Sep 302013
 

 

Disclosure:  I’m a Gorton’s Seafood blogger.  I received a review packet to facilitate this post.  I also have a chance at a cash prize for this post. No other compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Giveaway is sponsored by Gorton’s Seafood.

Here in Maine, we don’t say really good…we say wicked good, ayuh!  Gorton’s classic seafood entrees, along with their new Fish Sandwich Fillets are wicked good dinner options for Back to School season when schedules are tight, but nutrition is key.

Gorton's Wicked Good Seafood

I have always been a huge fan of Gorton’s seafood products.  John isn’t really too keen on fish, but I absolutely love it.  I have to have fish at least once per week.  Gorton’s makes it really easy for me to get my fish fix, without too much of a production. 

John and I pick one night per week, where he will eat something I don’t particularly enjoy (like beef stroganoff, eww!), and I will eat fish.  I always keep a few bags of Gorton’s seafood in my freezer, so I can easily take a piece out and cook it up for myself.  Add a starch and a veggie, and I’m done! Gorton's Seafood

Gorton’s recently added a new product to their line of delicious seafoods, Fish Sandwich Fillets.  I just had to try them, of course!  One night this past weekend, John cooked himself a chicken burger, and I had a Gorton’s Fish Sandwich Fillet.  It was so easy to put together.  Just like it says on the bag, just add a bun, and you’re done! 

Gorton's Fish Fillet Sandwich

Not only are Gorton’s Fish Sandwich Fillets so quick and easy to cook, but they are super tasty too!  Gorton’s seafood is always of high quality, and a great choice for a nutritious and filling dinner.

Gorton's Fish Fillet Sandwich

Want more inspiration for your Gorton’s meals?  Enter the Gorton’s Wicked Good Sweepstakes to win a trip for 4 to Boston, MA that includes airfare, lodging, activities, and spending money!! Sweepstakes ends on October 18 at 3 PM EST.  See Gorton’s site for official rules.

You can also find Gorton’s on the following social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gortonsseafood
Twitter: @GortonsSeafood
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gortonsseafood/

You can also download a $1.00 off Gorton’s Seafood products coupon

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will win the following prize package from Gorton’s:

  • Three $2.00 off Gorton’s product coupons
  • 1 Gorton’s branded ship wheel keychain
  • An assortment of recipe cards and Gorton’s postcards
This giveaway is open to US residents only and is not associated with or sponsored by Facebook. 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 282013
 

Halloween is always a fun and exciting time for kids, but there are many potential hazards to look out for. Keep your little monsters safe this year with these Halloween Safety TipsThis post contains affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link in this post and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.

15 Halloween Safety Tips

1.  Wear bright colored, easy to see costumes.  If your child must wear a dark costume, fasten reflective tape to it to make it easier for them to be seen by drivers.

What will you be, this Halloween?

2.  Avoid trick-or-treating alone.  Children should walk in groups of other children they know well, or with a trusted adult. Make sure all children know that they should wait for everyone to regroup before visiting the next home, so that no one gets separated from the group.

3.  Do not accept home-baked goods, open beverages or unwrapped candy. Candy apples and other baked goods can be enticing for children, but you just never know what might be in them. Carry a few bottles of water in case your children get thirsty while trick-or-treating.

4.  Examine all candy for evidence of tampering. Children should not eat any candy until they are home, and an adult has checked all candy. Things to check for include loose or ripped wrappers, candy that is not in its original packaging, holes or punctures in wrappers or boxes, lumps or bulges under wrappers, candy that has passed its expiration date, candy brands that you have never heard of, candy that has a strange smell.

5.  Check all candy for choking hazards. Only let your children eat candy that is appropriate for their age.

6.  Do not enter the homes of strangers.

7.  Choose costumes that fit your child well to avoid tripping and falling.

8.  If your child is wearing a mask, make sure they are able to see and breathe well through it.

9.  Always look both ways before crossing the street.

10.  Never get into a vehicle with a stranger.

11.  Only visit well-lit houses.

12.  Carry a flashlight to help you see, and to help others see you.

 Halloween Flashlight Projector

13. Make your children even more visible by having them wear glow bracelets or glow bracelets.

 Disney Frozen Glow Bracelet

14.  Have your child wear a whistle around their neck, to be used in the event of an emergency.

 ZITRADES 3pcs Emergency Hiking Camping Survival Aluminum Whistle Key Chain With Red/Green/Blue Color

15.  Make sure your children know all the ground rules before going out for the night.

What are some Halloween Safety Tips you and your family use?

