Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Hello all,

When I think of Christmas, I think of trees, decorating and baking. And when I think of Christmas baking, I think of fruitcake. Love them or hate them, fruitcake is definitely a Christmas tradition. I've tasted a few that were downright delicious. I've come across one that fits the bill for delicious. It's a recipe from A Taste of Home for a delicious easy to make c
Christmas fruitcake.

Fruitcake originated with the ancient Egyptians. They made the fruitcakes for their departed ones to carry with them into the afterlife. The dense cakes were thought to be able to withstand the journey. It then carried onto other populations and cultures and each put their own spin on it. So give the recipe a try and remember they make great gifts:

3 cups coarsely cut nuts such as walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts
1 pound chopped pitted dates
1 cup halved maraschino cherries
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl combine, nuts, cherries and dates. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add to nut mixture and stir until well coated.
In a small bowl beat eggs until foamy then stir in vanilla. Fold into nut mixture and mix well.
Pour into a greased parchment lined 9 X 5 loaf pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 3/4 hours until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy!

delicious easy to make Christmas fruitcake

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Hello all,

Living here in Florida I have been to a few of the major theme parks. One in particular, Disney is my favorite. So when Disney offered me free tickets in exchange for my review I was ecstatic. I have a granddaughter now, and taking her to Disney was a dream of mine. So off I was to start planning.

I wanted to get the most out of our trip, so I checked out a few sites for advice to prepare. One of my favorite sites I checked out first was Couponing to Disney. I love this site and I find the author's advice easy to understand and follow. She offers many tips I took note of. I especially paid attention to her information about FastPass. We tried scheduling our FastPass with the Disney app, but it proved to be difficult to use and not very user friendly. We scheduled them through their kiosks instead.

We wanted to do as much as we could, so we used FastPass. With it we chose three rides initially. Then were able to choose more with FastPass, but one at a time. We rode a lot of rides! Even the few we did ride without FastPass, the lines were no longer than a 30 minute wait! We had an awesome time! I thought my granddaughter would be afraid of some of the rides, like the Teacups or Dumbo, but she absolutely loved them! In fact, the Teacups were her favorite! Her next favorite was It's a Small World. She loved being in the boat and watching all the animatronics going on around her! The expression on her face was timeless, something I will never forget! She even got to meet her favorite character, Minnie!

When it was time to eat, there were many eateries to choose from. We chose the Columbia Harbor House. It was perfect for lunch. We easily found seats, and it was very affordable. I definitely would eat there again.

Since it is the holiday season, when it got dark they lit up the front of the park around the castle with Christmas lights. It was such a sight to see! The castle was lit with purple and white lights. My granddaughter loved it! It was so beautiful. Every employee we came across was very knowledgable and pleasant. We had a great time! The only thing we didn't have time to do was shop, we were too tired. They did give my granddaughter a pin saying this was her first time at Disney, a real keepsake! I definitely recommend a trip to Disney for a way to spend quality time with the grandkids!

My review of my granddaughters first trip to Disney

My review of my granddaughters first trip to Disney

My review of my granddaughters first trip to Disney

My review of my granddaughters first trip to Disney

My review of my granddaughters first trip to Disney

My review of my Granddaughters first trip to Disney

Friday, November 18, 2016


Hello all,

With the season upon us, one thing is on all of our minds, decorating! I love this time of year and all the beautiful decorations. Sometimes though they can be a bit pricey. I came across some easy DIY Thanksgiving crafts that hopefully will be easy on your wallet and make your holiday more festive. Enjoy:

1. pilgrim hat place cards - (Better homes and Gardens)

3 inch terra cotta flowerpots
Black, red, white and blue acrylic paints
Crafting foam
White craft glue
Black fabric paint pen

Paint each pot black and let it dry. Choose a color and paint the band around the pot. Let it dry and make white dots on each pot with the paintbrush handle for decoration (optional).
Trace a circle from back foam about 1/2 inch wider all around the pot opening. Cut out. This will be the hat brims.
For the buckles measure the width of the band . Paint it a different color than the band. Cut a foam rectangle that measures 1/8 inch deeper than the band. Cut out a smaller rectangle from the middle and glue on the band.
Using the black paint pen, write each guests name on each hat brim. Beautiful place cards!

