Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Grace of God" DVD Review and Giveaway

In our world today, forgiveness and redemption are two things which can sometimes be seen as in short supply. I was given the opportunity to view a DVD that centers around these two subjects and is based on The Ten Commandments. 

According to the Dove Foundation, who gave this movie their family-approved seal, the film tells the story of Detective Bill Broadly, who lost his faith years ago, is called to investigate the disappearance of the local church’s collection plate. As he questions its various church members, rumors swirl as more congregants learn about the theft. When one unexpected church-goer confesses to stealing the funds, the confession resurrects Broadly’s views about God, and helps him see that through faith and belief there really is rebirth and redemption.

I enjoyed this DVD and love coming across films in the inspirational genre that illustrate a powerful message, such as this one. I thought the acting was very well done and the story well-written. It has a very profound message that impacted me.

You can purchase a copy of the DVD at Walmart stores and through Walmart's website here.

One of you will win your own "Grace of God" DVD.  To enter, leave a comment below and let me know you would like to win this DVD. Giveaway closes Friday, April 17 at noon EST.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easy No-Bake Mother's Day Treats

Some fantabulous bloggers have gone together to do a Fantabulous Mother's Day Favorites Linky Party!

The hosts of this blog hop have their posts linked up to the beginning of the linky at the bottom of this post. You can link up your own Mother's Day posts below, and we will pin many of them to our Pintabulous Moms Mother's Day Favorites Pinterest Board.

Fantabulous Mother's Day Favorites Linky Party

You can go to the following blogs to see more Mother's Day posts:

You can follow us on Pintabulous Mother's Day Pinterest Board HERE and link up your own Mother's Day  posts below on the linky!   We will leave this linky open until Mother's Day!   We’ll try to pin your posts to our board!   pinterest button

We would love it if you grabbed our button, but you don’t  have to!

Creative K Kids

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April Showers: True Blue Party Punch

Spring's arrival also means the arrival of countless milestone celebrations such as graduations, weddings, baby showers and Mother's Day teas. This makes a tasty, easy and lovely true blue punch to serve for any special occasion.

“True Blue Party Punch” 

*fills standard-size punch bowl

½ of 1 64-ounce bottle Ocean Spray Light White Cranberry Juice 

½ of 2-liter (or 1-liter bottle) diet lemon lime soda 

1 envelope (8-serving size) unsweetened Berry Blue-flavored Kool-Aid mix 

1 pint vanilla ice cream, thawed

2 cups crushed ice

Thaw pint of ice cream 10 minutes before making punch mixture. Fill empty punch bowl with ½ of 64-ounce bottle of white cranberry juice. Add ½ of 2 liter bottle of lemon lime soda. Add envelope of Kool-Aid and stir well. Add 2 cups crushed ice. Add thawed pint of ice cream to punch and do not stir. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Traditions: Hot Cross Buns

A beloved Easter treat, hot cross buns are a popular during Lenten season and a Good Friday tradition to many, including in our household, where I baked them today for our Good Friday breakfast tradition.  

The preparation process with the rising of the yeast, mixing and all-around hoop jumping to get the dough just right can leave some frazzled and tired. I use an easy and time-saving shortcut method by using Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls and make use of  candied fruit leftover from making fruitcakes during the Christmas season. My family and I were happy with the results. 

For the history of hot cross buns, marking crosses on baked goods such as breads and buns dates back to pre-Medieval times and was meant to be a visible sign that the bread was “blessed” and had the power to ward off evil spirits and help the longevity of the bread by stopping it from molding or becoming stale too quickly. One story says hot cross buns origins date to the 12th century when an Anglican monk placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honor Good Friday. I came across a fun old rhyme about hot cross buns that says, "Half for you and half for me, between us two good luck shall be".  

"Easy Hot Cross Buns" 

1 can Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

1/2 cup candied fruit 

Egg Wash Glaze: 

1 egg
1 tablespoon milk 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare egg wash glaze by whisking together one egg and one tablespoon of milk. Set aside. Remove each roll from can and place each on wax paper. Take each roll and gently knead dough together to form a ball of dough. Place each back on wax paper. Make a well in the middle of each ball of dough. Place 1 tablespoon of candied fruit in the middle of each ball of dough. Gently knead candied fruit into each ball of dough just enough to combine candied fruit into dough. Place back on wax paper. Place each one on baking sheet. Coat each with glaze. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown in color. Remove from oven and cool. When cooled, drizzle icing in cross shape on top of each. Enjoy!   

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored post by the Pillsbury company. I was not financially compensated by the Pillsbury company for this blog post. All opinions stated in this blog post are my own.    

