Disney through the D23 - Official Disney Fan Club.

D23 is the world’s only official Disney fan club. What is the significance of D23? It is named for the year that Walt Disney left Kansas City and headed for Hollywood and founded what would become the Disney Studios.

D23 offers its members a multitude of benefits including the Disney twenty three magazine. Benefits also include special events, a wonderful website, complimentary gifts, special discounts and much more.

Here's are just some of the wonderful exclusive benefits offered to its D23 members:

Disney twenty-three magazine ~ D23's stunning, over sized, quarterly publication that is available with all D23 Gold memberships

Member-exclusive gifts ~ Four times a year, Gold-level D23 Members receive a free gift with each issue of Disney twenty-three. Each free gift is a collectible surprise that celebrates Disney

Membership Card and Certificate ~ You receive a membership card and personalized, suitable-for-framing member certificate features Donald Duck hand drawn by Disney Legend-and the voice of Donald!-Tony Anselmo.

Annual Member gift
~ Each new and renewing D23 Member receives a special collectible gift from The Walt Disney Archives Collection

D23 Special Benefits and Offers ~ D23 Members can save hundreds of dollars by presenting their D23 Membership cards at select retailers, restaurants and attractions throughout the country

D23 Website ~ In-depth features and exclusive articles about Disney’s past, present and future, plus breaking news and special features from the Walt Disney Archives are highlights of the D23 website

Special Member-Only events ~ Events can include tours of the Walt Disney Studios Lot and Archives to a signature event at Walt Disney World, special film screenings, and many other events throughout the year, only D23 Members have the opportunity to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences created just for them! (This is my favorite benefit!)

D23 Expo ~ The D23 Expo brings the entire world of Disney under one roof and is the “ultimate Disney fan event” and D23 Members can purchase special ticket discounts and receive exclusive access to this amazing event!

The Gold Membership is only $74.99 and the Silver Membership is $34.99. This is a great deal because you have Disney at your fingertips any time you like. Plus, the memberships come with a beautiful exclusive D23 Mickey Mouse watch!

This would make a perfect gift for any Disney Fan in your life! This is also a great gift to give to those "big kids" on your Christmas list who have everything. It is a unique and special gift that can be used all year-round!

This year, I am dropping hints all over the house that I would love a membership into D23. If hubby doesn't get it, I might have to get him a membership for Christmas! It would be amazing to be able to attend special Disney events and the D23 Expo!

So remember, if you have a Disney fan on your list you should really look into giving them a D23 Membership. Who doesn't want the Gift of Disney Magic any time of the year?

Thanks to Disney, I have a D23 Silver Membership  to give away to one of my wonderful readers! All you have to do is follow the entry rules to enter. Please be patient for the Rafflecopter widget to load.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ACE Hardware After Thanksgiving Coupon Info and Giveaway!

If you are looking for some great Black Friday deals, you need to check out Ace Hardware. Ace Hardware has some After Thanksgiving Coupons that you can print out. One coupon is good for 50% off one regular priced item under $30 on Saturday, 11/26/11 and $10 off a $50 or more regular priced purchase on Sunday, 11/27/11.

Click on the link, print them out and go save!! You can also check out the online circulars. Find your local store using the handy dandy store locator. Like Ace Hardware on Facebook for updates and information.
I also have a small giveaway courtesy of Ace. You can win an Ace paintbrush and apron so you can be ready to tackle those home projects you have. Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Slim Fast/Sephora Giveaway WINNERS!!!

The winners of the Slim Fast-Sephora giveaway are:

Janice Cooper
Belinda Shaw

Congrats! I have sent you all an email. You have 48 hours to get back to me. After 48 hours, I will choose new winners. So send me your info!!

I want to thank the Slim Fast for these great prizes. I also want to thank everyone who participated. I appreciate your continued support! Don't forget to enter my other giveaways!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eagle Brand Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest! Ends December 7, 2011!

If you have the skills to create a fantastic recipe using Eagle Brand Condensed Milk then this contest is for you! I wish I had more talent in creating recipes because this sounds like a great opportunity plus you can win $10,000!! Holy cow, that is so awesome.

According to the Eagle Brand® survey conducted by Kelton Research, 95 percent of surveyed Americans agree a secret ingredient can change an entire dish. For nearly a third of surveyed bakers, that secret is sweetened condensed milk, as 32 percent of respondents typically keep sweetened condensed milk on hand in their pantry. To help share this secret, the maker of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is launching the Eagle Brand Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest with a chance to win $10,000 towards a “sweet secret” wish.