Sep 282013
 

 

I am now accepting submissions for my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!  If you have a product that you feel would be a good fit for my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, please contact me at mindy@sincerelymindy.com with the details.  I would love to hear from you!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Advertising Options:

1.  Product Review – Provide me with a free product in exchange for my honest review.  Product must be full size, and will not be returned.  Your product will be featured in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, and shared on all of my social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

2. Giveaway – I will host a giveaway for your product on my blog, in exchange for a free full size product, or a set fee.  Your product will be featured in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, and shared on all of my social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

3.  Informational Post – Provide me with an informational post about your product, and I will feature it in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, as well as share it on all of my social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, in exchange for a free full size product, or a set fee.

4.  Social Media Posts – I will share social media updates written by you on any of my social media outlets of your choice, in exchange for a free full size product, or a set fee.  You may choose from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

Christmas is just around the corner, and potential customers are already searching for gifts to buy for their loved ones this year.  Don’t miss out on your chance to have your product featured in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!

Submissions will be open until December 24, 2013.  Products will start being featured mid-October.  Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today!  Contact me at mindy@sincerelymindy.com.

Every Girl Needs a Best Friend

 Posted by on September 27, 2013  No Responses »
Sep 272013
 

 

The story of how I met my best friend, Terri, is pretty darn adorable.  It was the summer of 1988, and my parents bought their first and only house, and moved my newborn sister, Angela, and I to the next town over from where were living.

I was nearing my 7th birthday, and would be starting second grade that fall.  Up to that point, I had not had very many friends, and I was incredibly shy. 

I kept to myself A LOT, so when a girl my age said “Hi, Wendy” to me as I rode my bike down our new street, I panicked and rode back to my house, and ran inside as fast as I could.  Not only did I not have a clue who this girl was, but she didn’t even call me by the correct name.

The next day, my cousin Michael and I were riding our bikes up the street together.  I thought I would be safe from this strange girl with him by my side.  As we rode up the street, however, a middle-aged woman stopped us at the end of her driveway.  She told us that she graduated high school with Michael’s Mom (my Aunt), and that she had a daughter our age who would love to play with us.  Once again, I completely clammed up and rode off on my bike.  Michael stood and talked to her for a minute.  I wondered if her daughter was the girl I had seen the day before.

Not long after that incident, there was a knock on our door.  It was that girl again, and she confirmed that it was her mother that stopped Michael and I as we rode our bikes.  She gave me her phone number, told me she lived just two houses up the street, and that we should get together to play sometime.  I laughed nervously.  She went back home.

I’m not exactly sure how much time passed before my Mom coaxed me to take her up on her invitation, but I did eventually go play with her one day, and we actually hit it off really fast.  I honestly don’t remember the exact day our friendship started, but by the time we went back to school in the fall, we were BFF’s. 

Terri and Me

Terri and me, first day of school – 3rd or 4th grade.

Throughout our elementary and junior high school years, Terri and I remained close.  It was easy to do when there was only one house in between our houses.  If she wasn’t at my house, I was at hers.  Her Mom, Dad and older sister, and even her grandparents and aunts and uncles, became like a second family to me.  Terri’s parents had a camper, and after my  Mom and Dad bought one too, we all went camping at the same campgrounds each summer.  It was awesome.

When high school arrived, we kind of grew apart for a bit.  We were still friends, but we didn’t hang out as much as we used to.  We had both made new friends and were hanging out with them more than we were with each other.  Some times we would get together with all of our friends, but not a whole lot.  By the end of our senior year in high school, we had found our way back to each other and were very close again. 

After we graduated high school, Terri went away to a college that was more than 3 hours away, while I continued to live with my parents and go to a local college.  I made the trip to visit her at college quite often on the weekends, when I wasn’t in class or working.  I never had the real college experience myself, so I got a little taste of it whenever I stayed in her dorm room with her.