5 Easy DIY Thanksgiving Crafts- pilgrim hat place cards

2. Fall wreath - (Better Homes and gardens)

Twig wreath
Floral embellishments
Craft glue
Copper metallic spray paint

Glue a few leaves on your twig wreath tucking some underneath.
When the glue is dry spray with the metallic paint. The paint adds shimmer.
Glue on acorns berries and the rest of your floral embellishments and let dry.
you will have a beautiful wreath in 20 minutes.

5 Easy DIY Thanksgiving Crafts- fall wreath

3. Gold confetti pumpkins -  (Country living)

White craft pumpkin
Washi tape ( Michaels Craft's is best since it has a paper backing)

Cut up 1 inch pieces of gold washi tape. Then cut each piece lengthwise.
Then peel off the backing and stick it to the pumpkin.
Concentrate the confetti on the bottom. Makes an easy beautiful centerpiece.

5 Easy DIY THanksgiving Crafts- gold confetti pumpkin

4. mason jar fall luminary - (Good Housekeeping)

A mason jar
A piece of adhesive vinyl
Acrylic paint

Cut a maple leaf shape out of the adhesive vinyl and apply it to the smooth side of the jar.
Choose an acrylic paint color you like and paint the mason jar.
It will take about three coats to completely cover the jar. Let paint dry completely between each coat.
Once dry gently peel away the vinyl leaf.
Add a votive candle inside and tie some twine around the top of the jar.

5 Easy DIY Thanksgiving Crafts - mason jar luminary

5. pony bead napkin rings - (Kitchn and Art Bar)

Pony beads
Alphabet beads
Pipe cleaners

Twist a bead at the end of a pipe cleaner before you start beading.
Lay out your colors and words first.
Place the name in the middle.
Leave about 3/4 of an inch of pipe cleaner at the end to secure around the last bead.
When done wrap each beaded napkin around a napkin.
So easy, kids will love this one!

5 Easy DIY Thanksgiving Crafts - pony bead napkin rings

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I received this item free to review.  

Hello all,

I am excited to tell you about a great product me and my hubby just purchased on Amazon. My hubby has been wanting one for awhile, but we've been putting it off because of the added expense. It's called Starry Laser Lights Christmas laser light red and green.

Let me start off by saying we got the product shipped within days. We were very pleased with the turn around. The Starry Laser Light was very easy to put together. It was 3 pieces, the laser, plug in, and cord. You just screwed them together. It only took seconds to do. Then off we were to try them.

Starry Laser Lights Christmas laser light red and green.

We plugged them into an extension cord and focused them on our house. They were awesome! They were much prettier than I expected. We love decorating for Christmas with lights, and we were so happy with this product and the ease of it. One laser light definitely gives you enough coverage for your whole house!

Starry Laser Lights Christmas laser light red and green
Starry Laser Light Christmas laser light red and green

The pictures don't do the light's justice. We even tried them inside the house. Our granddaughter was in awe.

Starry Laser Light Christmas laser light red and green. 

So if you are in need of a quick way to decorate your house this season, The Starry Laser Light is the way to go!  Heres the link -  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Waterproof-laser-lights-Decoration/dp/B01IDAQY5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=christmas+laser+lights    Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Hello all,

That special time of year is almost here. The time when we sit down with friends and family to be thankful for what we have and to dine on a delicious feast. There are so many great recipes out there, I posted a few incredibly easy delicious side dish recipes for you to try. Enjoy:

1. cheese grits and corn pudding -  (country living)


1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup grits
1/2 can creamed corn
3 ounces cheddar
3 large eggs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a pan over medium heat bring milk to a simmer. Add 1/2 tsp salt and add grits slowly stirring constantly. Continue cooking until it thickens, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Puree corn in a food processor. Then stir corn, cheddar and 2 eggs into the grits. Season with salt and pepper. In another bowl bowl, beat an egg  white with a mixer until peaks form. Fold egg white into corn mixture. Divide into 8- 1 cup ramekins and set on baking pan. Bake until pudding puffs up about 45 minutes.

