12/7/13

Three Winner Announcements

We have three new winners!

Pet Treats Box - Diane Therkildsen

Lalaloopsy Workshop - Laurie Emerson

$15 Little Caesars Gift Card - Jennifer Wexler

Congratulations to the winners!
Enter more giveaways HERE!

Win Your Christmas Gifts Here

Want to see who is winning?
Click HERE for the list of winners!

Christmas Elf Texas Style Day 7

Sting The Scorpion admires photos of himself online.

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE.

12/6/13

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah DVD Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received this DVD at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Here is a DVD you'll definitely want to add to your family's holiday collection! The Promise: Birth of the Messiah, The Animated Musical filled me with joy and hope. There is no greater story in history and this rendition of it is truly magical. The singing is absolutely fabulous and it brought me to tears several times. The animation by Glorious Films is truly incredible. The Gospel of Luke is one that every family should share with their children and in today's world of technology and screens, this short 45 minute DVD can cut through all the "noise" of life to share the message of truth.

I encourage you to take just a minute to view this short video trailer and then enter below to WIN this fabulous DVD for your family's collection. You can order The Promise HERE.

Voila! Hallah Egg Bread Mixes - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Bread is one of life's simplest (and most delicious) pleasures and the tradition of breaking bread together is one near and dear to my heart. I received three Voilà! Hallah Egg Bread Mixes: Simply Spelt, Traditional, and Wholey Wheat. Created by Tribes-A-Dozen, these bread mixes are very easy to prepare, either in the oven or the bread machine (although the bread loses its nostalgic twisted look when prepared in the bread machine).
This wholesome, all natural, kosher hallah (or challah bread) is also called barches, brioche, kalács, osterbrot, or twisted bread. Hallah has deep spiritual meaning in the Jewish faith, but traditional egg bread is enjoyed by everyone. The Voilà! Hallah Bread Mixes are delicious and I found them simple to make. This bread came out so soft and delicious. I love baking bread at home because there are few things more wonderful than a warm piece of freshly baked bread (especially when slathered with real butter) plus the scent of bread baking is heavenly.
Breadmaking at home with your children can easily become a fun, family tradition with Voilà! Hallah Bread and it's a wonderful skill to pass on to the next generation. Go visit www.tribesadozen.com to order or to find a store location near you that carries these mixes. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter, then enter below to win all three varieties!
Enter to win Voilà! Hallah Bread Mix in all three varieties!
To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the continental US. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/16/2013. Good luck!

Lalaloopsy Stocking Stuffers - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Still looking for the perfect stocking stuffers? Delight her with these adorable Mini Lalaloopsy Loopy Hair Dolls! These tiny little dolls are packed with big fun for girls. Spot Splatter Splash comes with long, loopy, yellow hair, plus a comb and three darling sets of hair clips for hours of pretend play.
Mittens Fluff N Stuff features long, loopy, blue hair, plus comb and hair clips in three trendy styles. Mini Lalaloopsy Dolls are a great toy to take along on your holiday vacation to keep your little one busy in the backseat or on a boring plane trip. At just $9.99 each, they are great gifts for school gift exchanges too! Visit www.lalaloopsy.com to see their HUGE collection of toys. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too. Then enter below to win BOTH of these charming Mini Lalaloopsy Dolls!
Win TWO Mini Lalaloopsy Loopy Hair Dolls!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Come back daily to tweet and snag a daily entry. Giveaway ends at midnight 12/16/2013. Good luck and Loopy Holidays to you!

Warm Your Feet with Heat Holders Socks - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
BRRR...it's cold outside! Winter has definitely settled across the nation and keeping warm is a top priority. When my feet are cold I'm cold all over, but these new Heat Holders thermal socks are keeping my feet toasty warm. They are the BEST thermal socks I've ever had the pleasure of wearing.
Heat Holders boast a 2.3 thermal tog rating, placing them far ahead of normal thermal socks in terms of warmth and heat holding capabilities. They offer socks for men and women, as well as for little feet, and they come in a huge array of beautiful colors, lengths, and styles.
Look at the warm fuzzy interior of these Heat Holders! They are nice and thick, without feeling bulky or cumbersome. The extra-long looped pile adds to the overall warmth and coziness. I've been wearing mine around the house constantly and they are amazing boot socks too.
If you donate to any charities that benefit the homeless, you will forever bless them with a pair of these Heat Holders! These are a wonderful, warm holiday gift for everyone in your family and for all your friends too. Shop at www.heatholders.com and be sure follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Then enter below to win FIVE pair of your choice of Heat Holders socks!
Win FIVE pair of Heat Holders of your choice!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US residents, ages 18+. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. You can even come back every day to tweet again and earn a daily entry. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/16/2013. Good luck and stay warm!