Terri eventually moved out of the dorms and into an apartment with some other girls, and she got into a serious relationship.  Through all of that, though, we still remained close friends, and I still visited quite often.  She then moved in with her boyfriend, and I still visited them as much as I could.

One day, Terri and her boyfriend were back in town visiting Terri’s family, so I headed over to spend some time with them.  We all decided to take a trip up to the mountain.  Terri, her boyfriend and I took one vehicle, while her parents were in the vehicle behind us.  On our way up to the mountain, Terri turned around, looked me in the eye, and told me she was pregnant.  At first I thought she was joking.  Then, I realized she was dead serious.  I couldn’t believe it! 

Terri and Me

Terri and me decorating for her daughter’s birthday party.

We were only 21 years old, and I had never expected her to get pregnant at such a young age.  I was quite shocked.  She and her boyfriend were both very happy, though, so I was happy for them too.  They got married a few months after the baby arrived.  

A couple years after Terri gave birth to her daughter, and shortly after giving birth to a son, she moved to the same town I was living in.  We saw each other off an on, but not nearly as much as I wanted.  I was living with my ex-husband at the time, and he made it very difficult for me to go spend time with her.  That’s something I really regret to this day. 

Terri and Me

Terri and I spending some quality time together at her parents’ house a few years ago.

A couple years later, Terri and her husband made their way back to southern Maine, a few hours away from where I live.  Terri’s parents also moved to Florida last year, and sold her childhood home, 2 houses away from my parents’ house, so I rarely see her.  I’m lucky to see her once or twice a year now.  That makes me really, really sad. 

Whenever we do get together though, it’s like we’ve never been apart.  We are truly BFF’s, and I am so lucky to have her in my life.  No matter how far apart we are, or how rarely we see each other, she will always remain one of the most important people in my life. 

Terri & Family Meeting Kayleigh

Terri and her family meeting Kayleigh for the first time.

 Do you have a best friend that lives far away? 

Sep 272013
 

 

Darcy Zalewski of Tales From the Nursery and BabyZone recently shared her feelings of wife guilt, and reading her post was like looking in the mirror.  Everything she said rang all too true to me.

“I love my husband dearly, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel guilty about something. It could be about the kids, my health, my work, the house or my marriage. If I’m lucky it’s just one of those things, but there are days where they all weigh me down. I try not to stay trapped under there because that burden is tough to carry.” – Darcy Zalewski

I’ve been dealing with wife, well, fiance guilt, ever since I left my full-time Paralegal job at the end of March this year.  I was 7.5 months pregnant when I stopped working.  I spent most of my days preparing our home for Kayleigh’s arrival, and after everything was ready for her, I spent most of my days laying around on the couch, watching Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice all the way through for the 4th time on Netflix.

John and I Pre-BabyJohn and I, Pre-Baby

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was feeling pretty miserable.  I was huge, sore, tired, dealing with heartburn constantly and very cranky.  I wanted Kayleigh OUT, but she decided she would stay in there for 41 weeks! 

I had intended to start working on my blog again during those final weeks before her arrival.  I wasn’t earning a paycheck anymore, and felt like I needed to contribute financially still.  I just didn’t have it in me to do it though.  John would come home from a long day at work, and I would feel guilty that I just laid around all day doing nothing. 

Shortly after Kayleigh’s birth, I began working on my blog again, and it’s keeping me very busy now.  I currently have about 10 sponsored posts I need to get done, with several more on the horizon. Trying to write a blog post with a teething 4 month old screaming her head off most of the day is no easy task.

Most of my blog posts consist of going to the store and purchasing a company’s product.  Then, I need to come back home, use said product and take photos.  Then, I need to transfer the photos to my computer, edit them to look blog-worthy, and then I can finally start writing my post.  After I’ve written my post, I have to share it on all of my social media outlets, and then report my links to the sponsor.  It’s a very time-consuming process.

Because I spend so much time putting these blog posts together, housework is often neglected.  I do what I can, when I can, but I just can’t keep up with it all.  At any given moment, I’ve got about 4 loads of laundry to do, a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, a bathroom floor covered with hair, and trash that needs to be taken out to the dumpster. 

