Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's National Pumpkin Day

pumpkin carving in 2012

It's that time of year for pumpkins!  And today's the day to celebrate it.

I'd like to say that we are master pumpkin carvers but it could be further from the truth.  It's been a few years since we've even tried.  Mouths end up cockeyed and eyes end up crooked.

Interesting fact:  I learned that the United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins, with Illinois producing more than any other state.  Illinois doesn't get much recognition for the good things, so the pumpkin fact is one I'm proud of.

I posted this recipe last year but thought I'd show it to you again, in case you missed it the first time around. :

Pumpkin Marshmallow Pillows


 Crescent Rolls
Large Marshmallows
Melted Butter
Cinnamon & Sugar
Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Puree


 Unroll the crescent rolls and lay each individual one flat. Add a tablespoon of pumpkin puree to each crescent by spreading it on with a knife. Take a large marshmallow and coat it in the melted butter, then roll it in cinnamon  & sugar. Place the marshmallow on crescent roll. Wrap up the crescent roll around the marshmallow, securing all openings. Dip the whole "pillow" into the melted butter. Add a pinch of pumpkin spice on top of each pillow. Place into the oven and follow instructions of the crescent rolls for bake time.

What foods to you like that include pumpkin?
Do you carve pumpkins for Autumn/ Halloween?

Bookaboo "Takes to the Stage” on Prime Video this Friday - Children's Show Review

I received products in exchange for this post.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded video.

Amazon is launching an original kid series, Bookaboo, on October 28th on Prime Video in the US and UK.  This new preschool show, featuring special guests, combines puppetry, live action and CGI animation to help families find their reading rhythm. 

Bookaboo will debut on October 28 exclusively for Prime members.  Prime members can download the series to mobile devices for offline viewing. The entire first season of Bookaboo will be available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Video app for TVs; connected devices, including Amazon Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at

The rocking series follows Bookaboo as he tours the globe with his bandmates Paws and Growler, playing drums to packed stadiums of adoring fans. There’s only one hitch – Bookaboo just can't play without a story a day! The precocious pup finds creative ways to avoid performing, leading to laugh-out-loud comedy sketches and silly songs. To empower Bookaboo to return to the stage, a famous face appears in each episode to share a favorite story. The picture book that the celebrity guest brings in the special “bookabag” is brought to vibrant life through animation and an interactive, energetic reading that restores Bookaboo’s “bojo.”

I had the chance to preview an episode of Bookaboo, and watched it with a couple of my younger nieces.  Bookaboo and his friends are puppets in a band and Bookaboo, the main character, is a rock 'n roll kinda dog.  He can't play until a book is read to him.  Celebrities that most of us are familiar with show up to read a story to Bookaboo.  While the story is being read, Bookaboo and that celebrity interject with their reactions.  The illustrations from the stories come to life so kids viewing can get a feel for the story that's being read.  It's then that Bookaboo can take the stage and rock out.

Bookaboo is a fine show for youngsters.  Kids will get a kick out of the characters, and will enjoy going along with the story.  It's not an overly annoying or campy show, and I think most adults will agree that it's educational and delightful.

Will your child be watching Bookaboo on Amazon Prime Video?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Mums and Cubs

I skipped out on Random Tuesday Thoughts with Stacy Uncorked last week but, never fear, I'm back in the game.
My kitty, Misty, turned one year old on the 13th.  I was more excited about it than she was.  Don't tell the dog, but Misty is my favorite.
They say it's my birthday
I'm not a baseball fan by any stretch of the imagination.  For those that are in the area, it's a battle between the Cardinals and the Cubs.  I actually did tune in to the bottom of the ninth to see the Cubs get their spot for the World Series.  It's the first time in 71 years, so I'm actually pretty excited to see the World Series.  If just for the palpable excitement.
I don't have a green thumb to save my soul but I'm fairly decent at keeping mums alive.  They're also one of my favorite flower species.  I mentioned to my hubby that I'd like to have one.  The next day he came home and surprised me with a large mum.  He definitely spoils me.  Now to prove to him that I can keep it alive.
I went to Kmart the other day to browse around and noticed their summer apparel was on sale for $1.99 each.  I stocked up on a few blouses for myself.  Later I noticed that I got 10,000 Shop Your Way bonus rewards (equals $10).  In other words, they paid me to take their clothes.  Score!

Saturday was the last roller derby bout of the season.  Being that my daughter and I are alumni, we were able to get in for free.  I hadn't watched any of the bouts yet this season and going on Saturday made me miss being a part of the team.  (But not enough that I'm going to do it again.)  It was kinda neat because it was Battle of the Sexxes.  Capital City Hooligans (all men's team) and DRDC (all women's team).  Although the men's team won, both played a fierce game.  
Me and Shelby at the roller derby bout
What  have you been up to lately?
Have any tips or advice on keeping mums healthy?
Find any good bargains at stores recently?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Our Stay at Harpole's Heartland Lodge - Sunset Valley Lodge

I received free stay in exchange for this post. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
sitting area and bar area on main floor of lodge

A few weeks ago I posted about my stay in the Grand View Suite at Harpole's Heartland Lodge.  It was such a beautiful area to spend my 14th wedding anniversary with my husband.  The suite itself was magnificent but the rest of the lodge was just as grand.

I can't say enough good things about the place. If you ever want to go for a romantic getaway, have an event with family, or hang out with your gal pals, I highly recommend Harpole's Heartland Lodge.
part of the kitchen area

If you rent one of the rooms or suites in the Sunset Valley Lodge, you not only get a beautiful space to rest and relax but you also get access to the rest of the lodge.  I liken it to having your own private bedroom but shared kitchen, laundry room, game room, and sitting area.

mud room/laundry room

The place is immaculately clean.  To help keep it that way, guests are required to take off their shoes at the mud room.  The entire lodge has an outdoor woodsy theme.

