Simply Sweet Home

Recipes, Decor, Crafts, Product Reviews, Giveaways and more.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whimsy Couture Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to a place called Whimsy Couture, an etsy shop where you can find some adorable patterns for all kinds of children's clothing and other items!  And this week I'm excited to bring you giveaway and reader discount from Whimsy Couture!

The patterns at Whimsy Couture are easy to use with hand written instructions and color photos, and they are made especially for moms with little time for sewing!  The patterns are whimsical and vintage inspired. And there's a whole range of projects available! 

A few weeks ago I fell in love with the clothing patterns at Whimsy Couture, from the adorable dresses and jumpers to the peasant tops and pants!  And then this week I found this adorable Mommy & Me set!  Wouldn't you love to make this for you and your little girl? Too cute!  And I was thinking it would be adorable to make one of these for your child's doll as well.

Or perhaps you'd rather make a dress for your little girl. Whimsy Couture has dress patterns in a variety of styles.

Or maybe you're like me, and you would just love to make this cute little bed for your cat babies!

Whatever project you have in mind, you are sure to find an adorable pattern for it at Whimsy Couture!

Reader Discount!  Buy 2 Patterns, Get 2 Free! Simply Sweet Home readers need to mention b2g2 when you check out and mention the free patterns! Free patterns must be of equal or lesser value than the two purchased ones.

Win it!  One Simply Sweet Home reader will win 3 sewing patterns of their choice from the Whimsy Couture shop. (Patterns will be delivered via email.) 

Giveaway is closed. Congrats to Dani at My Little Apricot.


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Baking it Up With CSN Stores

By now most of you are probably familiar with CSN Stores.  In fact, if you are a "regular" around here, you probably entered my CSN Stores giveaway a few week ago.  As you know, they are a collection of stores, selling everything from dutch ovens to dog houses.  And I am thrilled to say that I've been given another opportunity to work with them!  This time I will be reviewing a product. 

But what should I review?  Right now I'm leaning toward some bakeware, namely cookie sheets.  Although I would love to get a new muffin tin as well!  My only "problem" is that there is so much bakeware to choose from!  So if anyone has any recommendations for me, I'd love to hear them!



Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Post: Five Easy Kid-Friendly Treats

Today I have a guest post to share with you.  This is by Lela Lake for Food PR experts Sauce Communications.  Hope you enjoy it! 

If you are interested in writing a guest post for Simply Sweet Home, just email me, and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

Trying to keep the kids away from manufactured snacks with little to no nutritional value at all is the challenge all parents face. Here are a few handy ideas for quick treats for kids that not only taste great but will give them the right stuff to grow on:

1) Filled Celery Sticks

Even though many kids are fussy about vegetables, celery tends to be a favorite, so use it wisely and keep plenty on hand for quick snacks. They can be filled with cream cheese (especially the fruit-flavored ones) peanut butter and topped with raisins, dried fruit or sprinkled with a cinnamon/sugar blend.

Also be sure there is always a glass of water in the fridge with a few cut celery and carrot spears ready to go so that they will (hopefully) be snatched up as a quick snack.

2) Fruit Kabobs

Slice any combination of firm fruit like apples, pineapple, peaches or strawberries and you can add blackberries, cherries or grapes just as they are.

Cut up some of your child's favorite cheese into little squares and place it between the fruit on a shish kebab sticks. For everyone's sake, do break off the sharp end of the stick before serving. You can whip up a light dipping sauce with yogurt, ginger, lemon, a dash of cinnamon and honey.

3) Peanut Butter and Fruit

Peanut butter has a way of combining beautifully with many fruits, and kids enjoy both so much that it just makes sense to put them together. Spread crackers with peanut butter and top with bananas for a wonderful quick snack. Or cut up a fresh apple and provide the dish of peanut butter to dip it in.

4) Southwestern Sushi

You can tailor-make this recipe with your child's favorite ingredients. The basic idea is to take a flour tortilla and cover one side with cream cheese. Add refried beans, cheese, sandwich meat or whatever fun leftovers you have, and roll the tortilla up tight and place in the fridge for an hour so.

Take out the chilled, filled tortilla and skewer with toothpicks about every 1 inch or so. Slice the tortilla between the toothpicks, remove the toothpicks and serve this handy finger food for a quick snack.