Kayleigh took a couple of really good naps yesterday, which is pretty unusual for her.  I decided to use the time to load all of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and then I pounded out 3 blog posts.  I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit, and was on cloud 9! 

John didn’t get home from work until 7:00pm, and by then I was busy trying to get Kayleigh ready for bed, so I asked him to make dinner.  I always feel guilty asking him to make dinner.  First of all, because I know he absolutely hates cooking, and second, because he’s been at work all day, and I know all he wants to do at the end of the day is come home and relax.

He made dinner without too much fuss, and I got Kayleigh down to sleep fairly early, which is highly unusual these days.  John and I were both too exhausted to actually do anything together though, so we just sat on the couch.  He browsed Facebook and I worked on my blog some more.  Sadly, most of our nights end up like this.  Just one more thing I feel guilty about!

This morning, I woke up in a really good mood.  Kayleigh actually slept through the night last night, and didn’t wake up until 6:50am!  Not only that, but I was very eager to watch last night’s season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy while enjoying my morning cup of coffee. 

My good mood turned sour real quick though, when John said to me right before he left for work “Don’t take this the wrong way…”.  Those are always promising words.  “…but do you think you could try to pick up around here today?” Ouch. I felt as though I had been kicked in the gut.  How could I not take that the wrong way??  He obviously feels like I don’t do a darn thing around here, is how I felt. 

My response in my snarkiest voice was “I’ll try.  I earned $125.00 yesterday, but I’m sorry the house didn’t get picked up!”  Then HE felt guilty and apologized for his comment to me.  I still felt like crap though. 

In my previous marriage, I was always the breadwinner.  After my divorce, I was able to fully support myself.  I haven’t been without a job since I was 17 years old, so it’s been a huge adjustment having to completely depend on someone else financially over the past 6 months.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over my feelings of guilt about not working outside the home.  I know I am doing what’s best for my daughter, and saving us daycare and additional vehicle expenses by staying home, but when my old payday rolls around each week, and my bank account balance still says $10.00, it really sucks.

I have resolved to not let my guilt take me over.  There will always be things to feel guilty about.  If I was bringing home a regular paycheck, I would feel guilty about putting Kayleigh in daycare, and not seeing her as much as I would like.  If my house was the cleanest house in town, I’d feel guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with her, or trying to earn money from home.

Kayleigh will never be this little again, and right now I am going to soak up ever minute I can get with her.  All I can do is take everything one day at a time, and do the best I can.  I may not be perfect, but I am a great Mom, and a pretty good fiance.  

Have you ever dealt with wife guilt?  How did you get through it?

Sep 262013
 

 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Starburst. I received product samples to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

So, I have a confession to make… I sort of have a girl-crush on Tori Spelling.  I have seen every episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 about a million times (I still watch re-runs on a weekly basis), I’ve seen every episode of Tori & Dean, and I follow her blog, ediTORIal.  I really admire Tori Spelling as an actress, a woman, and a Mom.  Would you have ever imagined that she would have FOUR children??  I certainly didn’t, but when I watch her with them, she is just wonderful!

In addition to being an amazing Mom, Tori Spelling is an excellent entertainer, and has some really great crafting ideas!  Tori recently teamed up with Starburst Candy Corn to make some super cute Halloween decorations.

Tori Spelling for Starburst

WARNING:  If you decide to make any of these cute Halloween decorations using Starburst Candy Corn, buy a few extra bags because you will want to eat them ALL!  They are soooo delicious, and highly addictive!!

Starburst Candy Corn

I absolutely adore all of Tori’s Halloween craft ideas.  Gosh, she is just so clever!  I decided to make a Festive Favor, similar to the ones Tori made, but I used materials I had on hand.  In all honesty, I really wanted to make a more elaborate craft, like the Delightful Door Hanger, but I could not stop eating the Starburst Candy Corn!  I intend to go buy some more so that I can make some of Tori’s other crafts to decorate my home for Halloween.

I took a small mason jar with lid and filled it with Starburst Candy Corn.  Then, I took a piece of cardstock, cut out a circle and put that on top of the lid.  Finally, I took a piece of cheesecloth, and tied it around the jar.  I think it came out really cute!  You could also add a tag to this favor, with a nice little saying on it if you wanted. 

