Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Celebrating National Ice Cream Month with Mars Ice Cream #Ad

July 19 is now set aside on the calendar as National Ice Cream Day, but I love it that the entire month of July is set aside to celebrate National Ice Cream Month.

I was given the opportunity to try some fun new ice cream offerings from Mars Ice Cream, who have a line of frozen novelties that pair delicious, real ice cream with the delectable chocolate taste that consumers know and love as well as a cold and refreshing fruit sorbet bar.

There are so many flavor combinations for Dove chocolate fans to choose from and my favorite is the Dove vanilla ice cream bar with a crunchy milk chocolate coating.

 I think the m&m's ice cream cookie takes the traditional ice cream sandwich to a whole new level with creamy vanilla ice cream resting in between two chewy, home-style cookies with lots of m&m's chocolate candies baked in.

Twix candy bar have been a beloved favorite of mine since I was a young child and as a grown-up, I am intrigued by the Twix ice cream bar with creamy vanilla ice cream with caramel, cookie bits and a chocolate caoting.
 I was over the moon with happiness that they not only have a Starburst fruit sorbet bar, but one of the two flavor offerings is my all-time favorite Starburst flavor, the strawberry fruit chew. I love the sweet and tangy flavor to this one.
 The Snickers bar delighted me with a smooth peanut butter ice cream and a caramel filling with roasted peanuts covered in a chocolate coating.
This month began a favorite new summer treat tradition in our home: a family movie night with a Mars Ice Cream bar assortment to choose from. It made for some sweet summer memories that we can't wait to make more of when we have our next summer movie night.  

You can find out more about these products by visiting them on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Mars Ice Cream for this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Berry Beauty and a Review: AZO Cranberry Gummies

I come from a family history of numerous illnesses on both sides of my family and as an adult who has been given the gift of good health, I am extra diligent about my health and always looking for new products that offer ways to promote a healthy lifestyle in my daily life.

I was given the opportunity to try a new product from AZO, the #1 urinary and vaginal health brand† which joins the range of products they offer
 AZO Cranberry Gummies is a urinary maintenance tool that incorporates the clinically proven benefits of cranberry.*  

It contains Pacran®, a super-concentrated cranberry powder that helps flush the urinary tract to maintain cleanliness.*
One of my favorite things about this product is the fact that two AZO Cranberry Gummies equal one 10 ounce glass of cranberry juice**—without the excess calories.*  

I love that they come in a variety of mixed berry flavors and it gives the power of cranberry juice without the tart taste. 

Berries have been incorporated into my diet since I was a child. My favorite is blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants and always at the top of my ingredient list when using fruit in one of my recipes.  This is a favorite berry beauty tip for all women because berries are not only high in antioxidants that can help to prevent and repair damage to the body's tissue, but they also contain polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer. 

As a redhead, I discovered as a college student that berry shades of lipstick are a great hue for my shade of red hair and to this day, you will find my trusted berry shades of lipstick in my makeup bag. 

I am also a fan of berry scents and use bath products in a variety of berry scents in my daily routine, especially raspberry.  

AZO Cranberry® Gummies is available at CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, drug stores, food stores and other major retailers.

Right now there is a fun giveaway going on over on the AZO Facebook page. There is a weekly winner for a $25 Sephora gift card and there will be three winners of a Sephora Berry Beauty basket valued at $200. You can enter the giveaway here.

Disclaimer: **Biological activity of 10oz cranberry juice cocktail
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. AZO Cranberry® used under license by i-Health, Inc. Pacran® is a trademark of Naturex. † Based on Nielsen data as of 2/21/15 and the 2014 Pharmacy Times OTC Survey

Friday, July 10, 2015

Porter Peach Memories: Gluten Free Peach Pie

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by the Pillsbury company for my endorsement of their product in this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.
My recent trip home to Oklahoma brought another special kind of pilgrimage for me with a trip to Livesay's Orchard in Porter as another Porter peach season arrived on the calendar. I enjoyed picking out my peaches and then shipped them to my doorstep here in NY, where they arrived safely. So many special memories of making the road trip to Tahlequah to Porter every July first with Mom and Grandma Cleva, then it was me and Grandma Cleva and finally, it was, and is, me making the trip, sometimes with others, but always me and my precious memories of the beloved car passengers past who made the trip with me.
Some of the peaches pictured above were soon sliced and diced to make my peach pie recipe. This past year, I have received several requests from readers for gluten free recipes and I recently received a request for a gluten free peach pie.
Pillsbury now has several kinds of gluten free dough available in the refrigerated section at many grocery stores and I found it in my local store and decided to try their gluten free "pie and pastry" dough for this recipe. I am constantly in search of gluten free products for my recipes that are tasty and at a good price point.
I was impressed with the taste of this gluten free dough. The dough requires extra kneading in order to get the consistency needed, but once kneaded, it was a good crust dough to work with for this recipe.
"Angela's Gluten Free Peach Pie"
1 tub Pillsbury gluten free pie and pastry dough
8 medium size fresh peaches – sliced, peeled and pit removed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the peaches. Remove the gluten-free pie dough from the tub and cut dough in half. You’ll use one half of dough for the bottom crust and the other half for the crumb topping.
For the crust: Dump 1/2 of the pie dough into a pie tin. Knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Now flatten and push the dough into the pie tin until it evenly covers the entire inside of the tin and becomes the crust.  
For the filling: Place the peach slices across the bottom pie crust. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the peaches in the pie tin.
For the top crumble crust: Using the same small bowl, use a fork to mix together the 1/4 Cup sugar and remaining pie crust dough. Just combine until crumbly. Now pour the crumb mixture on top of the pie, carefully covering the entire pie.
Cover sides of pie crust with foil. Place pie in the oven and bake 40-45 or until top crust is browned in color. Place on cooling rack until cooled. Serve and enjoy!