The main floor of the lodge has a full kitchen area with dishes and cooking supplies.  There's an elegant dining table with several chairs for a sit-down meal.  There's also a laundry room/mud room.  An entertainment area on the main floor has lots of comfy lounge chairs and a large flat-screen TV.  There's also a fireplace.

pool table and air hockey

If you're in the mood for some entertainment, there's a gaming center downstairs.  You can play shuffleboard, air hockey, and pool for free.  A full unstocked bar is also available downstairs.  

Lots of chairs and sitting space adorns the area.  Even if there are other groups or people staying in the lodge, there's plenty of space for everyone to mingle.

downstairs area

When Jason and I stayed there, we shared the lodge with just one other couple who are in their early thirties.  We hung out with them for a few hours.  It was their third time staying at the lodge, and it's for the same reasons we love the place.  

common dining area where food from staff is served

If you choose not to use the full kitchen and dining table area at the Sunset Valley Lodge, you do have the option of purchasing a meal package.  With that, you get home-cooked food from the staff.  The approximate cost for each meal per person is $25. There's no way you should go away hungry.  There's enough food to feed and army, and it is oh-so-delicious.  If you do go with the meal package, you will have to drive about a mile from the Sunset Valley Lodge to the other lodge where the common dining room is.  Depending on who else has purchased the meal package, you may be eating with other guests.  For supper, we dined with five hunters.  For breakfast, Jason and I were the only ones who ate there.

Waffles, pancakes, granola yogurt, coffee, orange juice, strawberries, quiche, vanilla muffins, and biscuits & gravy was served for breakfast.

Harple's Heartland Lodge is one of the best places we've ever stayed. You can tell that owners and staff take pride in their business.  Harpole's Heartland Lodge is located in rural Nebo, IL. You have to go "over the river and through the woods" to get there, but it's absolutely worth it. We're already in the planning stages to go with friends early next year.

Harpole's Heartland Lodge offers ATV riding, horseback riding, and other activities as well. They also host four girls getaway weekends, and will be hosting two couple weekends in 2017.

Isle of Dogs - Pet Grooming Products Review and Giveaway

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

My dog, Helen, loooves baths. Just say the word and she's in the tub by the time you've got the water ready. Unfortunately, she's got dry, itchy skin. So we have to be careful about what we put on her fur. Recently I was given the opportunity to use the CoCoClean Line from Isle of Dogs, and it's been favorable on her skin.  Isle of Dogs sells a line of canine health and beauty products, sourced and made in the USA.

CocoClean is their collection of shampoos, conditioners, and brush sprays that are soap-free, sulfate free, paraben free and infused with coconut oil. The alleged benefit of using coconut oil on a dog is that it promotes a healthy and soft coat, and helps relieve dry, itchy skin.

I've used the Calming Shampoo with lavender + lemon balm fragrance on Helen a handful of times now. By using that with the Brush Spray of the same fragrance, I've seen a lot less itching coming from Helen. She used to drive me nuts because she'd spend half the day scratching, scratching, and scratching some more. I'm relieved that I don't have to listen to her scratch herself as often, and I'm sure she's relieved that she doesn't itch near as much. It's a win-win for both of us.

In order for the Brush Spray to fully be effective, it needs to be sprayed on the dog's coat and then brushed in.  I tried just spraying it on her coat but it didn't seem to get to the skin.  And the whole idea is to improve overall skin condition.

In addition to cleansing my pet's coat, the shampoo also provides a sheen. The dog looks so clean and pretty after she's gotten a bath with the shampoo.  And she smells pretty darn good too.  Isle of Dogs is a company that I recommend for the care of your pet dogs.
Win It!

One person will win Isle of Dogs Calming Shampoo and Brush Spray.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's National Bologna Day

(photo credit: Taste of Home)

It's National Bologna Day.  And as you all know, I'm full of it!

Who remembers this popular song? :

My bologna has a first name.  It's O-S-C-A-R.
My bologna has a second name.  It's M-A-Y-E-R.
Oh, I love to eat it everyday.
If you ask me why, I'll say...
'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

Bologna is one of my favorite lunchmeats.  Slap it on some bread with cheese and mayonnaise, and I'm good to go.

How do you like to eat your bologna?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Sox Market - Socks Review

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

I have a serious sock obsession.  I own enough socks for six people, and I don't see the habit stopping anytime soon. And I don't go for any particular length or pattern.  I'm all in with 'em all.  

The Sox Market is just the place to feed my mania.  It's a new online destination for socks and legwear.  There's everything from sport specific socks to fun and funky socks.  

I received a pair of World's Softest Socks from The Sox Market.  The way they feel on my feet is marvelous.  Especially during the colder weather, the socks keep my feet warm and make them feel cozy. The softness is felt both inside and outside, with an ultra-soft knit for comfort. The oh-so-soft socks I have from World's Softest are comfortable and fit just right.  This particular pair goes just above the knee and have a colorful design.
Jason received a pair of Browning Heavy Weight Merino Wool Blend Socks.  I searched The Sox Market site for these particular socks and didn't see them, so I'm not sure if they're out of stock or not carried by them anymore.  Either way, The Sox Market does have other brands of wool and thermal socks available.  

Jason, unlike me, doesn't have a sock obsession.  He's happy as long as they're comfortable and fight right.  The Browning Socks he received are very thick and heavy, especially great for colder weather.  They trap warmth and wick away moisture.  The socks have a silhouette of a deer, the company's logo.  

I'm impressed with the selection that The Sox Market has to offer.

What kind of socks do you like to wear?