Festive Favors with Starburst Candy Corn

Here are Tori Spelling’s crafty ideas using Starburst Candy Corn.  You can find the directions for each of these projects here.

1. Candied Cupcakes

Starburst Candy Corn Cupcakes

2.  Crispy Candy Corn Treats

Crispy Candy Corn Treats

 3.  Festive Favors

Festive Favors

4.  Magnificent Mum Ball

Magnificent Mum Ball

5.  Picture Perfect Place Cards

Picture Perfect Place Cards

 6.  Noteworthy Napkin Rings

Noteworthy Napkin Rings

7.  Bewitching Bangle and 8. Sweet Statement Necklace

Bewitching Bangle and Sweet Statement Necklace

9.  Perfectly-Pleasing Picture Frame

Perfectly-Pleasing Picture Frame

 10.  Delightful Door Hanger

Delightful Door Hanger

11.  Creative Candy Corn Cobweb

Creative Candy Corn Cobweb

Aren’t these Halloween crafts just gorgeous??  There are really so many things you can create with Starburst Candy Corn.  I’m thinking about making a cute Halloween wreath for my front door!

Which one of Tori’s Starburst Candy Corn crafts is your favorite? 

 

Sep 262013
 

 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for McCain Foods. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

Growing up in Maine, John and I have both had our fair share of potatoes over the years.  My Dad always had a garden full of potatoes, and pretty much every dinner we had, included potatoes in some form.  They were a really inexpensive and filling side dish, a necessity for a one-income family with three kids.

Potato

You may think that having so many potatoes as a child would cause me to grow tired of them, but that’s just not the case.  I still love potatoes, in every form, to this very day.  Potatoes are so versatile, that you can really get creative with them.  I eat them as a side dish, a snack, and some times, as an entire meal!

John and I don’t have a garden full of potatoes, and my Dad doesn’t anymore either, but we are still able to get our potato fix with McCain Potatoes products.  They have several different varieties to choose from, so we never grow tired of them.  We especially enjoy all of their fries!

 McCain LogoMcCain Potatoes products are really great because they are inexpensive, made with natural ingredients, taste wonderful, and are so convenient for busy families. 

While we love McCain’s fries straight out of the bag (and baked, of course!), we also like to get a little fancy and dress them up a bit sometimes.  Below is a list of 10 great ways to dress up fries.  The possibilities for dressing up fries are really endless.  Just use your imagination, and see what you can come up with!

10 Ways to Dress Up Fries

 1.  Waffle Fry Burger Bites – Top waffle fries with mini burgers, pickles, bacon, ketchup, mustard, etc.  Use toothpicks to hold them together.  These make great appetizers!

2.  Poutine – Poutine is a Canadian tradition, but is also very popular here in Maine.  I’ve seen it on quite a few different menus around here.  Traditionally, poutine is made by topping fries with brown gravy and cheese curd, but you can really use any kind of cheese you’d like!  This is a really great comfort dish.

3.  Nacho Fries – Top fries with your favorite nacho fixins – cheese, salsa, hamburg, onions, jalapenos, etc.  If you like nachos, you’ll really love these!

4. Garlic Dill Fries – Top fries with garlic salt & dill.  Add a splash of vinegar to spice them up even more!

5.  Pizza Fries – Top your favorite fries with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni for some delicious pizza fries!

6.  Buffalo Chicken Fries – Top fries with buffalo chicken pieces, cheddar cheese & ranch dressing!

7. Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Fries – Sweet potato fries are so yummy when topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon & sugar!

8. Loaded Fries – Top your favorite fries with cheese, bacon, & jalapenos or scallions.

9.  Rosemary Parmesan Fries – Fries sprinkled with rosemary & Parmesan cheese are amazing!

10.  Chili Fries – Top fries with your favorite chili & shredded cheese.

 McCain Grocery Goodness Giveaway

Grocery Cart

McCain Potatoes is running a Facebook Contest where they will select 1 winner each week (8 winners total) to receive a $500 grocery store gift card!  Contestants can also check out the Grocery Goodness Giveaway tab for to receive a $1 off coupon off any 1 bag of McCain Potatoes products!