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Love Inspired Books "Texas K-9 Unit" Series

All to often in the news, we hear about the negative side of law enforcement. I am a proud police daughter and my father will retire this June after 30 years of service. 
That's why I am so happy that Love Inspired Suspense has a new book series called "Texas K-9 Unit" that focuses on a positive and exciting storyline about law enforcement along with their canine companions working together to track down a crime ring. The three books, "Tracking Justice", "Detection Mission" and "Guard Duty" are now available as a box set.  
As we celebrate Women's History Month, one of the things I love about this book series is the fact that each book is written by a female author, and this Oklahoma girl loves the fact that one of them lives in Tulsa. I also love the fact that one of the books in the series features a female police officer as the heroine. 
A little about the three authors in the "Texas K-9 Unit" series: 
Shirlee McCoy knew early in life that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published.
Margaret Daley loved teaching and working with students with special needs, and recently retired from teaching to write full-time. She and her husband, Mike, to whom she has been married for over 40 years live in Tulsa.
Sharon Dunn first fell in love with mystery and suspense about the time she read Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade. The second book in that series Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. 
I received each of the books in the box set and have thoroughly enjoyed reading each of them. All three stories take place in the fictional town of Sagebrush, Texas.

"Tracking Justice" by Shirlee McCoy centers around the abduction of a little boy from his bedroom window and this story kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. A love story is woven into this mystery that was very touching.

"Detection Mission" by Margaret Daley centers around a police detective and his canine companion finding a woman who has no memory of her life, but indications suggest she might have a criminal past. I loved that this story weaves a web of impending danger throughout.

"Guard Duty" by Sharon Dunn features a female K-9 unit police officer, Valerie and is a thriller revolving around her as a potential murder witness. I thought the romance storyline in this one was so touching.
One of you will win a copy of Shirlee McCoy's newly-released book, "Protection Detail".  To enter, leave a comment below and let me know you would like to win this book. Giveaway closes Friday, March 20 at noon EST.
You can print a coupon for $1.00 off Shirlee McCoy’s “Protection Detail” by going to the link here.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Style and Soda Bread

St. Patrick's Day is here and with my Irish heritage, I especially look forward to this fun holiday! 

This is my St. Patrick's Day style for 2015.Vest by Marley Lilly.

This is my outerwear on a chilly St. Patrick's Day here in NY's Hudson Valley. The scarf is once again a creation by Marley Lilly.

Here is a favorite treat for this fun holiday. Irish Soda Bread is Ireland's version of a classic quick bread. Baking soda was introduced to the country in the 1840s and was used as a leavening agent in this bread made from staple ingredients. A tradition in the preparation of this bread, carried on by many to this day, including me, is to cut a cross shape into the dough with a knife before baking the bread to ward off the devil and protect the household. Many families have treasured recipes abounding with favorite variations of this beloved bread, including my Grandma Cleva's recipe. She loved buttermilk in her soda bread and I carry on her buttermilk tradition in my own recipe.

In the United States, this bread has come to be known by many as a dessert bread, but in Ireland, as with many traditional Irish families in the US, it is to this day enjoyed served with the main course meal rather than as a dessert bread
This is my recipe take on Irish soda bread that includes raisins, a favorite ingredient addition of mine for pairing with this bread's tangy flavor and tender texture topped with a hard crust.

"Easy Irish Soda Bread"

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 cups raisins
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and dusting of flour. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, margarine and raisins. Add egg and 1 cup of buttermilk. Stir until mixture is combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round shape and place on baking sheet. In small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk. Brush buttermilk mixture over bread. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross shape or an 'X' into the top of the loaf. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire cooling rack. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting ready for St. Patrick's Day: Mint Chocolate Delight Cupcakes

I always look forward to the calendar rolling around to St. Patrick's Day. It is a special day for me to celebrate my Irish heritage. I have fun coordinating my outfit ensemble and look forward to serving up some fun green treats. Here is a favorite I will be sharing with my friends and neighbors this year. 

"Mint Chocolate Delight Cupcakes" 

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1  teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until well-combined. Set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add milk, oil and extract and mix until well-combined. Add flour mixture in thirds, mixing between each addition. Pour batter into cupcake tins. Bake 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes.

"Mint Buttercream Frosting"

1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
4 drops green food coloring 
Combine butter and powdered sugar in mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer. Add milk and peppermint extract, mix well. Add 4 drops of food coloring and mix well until frosting has a smooth consistency. If needed, add additional 1/2 teaspoon of milk if mixture is too stiff. Spread over cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!