Tonguespank Spice Company - Review and #Recipe

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
If you like cooking with peppers and liquor, you are going to LOVE the spice blends at Tonguespank Spice Company. This Chicago-based company is in its beginning stages, but I predict great success for them! I received three of their adventurous spices in these darling little corked glass jars (which look fabulous on my spice display) that arrived tucked inside little drawstring gift bags.
You can see from the photo that these are no ordinary spices. They currently offer five heat-inducing spice blend flavors - Garlic Grappa, Smoky Bourbon, Citrus Rum, Wasabi Sake, and Scorpion Bourbon. I decided to spice up a dinner for my hot husband and I with a fabulous new recipe creation. It was incredibly delicious and yes, I scored.
Smoky Bourbon Chicken Recipe 
(for two)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a baking dish, toss 1/2 cup dry macaroni in the bottom.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup chicken base with 1 tsp olive oil and stir, pour over macaroni.
Set 2-3 chicken pieces on top of the macaroni.
Generously sprinkle Tonguespank Smoky Bourbon Spice Blend over chicken pieces.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for one hour.

Note 1: the spices will also flavor the macaroni.
Note 2: Have ice water handy while dining.
Tonguespank Spice Company is currently offering spice blend sample packs during their kickstarter campaign and will soon be offering gift packs. Heat up your holiday cooking this year and give someone the gift of great taste!


Christmas Elf Texas Style Day 6

Sting The Scorpion bangs out his favorite tune - Stingle Bells!

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE.

5 Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids Values

Contributed By Kathy Saulitis

The holiday season is filled with opportunities for children to be caring and compassionate. And for parents, it starts with showing your kids how it’s done! Let your children see you helping elderly neighbors rake their leaves, being kind to those around you in crowded stores, collecting canned goods for the hungry.

Here are 5 easy ways to teach your kids values.

1. Talk to your children about issues affecting your neighborhood, your community and the world. When my oldest son was in elementary school and was involved in a holiday food drive, he didn't immediately see why people needed help at all. His initial reaction was, “They just need to go get a job!” In simple language, I explained about income versus expenses and how the very people we were helping to feed may be working several jobs but still are short for food. As a young problem-solver, he thought for a while and then suggested ideas for how our country might deal with hunger in new ways. He got it!

2. Use the dinner hour to talk about reaching out to others. Do you have a neighbor that may be sick or lonely? Are there struggling families in your community? Do you know someone in the service who is deployed? Talk to your children about how they feel about these situations and get their input on ways your family can help.

3. Appeal to your children’s interests. Does your family love the outdoors? Do your kids like to get their hands dirty? Try volunteering for a park or beach clean-up or help plant a community garden. The more you draw on your children’s interests, the more motivated they become.

4. Find a hands-on, family-friendly volunteer project. You can find family-friendly project ideas and resources at www.generationOn.org or check out your local HandsOn Network affiliate.

5. Start a family tradition of volunteer service during the holidays. The holidays are times of excitement, tradition and family togetherness. When our children were younger, we would make Holiday Hope Chests to donate to area homeless shelters. It was fun to watch the kids choose with care their special gifts for children they imagined opening the boxes on Christmas morning. When the holidays end and the new year begins, remember every day is an opportunity to teach your kids to care and share, be compassionate and have an attitude of gratitude for even the smallest things in life.

Santa Loves Frost - Come Visit - Free Photos

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Frost wants to help you capture the moment to make it last. Avoid the hustle and bustle this holiday season when you step into Frost for photos with Santa. Guests can enjoy holiday cookies and drinks next to the Christmas tree while they await their chance to cozy up to the big guy in red. Photos will be taken in the living-room-like setting known as the Frost Room. Set among the twinkling lights, Santa will start his gift-giving early this season when he presents children with candy canes and complimentary framed photos.

Frost enters a market not only to serve the area’s financial needs, but also to play a part in bettering the community for years to come. Frost strives to make a difference in fun and heart-warming ways during the holidays and throughout the year. Dedication to community is embedded in Frost’s culture and has been since the company began in 1868.

