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Deal of the Day :: Evolve Showerhead by Laura
January 4, 2012, 11:10 am
Filed under: Freebies, Giveaways or Great Deals, Product Reviews, Thrifty Thursdays

One of the daily deal websites, DailySteals has a great deal for today.

Evolve Tree Frog Eco-Luxury Showerhead with 3.25” Spray Head

for only $14.99 plus shipping!

I found it online on a few deal websites, but it’s listed on Amazon for $40 – what s savings! You can read on Amazon, there are some positive reviews.


12 Loaves in 2012 :: Bread 1 by Laura
January 4, 2012, 10:10 am
Filed under: 12 Loaves in 2012

Well, that was quick! I had a “minimal” time to prep/rise/make some bread (in bread terms, but it took 1.5 hours of rise time) – I know I didn’t want cornbread, muffins or anything non-yeast related to go with a nice hot homemade beef stew.

So I settled on the shortest rise time recipe in ole’ Betty’s cookbook: dinner rolls.

Result? Delicious. We could have just eaten those for dinner with a little butter.

Ease? Pretty easy, except I really am terrible about dividing up the dough evenly into rolls, and don’t have one of those fancy dough cutters. But the recipe/rise time is very forgiving and it looked pretty much even once it was done baking.

Recipe changes? I went with the standard flour, not the bread flour, I was unsure about how much bread flour I had left in the kitchen. I also went a little crazy with the butter on top, I even put some more on when it was almost done baking. Totally worth it though.

Repeats? Oh yes, easy go-to recipe that would go with any dinner.

Husband Review: “Delightfully warm, fluffy and perfectly moist.”

12 Loaves in 2012! by Laura
January 3, 2012, 12:30 pm
Filed under: General Posts, Projects

Tis the season of New Year’s Resolutions…in my “adult” life I’ve made a pact with myself to NOT make resolutions… Everyone destroys them or forgets about them, and are mostly unrealistic. I try and set goals just to “be better” – have a nice positive outlook on the year and assess where I’m going and where I want to be.

One of my most recent yearnings is to blog more, I’ve let this blog run a little dry, even though I really enjoy it. I set too harsh of goals for myself and I got a little burnt out, combining it with the craziness of planning my wedding last year, taking on a new “company” and lots of insanity that’s involved in having 5 cats, 1 dog and a messy husband ; )

As I was having fun over the break, I decided to take my chances on the infamous Sourdough Bread. I enjoy baking, but I bake A LOT of sweets, I felt like I needed to bridge out to more healthy options that will expand my repertoire – and be useful in my household. I also have a lady that is interested in buying some loaves from me on a regular basis, so what’s better than a little monetary motivation?

So that’s where my two ideas merged…why not try AT LEAST a new bread recipe a month, and blog about it?! Woohoo! In chatting with my best friend Meghan of From Married to Merry, we came up with mutual goals. She will be blogging about 12 Meals in 2012, and I will be doing 12 Loaves in 2012!

First loaf? Not sure! I’ll take suggestions and figure it out soon. We need rolls for tonights stew…so maybe I’ll feel inspired!

Heinz :: PlantBottle by Laura
September 2, 2011, 12:57 pm
Filed under: News / Great Finds, Product Reviews

One pretty miscellaneous fact about me: I LOVE ketchup and I will put it on pretty much any potato product they make.

Recently eye-spied with my big eyes this beauty: the PlantBottle. They are plant-based bottles developed by Coke— aptly named “PlantBottles” — for all of its 20 oz. ketchup bottles. The plastic bottles consist of 30 percent plant material, and are made with a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, which results in a lower reliance on unsustainable resources as compared with traditional PET bottles. When Coke first introduced PlantBottles in 2009, an initial life-cycle analysis by the Imperial College London showed that the bottle had a 12 to 19 percent reduction in carbon impact. Coca-Cola said that last year, PlantBottles eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of CO2.

Read more: Heinz to Use Plant-Based Bottles Made by Coca-Cola | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Also, check out the Trivia Sweepstakes at Heinz!

Cupcake Review #2 :: Frostings, Etc. by Laura
July 26, 2011, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Cupcakerie Reviews

Some may say I am a cupcake addict, but I am an…extreme connoisseur and appreciate the fine art of cupcakes. I bake them, I decorate them, I eat them, I find new places to taste everywhere I go. After a big handful of cupcakeries, I have to say this is in the top 2 best. This is most certainly, the best in Tampa Bay, and beyond!

I have tried the Champagne Pear Bellini, the Cookie Dough, the Death By Chocolate, Tiramasu, Strawberry Shortcake and the Peanut Butter cupcake. I can say all of these are different, but all so wonderful. Elegantly decorated, thought provoking flavor combinations and impressive talent makes for a delicious experience.

The champagne pear bellini is quite a beauty, with a shimmery cream cheese frosting infused with light champagne topped with tiny edible pearls, and a very moist pink champagne and pear cake beneath.

The cookie dough cupcake is what dreams are made of. The icing is delicious, and like eating creamy (not overpowering or too sweet) icing heaven. The cake compliments well, and she uses tiny dark chocolate chips to create just enough bitterness to make the whole combination wonderful to the very last bite.

The Death by Chocolate is just that. Topped with dark chocolate shavings, it gives it a beautiful taste introduction and a sight to get your mouth watering. The icing is sweet, and chocolatey, but in no way overpowering. The cake, is just what you need, light and not too sweet. More you say? Yes, there is a chocolate fudge syrup hidden in the middle, to make a one-two punch to your heart and taste buds. It’s like the bad boy we all want, but don’t need.

If this isn’t enough? This location is just the right size and houses cute cupcake themed items for sale, along with a mouth-watering display case, armed with a very informative and always pleasant gentleman.

See my UrbanSpoon Review HERE

Paint Swatches :: Even More Things to Make! by Laura
July 20, 2011, 11:07 am
Filed under: Do-ables / Tutorials

As you may have noticed, I made *quite* a few things with paint swatches for a recent soire’ of mine. Here I come across even another use for paint swatches!

Check out the tutorial HERE.

Cupcake Review #1 :: The Sweet Escape by Laura
July 19, 2011, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Cupcakerie Reviews

During our Honeymoon through Canada, I made it a point to sample as many cupcakes throughout our travels. Our sightseeing stop at the Distillery resulted in quite a nice surprise.

My husband and I enjoyed a chocolate cake, with a vanilla buttercream icing, and multicolored sprinkles. As pedestrian as this sounds, it was much more than that. The cake was moist and fresh, and the icing was in perfect proportion, iced perfectly, and left us with a happy smile on our faces. The icing was not the mouthful of sugar you sometimes experience with a normal buttercream, this was a meringue buttercream, which is creamy, light and super delicious.

The quaint location is just enough for the bakery, and even has a cool glass window into where the baker does her magic. It had a french patisserie feel, which is explained in their name – cute, airy and just enough – exactly like their cupcakes!

Service was helpful, and we were even served our cupcake on a plate with a fork.

If you are anywhere near this patisserie, I highly recommend a stop!

See my UrbanSpoon Review HERE