5) Deviled Eggs

It's not hard to get children to eat hard boiled eggs, and it is even more fun when the yolks have been removed and blended was some light flavorings like mayonnaise, mustard, paprika and black pepper. These can be stored in a sealed container in a refrigerator for quick after school snack.

I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties!

Disclosure:  This is NOT a paid post.   If you are interested in being a guest blogger on Simply Sweet Home, please contact me.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday Favorites - Week 27


Welcome to Friday Favorites, where I feature your favorite posts of the week!  If you're new here, please join us by linking up a post below!  And if you're featured this week, feel free to grab a "Featured" button for you blog!

Here's one quick note for all you giveaway lovers.  I have 3 giveaways that are closing today, including one for a $25 Walmart giftcard. (I let the deadline slip up on me and only had 4 days to run it, so at this writing there's only 111 entries, so go enter!)  We also have Milly the Pinkest Kitten up for grabs and a Macaroni Grill prize pack!  And there's also the headband giveaway from Kinley Lane Designs which ends on Monday, although I may extend the deadline on it a few days.  (All giveaway links are posted at the top of my site.)

Now on with the party!

Toffee Crunch Dip from Prairie Story

Animal Finger Puppets from amieggs

Banana Bread from Cook Clean Craft

Flower Girl Headpiece from The T-Shirt Diaries

Monster Cake from Dragonfly Designs

I can't wait to see your posts from this week! Link up below. Don't forget to include a link back to my blog or my button so that others can find this party. Thanks!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet Thursday: The Fruity Edition

sweet Thursday

It's time once again for my monthly dessert event.  This month our theme was Fruity Desserts!  I invite you all to join the party by linking up your fruity treats below.  Also, while you're here be sure to go by and visit the blogs of this month's featured desserts!

Next Month's Event:  The theme for the next event will be Cookies!  To have your cookies featured, simply send me an email with a link to your post.  Please put Sweet Thursday or Cookie Event in the subject so I can easily identify your mail.  Also, attach your photo if you have a particular one you'd like me to use. (Otherwise, I can grab one from your site.)  Deadline to email submissions in is Sept 28.  The event will be posted on Wednesday night, Sept 29 at which time you can come by and link up your cookies if you wish to participate that way.  I look forward to seeing all your goodies!

Now let's check out this month's goodies!

Pavlova from My Sweet and Savory

Healthy Eton Mess from 21st Century Housewife

Zesty Lemon Blueberry Cake from Singing with Birds

Cherry Limeades from Eating Simply

Coffee Cake with Raspberry Jam from Nina

Almond Ricotta Pudding from Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog

Watermelon Lemonade from Lisa's Recipes Cards

Apricot Jam Filled Muffins from Nina

Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie from Simply Sweet Home

Berry Pina Colada Cake from Simply Sweet Home

Got a fruity treat to share? Link it up below!


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Walmart Box Tops for Education Giveaway

Looking for a way to donate to your child's school?  The Box Tops for Education program is an easy solution and this year Walmart is making it even easier! From Aug. 3 - Aug. 31, head over to your local Walmart to find 4 Box Tops on participating General Mills products and earn more cash for the participating school of your choice. As your one-stop destination for all your needs this back-to-school season, Walmart is helping you save more and earn more with the Box Tops for Education brands you love.

With over 20 great brands and more than 40 products participating, here are just a few favorites that include 4 Box Tops that you can find at Walmart this August: Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel pastries, Trix Yogurt, Hamburger Helper skillet meals, Totino’s Pizza Rolls snacks, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups snacks. Be sure to keep an eye out for Box Tops on great products from Kleenex, Ziploc, and Hefty too!

Win It! To help you to purchase General Mills products and earn cash for your schools, Wal-Mart, General Mills, and MyBlogSpark are offering one of you a $25 Wal-Mart giftcard.

Giveaway Closed. Congrats to Adriane (LAMusing).


Disclosure: Information and giftcards are provided by General Mills and Wal-Mart through MyBlogSpark. For hosting this giveaway, I received a $25 Wal-Mart giftcard.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Berry Pina Colada Cake

I don't know about you, but around here it is still very much the summer season, despite school being back in session, high school football starting this week, and so forth. I laughed today when the weather guy on the radio said, "Much cooler and less humid today. High of 94." (I know we all long for the days when it's only 94 degrees outside!)  As you can imagine, a cool treat would really hit the spot about now!