5 incredibly easy delicious Thanksgiving side dishes - cheesy grits corn pudding

2. roasted asparagus with bacon -  (cooking channel)


1 1/2 pounds trimmed asparagus
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs rosemary
1 lb sliced bacon
kosher salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, garlic and rosemary and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the spears into groups of 3 or 4. Wrap a slice of bacon around each grouping spreading out bacon so you can see the spears. Cook on baking sheet until bacon is cooked about 25 minutes.

5 incredibly easy delicious Thanksgiving side dishes - roasted asparagus with bacon

3. cranberry sauce -  (food network)


1 12 ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 strip orange or lemon zest
salt and pepper


Empty the bag of cranberries to a pan and set aside 1 cup of cranberries.
Add 1 cup sugar, the zest and 2 tsp water to pan and cook over low heat.
Cook until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries soften, about 10 minutes.
Increase to medium heat and cook until the cranberries burst, about 10 minutes.
Reduce to low heat and stir in the cranberries you set aside.
Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and let cool before serving.

5 incredibly easy delicious Thanksgiving side dishes - cranberry sauce

4. pear, chestnut, and sage dressing - (food network)


1 large onion
1 large carrot
3 stalks celery
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 pears
1 cup chestnuts
8 ounce sausage
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup sage
8 ounces rustic country bread
2 cups turkey stock
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook onion, carrot and celery over medium heat in 2 tbsp of butter until soft about 10 minutes.
Combine pears, chestnuts, herbs, bread, and sausage in a bowl. Add the onion, carrot and celery mixture. Add some butter and stock to moisten the bread but not make it soggy.
Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon into a buttered shallow baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes more.

5 incredibly easy delicious Thanksgiving side dishes  - pear, chestnut, and sage dressing

5. three cheese mashed potatoes - (delish)


5 pounds white potatoes cut and cubed
6 tbsp butter
1 8 ounce package of whipped cream cheese
2 cups white shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
8 ounce sour cream
1 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper
milk for consistency


In a saucepan place potatoes and enough water to cover them. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until soft then drain and mash.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese, cheddar, and parmesan until smooth. Mix in sour cream, garlic salt, and salt and pepper.
Stir cheese mixture into the potatoes until well blended. If potatoes are too thick stir in one tbsp of milk at a time until desired consistency.

5 incredibly easy delicious Thanksgiving side dishes  - three cheese mashed potatoes

Friday, November 11, 2016


This post may contain affiliate links. 

Hello all,

I love the holidays. I especially love shopping. I myself can't wait for Black Friday. One thing I know is it can sometimes be frustrating coming up for that perfect gift for that someone. I have compiled an awe-inspiring holiday gift guide to help you with that problem. Hopefully some of my picks will be winners for you!

womens fashion;

I found this beautiful sweater on amazon, time to get ready for the cold weather with this beautiful cardigan. It comes in 24 colors for $13.99.

I just love this one. It's a an elegant flare dress with a scoopneck and 3/4 sleeves. It looks so comfy and just the right dress for a casual holiday party for $23.99.

I think these boots are just to die for, they are absolutely adorable. They would pair great with any formal or casual party. They come in black for $36.39.

mens fashion:

My husband would love this! He gets cold easy even here in Florida. It's a hooded flight bomber jacket. It comes in blue and black and starting at $79.99 priced according to your size.

My husband loves Bear Grylls so this rugged comfy shirt was an easy pick. It's priced at $43.63 and comes in 3 colors black, khaki, and metal.

toys and electronics:

This toy  looks so cute! It's a Minnie Mouse touch and crawl. I am getting this for my granddaughter. It's only $25.95 and it's by Fisher price.

If you have boys, this Disney Mickey's fire truck looks so adorable! It's just $19.99.

Who can't use one of these! I know I get frustrated when I am doing something important with my phone and  it decides to die on me. Its an external battery pack portable charger for your phone.  It's only $16.99 and comes in black, pink, and gray.

I don't know about you but the holiday makes me somewhat nostalgic. That when I want to break out with those old records I'm sure many of us are saving. This Winston vinyl turntable looks like an excellent gift for that nostalgic person. It's only $109.96 and come with, or without USB recording.