Saturday, December 7th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Cedar Park Financial Center
1450 E. Whitestone Blvd.
Cedar Park, Texas 78613

Mueller Financial Center
1200 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Bldg. 2
Austin, Texas 78723

William Cannon Financial Center
4301 W. William Cannon Drive, Building 1
Austin, Texas 78749

All events are free and open to the public.

Easy Mason Jar Christmas Decor Idea

Take two holiday colored paper straws and hold them in place in a mason jar.
Gently drop in Christmas candies, like Hershey's Rolos,
around the straws until candies reach the top.
Add a few at the base of the mason jar.
For a more festive look, use three jars with different colored straws
and different types of holiday candies.

Find more major jar decor ideas HERE.

12/5/13

Christmas Elf Texas Style Day 5

Sting The Scorpion ferociously hoards the Christmas candy!

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE.

Win $50 Amazon or Paypal - The Reaping Book Blast

reaping
The Reaping The government is on the verge of perfecting its loyalty serum, and Terra knows exactly what that means—the agents will have absolute control. Terra has survived the labor camp, the agents, and the soldiers who hound her as she brings nomads to the water's edge. But now she faces her most daunting challenge yet: she must return to the colony to ask the council—and her father—to help her destroy the loyalty serum. With the aid of old friends and unexpected allies, Terra races toward a confrontation that will decide her fate on the Burn forever.

Buy the ebook: Amazon * Apple * B&N * Smashwords
Buy the paperback: Amazon * CreateSpace

 Enter to win below!

12/4/13

Bil-Jac Grain Free Dog Treats - Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review.
A well-behaved dog is a wonderful thing. Whenever I take Buddy on his walks, people always remark about how well he walks with me, always staying on my left. Even when we come to a street crossing, he will sit down when I stop walking, then stand up when I start walking again. He is a "good boy" because I've spent many hours loving on him and working with him. A well-trained dog is priceless.
I'm very excited to introduce you to Bil-Jac Grain Free Dog Treats. Buddy is very excited to help me introduce you to them because he gets lots of treats for our photography session. These treats are made from real chicken and sweet potatoes, with no grain, no gluten, and no sprayed-on rendered fat, so I feel good about being able to reward him. Plus since they are small treats, I'm not loading him up with tons of extra calories. We've trusted Bil-Jac treats for training for a long time now!
 Look at his nose twitching. His ears are calmly back and he waits patiently, eyeing the treat.
 Buddy doesn't mind laying down, but he keeps his eyes on the treats!
 Settling is not as easy, as it means taking his eyes off the prize, 
but Buddy finally settles to the ground.

Bil-Jac wants to help you have a "good dog" too. Check out all these great treats they offer. You can use their Store Locator to find a location near you that sells Bil-Jac premium treats, including the NEW Grain Free Dog Treats, plus premium foods for dogs of all kinds. These dog treats are perfect stocking stuffers for the furry members of your household!
on Facebook ~~~ on Twitter ~~~ on Pinterest
  

  
Two readers will win a free bag of Bil-Jac Grain Free Dog Treats!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends on 12/15/2013. Good luck!

Shirley J Cookie Mixes - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
You probably already know that I'm a big fan of Shirley J Whisk Bliss and Shirley J Mugging Cake in a Mug Mixes. It probably won't surprise you that I love Shirley J Cookie Mixes! All my Christmas cookies will be made from these five fantastic mixes - Coconutty Macaroon, Classic Sugar, New York Black and White, Soft Ginger Molasses and Oatmeal Jumbles.
The Shirley J website is jam-packed with loads of recipe ideas for all her products and her cookie mixes are no exception. Plain cookies are, of course, delicious but Christmas cookies should always be more magical, with extra goodies mixed in or placed on top. One of the things I totally love about Shirley J Cookie Mixes is that they are SO easy to make. Several of them are so simple that I can whip up a batch of cookies from beginning to end in less than 30 minutes.
My husband's favorite oatmeal cookies are always oatmeal raisin, so I made the Shirley J Oatmeal Jumbles with raisins. He took a tray of them into work for a company potluck and he said they disappeared faster than everything else on the table. I guess it's a good thing he ate a few before he left for work!
The next batch of Oatmeal Jumbles I'm going to make with chocolate chips. I also found two fabulous recipes on the Shirley J website for using Oatmeal Jumbles Cookie Mix - Oatmeal Cherry-Chocolate Jumbles and Shirley J Skillet Cookie. I love the versatility of these products!
The Classic Sugar Cookie Mix is perfect for making the kind of cookies your kids will want to decorate with frosting, candies, and sprinkles. I took the easy way out and broke up a delicious Candy Cane Candy Bar and pressed one rectangular piece into the top of each sugar cookie before baking it. These sugar cookies spread out nice and big, plus they have a delightfully crispy sweet taste! I'll be baking more cookies over the next few weeks and will share my creations with you, but I wanted to get a GIVEAWAY up on my blog for you!
on Facebook ~~~ on Twitter ~~~ on Pinterest
One lucky reader is going to win one of each of 
ALL five Shirley J Cookie Mixes! 
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be a US resident, ages 18+. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. You can come back every day to share a tweet for a daily entry too. Giveaway ends on 12/15/2013. Good luck and happy holiday baking!