I discovered this recipe back in July. Each year my hubby's family celebrates the 4th of July by having a family reunion, complete with seafood gumbo, fried chicken, potato salad, and of course---dessert!  Today I'm sharing one of the yummies that was served at this year's event!

Don't forget to come by here on Thursday and share a fruity dessert with us for Sweet Thursday!

Recipe for Berry Pina Colada Cake:
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 to 1 1/3 cups water (depending on brand you're using)
1 16 oz. can pineapple juice
1 8 oz. tub whipped topping
1 bag flaked (or frozen) coconut
1 package strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 package blueberries, fresh or frozen

Directions: Mix together cake mix, oil, water, and eggs.  Bake as directed on box. Let cake cool completely. Use a utensil to poke holes in cake. (A wooden spoon, skewer or other round utensil works best.) Then pour your pineapple juice over the entire cake.  Next spread your whipped topping over the cake, and sprinkle your coconut over the top.  Finally arrange your strawberries and blueberries on top of the cake as desire.  Let chill in the fridge. Serve cold.

I'm linking up with some fabulous ladies at these linky parties!


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friday Favorites - Week 26

Welcome and thanks for stopping by this week! Last week for week 25 we had 60 posts linked up here! Yay!  Thanks for all the great links!

By the way, I had one person who came by to link up and had problems doing so.  Apparantly the problem solved itself because they were able to link up later.  But if anyone did try to link up last week and was turned away, I apologize.  Sometimes these linky things have little glitches.  If anyone has problems in the future I ask you to please try linking up again, and if the problem continues, please let me know via email.

One other quick note or notes.  I just started a new giveaway for an etsy shop called Kinley Lane Designs.  We have a really cute prize, so please check it out!  Also, please help support my blog by visiting my newest sponsors! (Ads in right sidebar!)  And one more thing, if you're interested my Sweet Thursday Dessert party will be held next week.  Please send in your email submissions by Tuesday or link up a the event starting Wednesday night! Thanks!

Now let's get the party started!  If you're featured, please grab my featured button for your blog. And if you're new here, please join us by linking up a post below!

Tie Dye Cupcakes & Party from Our Life in a Click

Black Bean Brownies from Rockin' Deals

Eye Spy Bag from The Quiet Crafter

Luby's Butternut Brownie Pie from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen

Peanut Buttter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from kathie's kreations

I'm looking forward to seeing your posts from this week! Link up below! Please link up the actual post you wish to share, instead of your blog so that it's easy for us to find your post. And please include my button or a link somewhere on your blog so that others may find this party! Thanks!



Easy Initial Art

I know this project has been going around the blogosphere for a while, but I made this a couple of weeks ago and just had to share, as it goes right along with some upcoming decor posts I'm doing.

And who knows? New ladies are discovering the blogosphere every day, and there may very well be someone here who hasn't seen this.

I love this initial art idea because it's easy and quick. (For someone who doesn't have a lot of patience for a longterm project, this is a real plus!)  And I also love it because this is a great personalized item that you could make for anyone, to match any decor.

What You Need:
a picture frame
scrapbook paper
letter stencil
Mod Podge
paint brush
(The cat is optional.)

Use a stencil and pencil to trace your letter onto the back of a sheet of scrapbook paper. By drawing on the back side of the paper, you can avoid having lines on your letter.  (Just don't forget to draw the letter backwards, or else when you cut it out, it will come out wrong.)

Next, if necessary, cut your scrapbook paper to size so that it fits in the frame.  Now take your paint brush and brush a little Mod Podge on the make of your letter. (I used the matte kind.) Allow to dry a few minutes.  Then take your paint brush and add a light coat of Mod Podge over the entire piece of scrapbook paper.  (Be careful not to use too much, or your paper will wrinkle.)

After your paper is completely dry, place it in your frame, and you're done!

I'm linking up at these fabulous linky parties.


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kinley Lane Designs Giveaway

I was very excited when Tricia at Kinley Lane Designs contacted me about hosting a giveaway for her shop.

Kinley Lane Designs offers adorable headbands, fashion tops, rings, and more!  Tricia's style is a classic vintage look with fabric flowers.

The main attraction in her shop is her headbands.  Headbands made in this style are so popular right now.  The headbands are made of high quality, attractive material and come in a variety of colors to match any outfit.  And if you don't find exactly what you're looking for, Tricia will make a custom design just for you!