For all those readers out there, I suggest the all new Kindle Fire tablet. This one has wifi, and is 16 GB. It's $89.99 and comes in 4 colors.

To go along with that new Kindle Fire tablet, you will be needing an ebook. or two. Here is one available for a Kindle countdown deal. For the nest 16 hours it will be able for $3.99.

Hopefully this guide will help you in your quest for the perfect gifts this holiday season, happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Hello all,

The holidays are upon us and for me that means cooking. I love cooking turkey and all the sides and delicious desserts. One dessert we love making here in Florida is scrumptious Key Lime Pie. I like this one almost as much as pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I ran across one that sounds both delicious and easy to make on epicurious.  Give it a try and enjoy:

For crust-

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp melted butter

For filling-

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp fresh or bottled key lime juice

For topping-

3/4 cup heavy chilled cream

For crust-

Preheat oven to 350*
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a 9 inch pie plate, Mix well and press mixture evenly on the bottom and up the sides.
Bake crust in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes then remove and let cool. Keep oven on.

Make filling and bake the pie-

Whisk together eggs yolks and condensed milk in a bowl. Add juice and whisk till slightly thickened. Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie completely then chill for 8 hours. Filling will set as it cools.

Make topping-

Just before serving beat the cream in a bowl with an electric mixer till it holds stiff peaks. Top pie with cream and serve. Enjoy!

delicious scrumptious key lime pie

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Hello all,

When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family get togethers and delicious recipes, especially turkey. There are so many ways to cook it. I found 3 of the best mouth watering Thanksgiving turkey recipes for you to try! Let me know how they turn out:

1. Martha Stewart Upside Down Turkey - The benefits of roasting your turkey upside down makes your breast meat extra moist.


1 14 pound turkey
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Halved figs, red, black and green grapes, sage and thyme sprigs for serving


In a bowl combine 1/2 cup salt and 1 tsp pepper. Rub mixture on turkey and inside body cavity. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Remove plastic from turkey and rinse turkey inside out and pat dry. Let stand and room temp for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Tuck wings under turkey and tie drumsticks together with twine. Trim bread to length of turkey and slice horizontally. Butter the cut sides of the bread. On a V shaped wire rack set in the roasting pan, place buttered sides of the up. Place turkey breast-side down, so it rests on the bread. Roast 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and flip the turkey breast-side up. Pour broth into pan. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and baste with pan juices every 20 minutes until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 2 hours more.
Transfer turkey to platter discard bread.  The bread was just used to keep the turkey breast from sticking. Set aside the pan drippings for gravy.  Let turkey stand 30 minutes and serve garnished with figs, grapes, sage, and thyme.

3 of the best mouth watering Thanksgiving turkey recipes- Martha Stewart upside down turkey

2. Family Circle's Deep Fried Turkey - I have yet to try deep fried turkey, but I heard it's delicious. Be very careful when frying turkeys in this manner.


First brine the turkey-
In a large stockpot combine 2/3 cup kosher salt, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup hot water, 3 cups cold water, 1 sliced onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 slice jalapeno and 12 crushed peppercorns. Place fresh turkey in pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and refrigerate overnight not longer than 8 hours. Remove turkey and dry inside out before cooking.

1 12- 16 brined turkey
3 quarts peanut oil


Place turkey fryer in an open level dirt, cement, or grassy area. Heat 3 quarts peanut oil to 400 degrees (about 40 minutes to heat).
When oil reaches 400 degrees very slowly lower turkey in basket into the oil. check temp, increase or lower to maintain it at 375 degrees. Fry turkey 3 minutes per pound. Carefully lift from oil to check the temperature of the turkey. It should be 165 degrees in the thigh. When done remove from oil and drain on rack for a few minutes. Cover with foil and let stand 20 minutes before carving.

3 of the best mouth watering Thanksgiving turkey recipes -  Family Circles deep fried turkey

3. Better Homes and Gardens Flash Roasted Turkey - This method will produce a delicious roast turkey in about 2 hours. It says the secret is the butter mixture placed under the skin.