Four New Winners on Planet Weidknecht

Winning is so exciting!
I just won a $100 Gift Card from Dollar General this morning!
I'm so excited to announce four new winners on Planet Weidknecht!
Congratulations go out to:

Kt Amanda, winner of House Beautiful Quick Changes
Diane Therkildsen, winner of the Treat Box for Dogs and Cats
Adrienne McElwain, winner of Shirley J Whisk Bliss
Scarlett Baccus Graham, winner of the Rejuvenator Showerhead

Check your emails, my friends, and reply to claim your win!

Enter MORE great giveaways on Planet Weidknecht HERE!

Wednesday Wealth Giveaway Link Up (Dec 4-11)

What did you win this week?

I won a $5 Amazon Card, a Java Boiler,
a $25 Amazon Card, and a Butterfly Necklace!

You can't win if you don't enter, enter, enter!


Midnight Promise - Bellegance Perfume - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
No holiday season should ever pass without a woman experiencing a new fragrance. I found the one I love for this Christmas and beyond! Midnight Promise is a brand new perfume from Bellegance Perfume, created exclusively by perfumer Sarah Horowitz and fragrance designer Karen Dubin. It is manufactured and bottled in France. I received a .5fl.oz. spray bottle of Midnight Promise in a charming little purple velvet gift bag (perfect for gift giving). Words I would use to describe this scent are exotic, sophisticated, woodsy, mysterious, and sensual. I absolutely love Midnight Promise (and my husband loves it on me)!
The company's description of Midnight Promise reads, "Inspired by Moroccan Gardens, Bellegance Perfume’s first fragrance features notes of red mandarin, cinnamon, red Moroccan rose and then settles into beautiful base notes of amber, vanilla accord, sandalwood, oak moss, patchouli and fresh vetiver."

You can purchase Midnight Promise
for a limited time, even request a free sample!

Hershey's Candies for Christmas Baking

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I cannot remember a Christmas that didn't involve Hershey's candy under the tree. The bags of individually wrapped candy, like the Rolos and Reese's, always look so pretty in a decorative bowl on the coffee table. The plastic candy canes filled with Hershey's candy are perfect for stocking stuffers and the candy bars make perfect gifts in a Christmas card for a friend.
Since all my little ones are now adults and we're no longer stuffing stockings, I'm using Hershey's candies in my Christmas baking. They add the perfect holiday touch to the regular recipes I use all year long. The only problem is NOT eating them before they make it into the recipe!
I carefully guarded the bag of Reese's peanut butter bells so I could bake them into my fudge brownies before they disappeared. I just whipped up a brownie mix and poured 3/4 of the batter into a baking pan. Then I unwrapped sixteen of the Reese's peanut butter bells and pressed them into the batter.
I poured the remaining 1/4 of the batter over the top of the bells and used a spatula to make sure each one was fully covered. I baked the brownies as directed on the box mix and let them cool before cutting them into sixteen squares.
Inside each brownie there is now a peanut butter surprise! My husband absolutely raved over them (he loves the corner pieces best) and everyone else liked them too. Peanut Butter Surprise Brownies will be added to my annual Christmas baking list!
The Hershey's Candy Cane candy bars are amazingly delicious. I took the two Candy Cane candy bars I received and pressed one Hershey's rectangle into the top of each one of my Shirley J Sugar Cookies. It's a great time saver because I won't have to frost or decorate them later.
In retrospect, the cookies baked much larger than I anticipated, so next time I will probably break each rectangle into four pieces and place them slightly apart on the top of each sugar cookies. Regardless, they taste absolutely amazing. My husband asked me, "We don't have to share these, right?" I think he likes them!
What kinds of ideas can YOU come up with for using Hershey's holiday candies in your holiday baking?