Any of you who try this gluten free recipe, I'd love to know what you think!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Giveaway and Review: Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics

Disclaimer: I received a Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics, as well as one for a giveaway prize, in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

I smiled so brightly when Hallmark asked me if I would like to participate in their Father's Day Giveaway and Review for one of their newest offerings: Kiddie Car Classics. My late maternal grandfather, Grandpa A.D.'s side of the family has long been a "car" family and I was brought up to have an appreciation for classic cars. 

Hallmark sent me their Kiddie Car Classics blue 1965 Ford Mustang to review. Each Kiddie Car Classic comes with a special collector’s card that provides fun facts about the original car as well as the Hallmark artist who created the model. 

This particular make and model of classic is close to my heart. The young man who was my first date came to be my lifelong friend. One of my favorite memories was going to his Senior Prom when I was a sophomore, which was a big thing because junior and seniors could go to prom and only a sophomore could go by invitation from a junior or senior. He picked me up for the prom driving his Dad's 1966 red Ford Mustang with license plate that read, "ITSA66". Very special memories with Scott, who passed away recently very unexpectedly. I smiled when I received this 1965 blue Ford Mustang.

Hallmark first introduced Kiddie Car Classics in the early 1990s, Now two decades later, these collectible scale replica pedal cars have cruised back into Hallmark stores. Hallmark Keepsake Ornament collectors will also find these newest releases in the 2015 Keepsake Ornaments Collection.  

I love the size of these scale replica pedal cars, big enough to enjoy and display as an eye-catching conversation piece. I think the blue Mustang is such an attention-getting color.    

Thanks to Hallmark, one of you will win a Kiddie Car Classic, valued at $49.95. To enter, leave a comment below letting me know if you have a favorite classic car from your memories, whether from childhood or recent. If you are not able to leave a comment, please e-mail me your entry at with "giveaway entry" in the subject line. Giveaway closes at 9:00 pm EST tonight. 
Disclaimer: I received a Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics, as well as one for a giveaway prize, in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren

I was happy for the opportunity to review the newly-released adoption journey book Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren.

The book shares Jillian and her husband's real-life journey to becoming adoptive parents and welcoming their son to their family from Ethiopia.

I was immediately drawn to the full-on reality she gives in telling her story, no sugar-coating. The issue of infertility is addressed and gives the reader a glimpse into the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Adoption is presented not as an easy, worry-free process but as a process that often comes with both joy and tears of uncertainty. A process that is too-often not told in most adoption stories is shown in this one: addressing the special needs of an internationally adopted child. Both victories and struggles are detailed for the reader. 

My husband and I have yet to start our family, but as an aspiring parent, I found myself taken by the range of emotions in this story known as "parenthood". I rooted for Jillian as first an "aspiring mother" like me and then as she became a mother. I rooted for this family.  This book uplifts you. It touches your heart. It comes highly recommended by me for an inspiring read. 


One of you will win your own copy of this book. To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win. Giveaway closes Friday, May 8 at Noon EST.

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book to review and a copy for a giveaway prize by Global Influence Network. I was not financially compensated for this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Derby Day Delights: Mint Julep Cupcakes

Derby Day is here. The 2015 Kentucky Derby is underway today in Louisville's renowned Churchhill Downs. The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875 and is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. Nearly 100 of the horses that have won the Kentucky Derby were actually born in the state of Kentucky, making horses from the Bluegrass state the most likely to win the race.

The event is also known for its fashion parade by a number of both females and males in the grandstands and a renowned "Derby Hat Parade" consisting of a throng of unique, colorful and in some cases truly one-of-a-kind hat creations.

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sweet syrup and is traditionally served in a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass. Churchill Downs expects to serve 120,000 mint juleps today! Here is my recipe tribute in cupcake form to this legendary derby drink. I bake these mint julep cupcakes to serve family and friends while we watch the race widely-known as "The Run for the Roses". 

"Southern Fried Bride's Mint Julep Cupcakes"

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup "Maker's Mark" Kentucky Bourbon 
1/4 cup Creme de Menthe liquor 

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 24 cupcake cups. In mixing bowl, add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In separate bowl, add butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts and mix at medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add milk, bourbon and Creme de Menthe liquors to the batter, then the remaining 1 cup of flour. Stir lightly, only enough for batter to combine. Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool before frosting..
"Mint Delight Frosting"
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon mint extract  

In large bowl, cream butter with mixer on medium speed. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, mixing between additions. Add mint extract. Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes, or until frosting reaches creamy consistency. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway with Love Inspired Books

I enjoyed the first Love Inspired book I reviewed for the series, so when I was given the opportunity to review more of their books, I was very happy. Each month, the Love Inspired series releases 6 books, only available for purchase during that month.  

These would make perfect Mother's Day gifts for special women in your life who enjoy reading wholesome and inspiring love stories.  

I enjoyed each of these six books, all of them heartwarming stories. My favorite in this set are "The Doctor's Second Chance" and "The Rancher Takes a Bride".  I love that the common themes in this set include hope, faith, redemption and forgiveness.

For more information on the Love Inspired monthly book series, you can visit the site here.

One of you will win a box set of the 6 books in the May 2015 collection. To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win. Giveaway closes Friday, May 2 at Noon EST.

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

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.