2 large cloves garlic
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, sage, parsley, thyme and chives
1 10-12 pound turkey
1 onion


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place rack in lower third of oven. Mince garlic with 1 tsp. kosher salt to make a paste. Add butter, herbs, and black pepper and mash with a fork.
Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Use your fingers to loosen the breast skin . Push butter mixture under the loosened skin. Season inside and outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Insert one onion inside breast cavity and tie drumsticks together with twine.
Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and pour 2 cups of water into the bottom of the pan.
Tent turkey with foil and roast for 2 hours until a thermometer inserted into thigh read at least 175 degrees.
Make sure to rotate pan and add 1 cup of water to the pan after 1 hour.
Remove from oven and discard oven from the cavity.
Transfer to a platter and loosely cover with foil and let stand 30 minutes.

3 of the best mouth watering Thanksgiving turkey recipes- Better Homes and Gardens flash roasted turkey

Friday, November 4, 2016


Hello all,

 There's no place quite like Florida for the holidays We have our own sense of style here. Florida has so much to see and do already, the holidays just add more to it. I've compiled a list of unforgettable amazing holiday things to do in Florida, enjoy:

1. Now Snowing - Now Snowing is a monthlong winter wonderland spectacular featuring Charles Dickens carollers, performers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and yes, it has nightly snowfalls at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00. amd 9:00 pm. They also have an ice rink open 4-10 pm till January 1st. They will be having a Radio Disney holiday concert on Saturday December 17th. This event and parking are free, but there are small fees for the ice skating, carriage rides, Santa photos, and the train. It's located at the Celebration Town Center, 701 Front St. Celebration.


2. Santa's Enchanted Forest - The site says it's the world's largest holiday theme park with over 100 rides, games, shows and attractions. It features south Florida's largest Christmas light show with millions of lights, lasers, themed displays, Christmas music, live shows and carnival rides. It's open till January 8th, 5:00 pm till midnight. Admission for adults is $31.78, kids $22,43. It's located at 7900 SW 40th St., Miami.


3. Gaylord Palms - From November 18th to January 1st you can go to Christmas at Gaylord Palms. They have larger than life decorations with over 2 million lights. They have Alpine Rush Snow tubing, which is priced at $19.99. They also have ICE, a walk through attraction kept at 9 degrees. It is an inside winter wonderland with 2 million pounds of ice sculptures, 4 ice slides, ice carving zone, and a nativity scene carved of ice. Price is $29.99 adults, $16.99 kids. And let's not forget about Santa! You can take photos of him for a fee!


4. Busch Garden's Christmas Town - This event runs for 23 select dates from November 25th to December 31st. The park comes alive with 2 million lights and decorations. You can meet and take photos with Rudolph and Santa. They have special Christmas musicals and ice shows. They also have a Christmas village where they offer treats and Christmas gift shopping. They even have a Christmas Town Express where you climb aboard a train and sing Christmas carols. This event is included with the regular Busch Gardens admission price of $99.00.


5. The Murder Mystery Dinner Train - This is a one of a kind experience where you can spend the holidays on a train ride in Fort Myers..  They have an awesome Christmas Rail-Boat trip. This trip takes you for a train ride with soup and salad to Punta Gorda. There you get on a boat for a boat tour through the Punta Gorda isles. Then back on the train to Fort Myers for your entree and dessert. No murder mystery on this one. The cost is $99.00                                                              


6. Disney World and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - The first Christmas party is November 7, and the last is December 22nd, 3-4 weeks apart. During the parties you can see Mickey's Once Upon a Time Christmas Parade, Holiday Wishes fireworks, 2 Christmas stage shows, dance parties and meet and greets. They also serve complimentary hot cocoa, cookies and apple slices. They even have snow on Main Street! These tickets are popular and hard to come by at $99.00 per adult. There is a separate admission cost for this.


7. St. Augustine's Night of Lights - Their Nights of Lights is from November 19th to January 31st. This was selected by National Geographic as one of the 10 best holiday light displays in the world! It features over 3 million  white lights that light up the entire city. Holiday music and the lighting of the city's Christmas tree add to the excitement. It truly is a sight to see!