And this August, Kinley Lane Designs has a fun promotion, where you can get 10% percent off your next order when you take a photo of yourself in a Kinley Lane Design and add it to their Facebook Fan page!

How to Connect!  
Like Kinley Lane Designs on Facebook.
Read Tricia's Blog - Kinley Lane Designs.
And Follow Tricia on Twitter @KinleyLane.

Win it! Kinley Lane Designs is offering one Simply Sweet Home reader a  Cotton Candy Love Headband.

This adorable handmade headband is a sweet, classic with a sprinkle of vintage feel. It will be the perfect add on to any hair do and to any outfit. The headband is made to fit an adult and the fabric flowers are attached to an elastic band. And it usually sales for $15.99

Mandatory Entry: To enter, please visit Kinley Lane Designs, and then come back here and tell us an item that you like. Enter by Sept 2.

Extra Entries:
1 for liking Kinley Lane Designs on Facebook.
1 for following Tricia's blog.
1 for following Tricia on twitter.
2 for subscribing to my email newsletter.
2 for following Simply Sweet Home on Twitter.
1 for becoming a fan of Simply Sweet Home on facebook.
2 for subscribing to my RSS feeds through Feedburner.
1 for following me through blogger's Google Friend Find.
1 if you have my button on your blog.
1 for writing about this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook.  (Sample Tweet: I want to win a headband from Kinley Lane Designs!  @SimplySweetHome @KinleyLane  #giveaway) (Limit one entry per day.)


Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for hosting this giveaway.  Giveaway prize is provided by Kinley Lane Designs.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza with a Twist!

It's over a hundred degrees here and very humid and has been this way now for weeks! It's been so hot for so long that the grass is brown.   Even our neighbors who ordinarily mow every week (often twice a lie!) and who have the TruGreen guys come out once a month to ensure they have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood......yes, even they have brown grass now!

Needless to say, the last thing I want to do is heat up the house by cooking.  But sometimes it's just unavoidable. So I've been trying to do a lot of stove top meals, and if I do use the oven, I'm trying not to cook anything that takes over 30 minutes to bake.  So pizza is a great option!

Here's a bacon cheeseburger pizza that I made with a slight twist that I think adults and kids will like.  My only regret was that I didn't have enough cheese to top it off as I normaly would, but it was still quite tasty. 

Recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

1 refrigerated pizza crust.
1 lb hamburger meat
several pieces of bacon, crumbled (or bacon bits)
shredded cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
1 tomato,chopped or sliced (optional)

Directions:  Brown your hamburger meat and cook bacon in a skillet on the stove. (To save time, I use precooked bacon. Or you can also use bacon bits.)  Drain the fat and set aside.  Roll out your pizza dough on a pizza pan or baking dish.  If you do any prebaking on your pizza crust, do it at this time.  In a small bowl, mix together your ketchup and mustard. (I didn't measure it out; I just started mixing until I got the consistency and amount I needed.)  Spoon out your ketchup and mustard mixture on to crust. Next chop up your onion and tomato if using, and add all toppings to your pizza as desired. (I like to do a layer of cheese, followed by other toppings, and then another layer of cheese on top.)  Bake pizza as directed on crust package, and serve!

Linking up at these parties.


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Whimsy Couture

Calling all you crafty domestic goddesses out there!  Whimsy Couture, a fabulous etsy shop, offers easy to use, hand written sewing patterns with step by step instructions and colored pictures.  These patterns are perfect for busy moms to whip in a short time.  And you'll love the variety of items you can make for your child from the patterns at Whimsy Couture.

Denise is the owner of this etsy shop.  Her style is vintage inspired and whimsical.  Among the items offered in her shop are patterns for dresses, tops, pants, skirts, aprons, bloomers, capes, and more.  She even has pattern for cute appliques for your projects.

Pattern styles include everything from the peasant style, to A-line jumpers, to pillow case tops, strappy tops and items with cute ruffles.  Whimsy Couture even offers you great savings through 3 Packs.

And if you don't have a small child in your family, you should check out Whimsy Couture's adorable pet bed patterns for the  4-legged, furry members of your family! So cute!

Check out Whimsy Couture  on etsy and pick up your patterns for these lovely creations and more.  You can also follow Denise through her blog Whimsy Couture and follow  Whimsy Couture on Facebook.


If you'd like to advertise on Simply Sweet Home, please see my PR page. Ad prices start as low as $6/mo.

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