Now through December 7, 2011 (SO HURRY), home bakers are invited to enter the “Sweet Secret” contest by submitting an original dessert recipe – along with an essay of 100 words or less describing why Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is the “sweet secret” ingredient in the recipe. You can enter in English or Spanish! WOO!! All you have to so is submit a delicious dessert recipe using at least one 14-ounce can of any variety of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk in one of five categories - fudge, cheesecake, pie, cookie bar or other.

“Sharing recipes is a great way to start new traditions among friends and families,” said Maribeth Badertscher, Vice President, Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company. “The ‘Sweet Secret’ contest was inspired by the many ways Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk plays a role in memorable holiday traditions, and we are excited to celebrate the holiday baking season by sharing the most creative entries with everyone.”

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is the go-to sweet secret ingredient for preparing countless holiday recipes. It is a special blend of milk and sugar that can be used to create a foolproof “base” for a variety of desserts. When combined with acidic fruit juice, such as lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk thickens – without heating – to form velvety pie fillings, puddings and other desserts. It also caramelizes evenly and easily – just empty in saucepan, heat and stir per directions on can.

I wish my mom lived here in the United States because she would be all over this! She always used condensed milk in so many recipes. How I wish I would have learned them because $10,000 is nothing to sneeze at! 

The Eagle Brand Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest ends on December 7, 2011. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. For details and complete Official Rules, visit or

For more information about Eagle Brand, please visit EagleBrand, MarcaEagle or Eagle Brands on Facebook.

Spanish Version below! Version en Espanol abajo.

Disclosure: I received a sample product. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. 

El afortunado ganador del Concurso de Ensayos y Recetas de Dulces Secretos de Eagle Brand® recibirá $10,000 para cumplir su Dulce Deseo Secreto

 ¡Se ha develado el secreto! Según la encuesta de Eagle Brand® realizada por Kelton Research, el 95 por ciento de los estadounidenses encuestados reconocen que un ingrediente secreto puede cambiar un plato por completo. Para casi un tercio de los panaderos encuestados, ese secreto es la leche condensada azucarada, como lo demuestra el 32 por ciento de los participantes que siempre tienen leche condensada azucarada en sus despensas. Para divulgar el secreto, el elaborador de la leche condensada Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk lanza el Concurso de ensayos y recetas de dulces secretos de Eagle Brand® que nos brinda la oportunidad de ganar $10,000 para hacer realidad un dulce deseo secreto.

Desde ahora hasta el 7 de diciembre de 2011, invitamos a los panaderos aficionados a participar en el concurso “Dulces Secretos” enviando una receta de postre original, junto con un ensayo de 100 palabras o menos que describa por qué la leche condensada Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk es el ingrediente “dulce secreto” de la receta, en inglés a o en español a Los participantes pueden enviar sus deliciosas recetas de postre, que incluyan una lata de 14 onzas—como mínimo—de cualquier variedad de leche condensada Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, e ingresarlas en cualquiera de las cinco categorías: caramelo blando, cheesecake, pastel, barrita u otro.

“Compartir nuestras recetasuna maravillosa manera de comenzar nuevas tradiciones entre amigos y familiares”, dijo Maribeth Badertscher, vicepresidenta de Comunicación Corporativa de J.M. Smucker Company. “La leche condensada Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk juega un rol memorable en las tradiciones de las fiestas, lo que nos inspiró a organizar el concurso Dulces Secretos y a celebrar compartiendo las recetas más creativas la época del año en que horneamos platos festivos”.

La leche condensada Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk es el ingrediente dulce secreto indispensable para preparar un sinfín de platos festivos. Su combinación especial de leche y azúcar hace que este producto pueda ser utilizado como una base infalible en una variedad de postres. Al mezclarla con jugo de frutas ácidas, como el jugo de limón, la leche condensada se espesa—sin necesidad de calentarla—para convertirse en un relleno aterciopelado para pasteles, pudines y otros postres. Otra de sus ventajas es la facilidad con la que se carameliza  adquiriendo una textura homogénea. Para comprobarlo, solo basta con verter el contenido de una lata en una cacerola y seguir las instrucciones en la lata.