Load up on groceries your family loves, and bring naturally good moments to the dinner table every time you serve McCain Potatoes.

Do you like your fries plain, or do you dress them up a bit too?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

Potato image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Why I Could Never Be a Military Wife

 Posted by on September 23, 2013  No Responses »
Sep 232013
 

 

As I sit here, typing this post, I’m holding back tears.  I miss John.  I really really miss him.  He left for Boston (about a 5 hour drive from here) earlier today, and won’t return home until late Tuesday evening.   He’s there for a 2-day work conference that we’ve known about for a few months now, but that still wasn’t enough time for me to prepare myself for the absence I feel when I am not with him.  This is the first night we have been apart in a couple of years, I think.  This is also the first time he has ever spent a night away from Kayleigh. 

John and Kayleigh

John spending some quality time with Kayleigh last night.

I know a lot of women whose husbands are in the military, and spend months, or even years apart from them.  I just can’t even imagine the pain they go through every single time they have to say good-bye.  Not to mention the fact that most of the time they don’t know where their husbands are, what they’re doing, or even if they will ever see them again.

I know exactly where John is, what he’s doing, and when I will see him again, yet I still worry about him being out there on his own, and I still miss him like crazy. 

John & I
Our last outing together before Kayleigh’s arrival.  Bar Harbor, Maine.

I am so incredibly lucky to be able to spend so much time with John.  I don’t think I would ever make it as a military wife.  Military wives are my heroes.  Seriously.  I think that’s why I love the show Army Wives so much.  It kind of gives me a peek into their lives, without actually having to go through it myself.

John, Kayleigh and I

John, Kayleigh & I at a family reunion this summer.

Military wives are so incredibly strong and brave, and I don’t think they get nearly enough credit.  They take care of their families while their husbands are off fighting wars.  They somehow keep it all together, when I’m sure all they want to do is fall apart inside.  I wish I could find the strength.  I haven’t seen John in 12 hours, and I’m already coming undone.  Kayleigh and I are spending these two nights at my parents’ house, just so I don’t have to be alone in our apartment.  I’d go crazy. 

A lot of military wives even give birth to their kids without their husbands by their side.  John was right by my side during my entire 24 hour labor with Kayleigh.  He was my rock.  He kept me going when I didn’t think I had anything left in me.  I can’t even fathom going through that without him.

John and I
John sitting next to me in between contractions while I was in labor.                    

When John and I brought Kayleigh home from the hospital together, that was a very special moment that we got to share, and will always remember.  I can’t imagine bringing her home to an empty house.  I would feel so heartbroken and lonely, and I’m sure these women do, but they somehow find the strength to carry on.  They just amaze me.

John, Kayleigh and I
John, Kayleigh and I at Fort Point State Park this summer.

So, military wives…my hats off to you ladies.  I respect and admire you for all you do for your children, your husbands and your country.  And I thank you for your sacrifice.  It does not go unnoticed. 

Are you a military wife?  How do you get through the long periods without your husband?

 

Sep 182013
 

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Betty Crocker® through MyBlogSpark.  I received free product in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

Betty Crocker and Hershey’s recently joined forces to bring you 12 exciting and delicious new frostings, cookie and cupcake mixes!  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try a few of these products out, and I have been absolutely dying to tell you about them!

BCHersheyBanner

I received a Chocolate Cupcake Mix with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Frosting Filling, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Frosting, and Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Cookie mix.  I also received a cupcake decorating kit, cupcake plunger (used to fill the cupcakes with frosting) and a $10 Walmart gift card, to buy extra supplies like cupcake wrappers, etc.  I had so much fun baking, decorating, and eating!  

prize package

First off, I baked the chocolate cupcakes.  They smelled so good fresh out of the oven.  I couldn’t wait to eat them, but I knew they would be even better with the Reese’s peanut butter frosting filling, and then frosted with the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Frosting, so I held myself back from scarfing one down right then and there. 

After the cupcakes cooled off enough, I used my cupcake plunger to hollow out a hole in each of the cupcakes. 

Reese's Cupcakes

Then I used the round tip of my cupcake decorating kit to fill each of them with ooey gooey Reese’s peanut butter frosting filling. 

Reese's Cupcakes

I then used the cupcake decorating kit again to frost the top of the cupcakes with the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Frosting.  Before I could eat the cupcakes, I had to take pictures for you all.  John was sitting in the corner, looking on and drooling.  He kept asking me if I was done taking pictures yet, because he wanted one of those cupcakes! 

I finished up my pictures, and finally had the opportunity to try one of the cupcakes.  I cannot even describe to you just how delicious they are.  They are super moist, and the peanut butter and chocolate combination is to die for. 

Reese's Cupcake

These were probably the best cupcakes I have ever baked at home.  John doesn’t usually like frosting (he always requests strawberry shortcake instead of a regular cake on his birthday), but he actually loved the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Frosting.  It’s not over the top sweet like a lot of cake frostings.  It’s really thick and creamy, and smooth. 

Reese's Cupcake

The peanut butter frosting filling tastes so amazing, and was just the right amount.  All around, these cupcakes were out of this world!

Reese's Cupcake

Next up, I baked the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme cookies.  These cookies have white chocolate chips, and milk chocolate bits in them, and they are sooo scrumptious!

Hershey's Cookies n'' Creme Cookies

I like that the cookies are not overly sweet.  They have just a delicate flavor to them, and are perfect with a glass of milk!

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Cookies

I can’t wait to try out the other products from Betty Crocker and Hershey’s!

GIVEAWAY

If you’d like to try out these products for yourself, here’s your chance!  One lucky reader will win the same Betty Crocker/Hershey’s package I received!  This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on 9/30/13.  To enter to win, simply complete as many entries as you wish using the Rafflecopter application below.  Good luck!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy Canvas Prints Review & Giveaway

 Posted by on September 16, 2013  2 Responses »
Sep 162013
 

Disclosure:  I received a free canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints to facilitate a review.  All opinions are 100% my own.  

Canvas
Christmas is right around the corner.  Hard to believe, huh?!  This year, I wanted to get something really special for my Mom for Christmas.  She’s been through a lot over the last couple of years, dealing with my Dad’s illness, and I wanted to get her something that would put a smile on her face.

My Mom is a huge fan of photos.  She loves taking them, receiving them from other people, and most of all, decorating her home with them.  She has photos of everyone in our family all over her house, with the exception of herself and my Dad, that is. 

When Easy Canvas Prints offered to send me a 16 x 20 canvas print for review, I just knew that I had to create one for my Mom.  I sneakily went through her Facebook photo albums, and found a super cute photo that she took of herself and my Dad.  I immediately knew it was the photo. I just had to have it printed on the canvas!

mom and dad

Original Image

After I found the photo I wanted to use, I went to www.easycanvasprints.com.  I clicked on the START YOUR CANVAS button, and then the GET STARTED button under single canvas. 

Next, I chose my canvas size, 16 x 20, and my wrap thickness. Then, I uploaded my image from my computer.  There was also an option to upload from Facebook and Instagram, which I thought was really cool.

One thing I really love about Easy Canvas Prints, is that after I uploaded my image, this little “Check Your Image Quality” box appeared, and let me know that my picture was of good quality, with high enough resolution to look good on a canvas print.  Nobody wants to spend money on a canvas print when the picture quality isn’t enough to make it look good!

image quality checker

Next, I chose my border style, optional color finishing, and optional image retouching, and then added my order to my cart.  From there, I checked out very quickly, and that was it!  It was so fast and easy, I couldn’t believe it!

The day my canvas print arrived, I was beyond excited to open it up and look at it.  I am extremely pleased with how well it turned out.  I will say, when you look at the canvas right up close, it looks a bit blurry, but from a small distance away, it looks fantastic! I can’t wait to see my Mom’s face when she opens this up on Christmas morning! 

Easy Canvas Prints

Image on Canvas Print

 GIVEAWAY

Like what you see??  Well, Easy Canvas Prints is giving away an 8 x 10 canvas print to one lucky reader!  All you have to do to enter, is simply complete the entries using the Rafflecopter application below.  This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents, and will end on 9/30/13. 

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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