El Concurso de Ensayos y Recetas de Dulces Secretos de Eagle Brand® finaliza el 7 de diciembre de 2011. Abierto a residentes legales de los 50 Estados Unidos y D.C., de 18 años de edad o más. Nulo donde esté prohibido. Para obtener más detalles y las reglas oficiales completas, visita o

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winners!! Kellogg's Fiber One! Woo!

The winners of the Kellogg's Fiber one giveaway are:

Fawn H
ryan knott
Marcia Goss
crystal l allen
Allyson Bossie

Congrats! I have sent you all an email. You have 48 hours to get back to me. After 48 hours, I will choose new winners. So send me your info!!

I want to thank the Kellogg's for these great prizes. I also want to thank everyone who participated. I appreciate your continued support! Don't forget to enter my other giveaways!! I have quite a few giveaways going on!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coffee Stack Review! Organize your K-Cups!!

I love my Keurig. Unfortunately, we have no counter space in our house and with our new toaster oven, the Keurig was sent into a cabinet. I really missed it. Then one day at work me and my co-worker were wanting coffee and I came up with a brilliant idea: I would bring the Keurig to work.

It is the perfect place for it. Usually when I get to work, the coffee is gone. It is also in another building. If I want some coffee in the afternoon, I had to drive out to Wendy's or the local coffee shop and pick some up.
Now I can have coffee, tea or even hot chocolate whenever I want it. I had the perfect place for it as well. It sits on my shelves in my office. I also brought all my K-cups as well. I had boxes of beverages that I had to pile on top of my shelves at work. It was looking a little messy but we do not have that much space.

Then I got an email that introduced me to the Coffee Stack. The Coffee Stack is a little cabinet that holds K-Cups. It is specifically designed to free up space on kitchen counters or work shelves in my case.

The Coffee Stack holds 40 K-cups. The only problem I have with my Coffee Stack is that the bottom drawer is a little wonky. But the people at Youcopia did mention this to me and have said that the problem had been corrected in the newer models.

Aside from that, I love it. It allowed me to get rid of the boxes filled with K-cups and have enough on hand so everyone who uses my Keurig can enjoy hot beverages at any time.

It is easy to use. You just pull out the drawer and pop in the K-cup. It also looks good. My co-workers loved it as well because they bring in their own flavors now and add them to the Coffee Stack. It also has non-skid rubber feet so it sits safely on any surface. Besides the issue of the wonky drawer, this is a great product for anyone who uses K-cups.

YouCopia also makes the Spice Stack. I have to tell you I have seen the Spice Stack so many times on TV and have wanted to order one. I know now that if it is like the Coffee Stack then I really need to get one soon!

I love organizational products that make my life easier. Coffee Stack is available at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores, as well as through The Spice Stack line is currently sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores, and well as through

Coffee Stack is available at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores, as well as through The Spice Stack line is currently sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores, and well as through

This is a great product to gift this Christmas! If you want to purchase a Coffee Stack or Spice Stack, go to their site and use the code Caro20 to receive 20% off any purchase (expires 12/31/11). Trust me, if you have a messy spice cabient or your K-cups are out of control this is a product you need!

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops Review & Giveaway!

I had never heard of Pine Bros. Throat Drops although they have been around for quite a while and now they are back. When I was contacted to do a review, I agreed because I am always in search of new products. With winter coming, I thought it was also wise to have some products on hand that might help us out if we get sick.

I received two flavors of Pine Bros. Throat Drops to review: Natural Honey and Wild Cherry. They came at the right time because I was a little under the weather this past week. I was able to try them and they were great.

The label says they are "softish". They look like gummy candy so I assumed I would be able to chew them but I wasn't. They are softish but not so much that they are chewy. They were also very good. They were are very tasty yet not too sweet.

My favorite flavor was the Natural Honey because it does taste like honey not just honey flavor. The Wild Cherry is delicious as well. These are so good that I am now addicted to them. I took a "puck" (what they call their little package) to work and finished them in 2 days.

I would definitely recommend these when you are sick. They soothed my throat and I didn't leave that medicine aftertaste in my mouth. I know I have my stash ready when the flu or a cold strikes! I am glad I was able to discover this "new" product because it is one that I will continue using.

Thanks to the great peeps at Pine Bros. I have a giveaway!! One lucky reader will win a Pine Bros. Prize Pack that includes:

8 pucks of our Natural Honey Flavor
8 pucks of our Wild Cherry Flavor
CVS gift card for $25
Pine Bros reusable shopping bag
CVS green bag tag

Awesome!!! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you might win this awesome prize pack.