One of the few things I really enjoy in life is beautiful candles. I especially like ones that are unique in smell, shape or presentation. If you are like me, you have to visit Crafted Candles. Their selection of holiday candles this year is spectacular! Check some of these out!!

Crafted Candles really is a company who has anything you could ever want, or need when it comes to candles.  Their Beeswax candles are made with pure natural beeswax and emit a mild honey fragrance. They are available in swirls, spirals, ruffles, pine cones, straight, and pillar shapes, and all at reasonable prices.  In fact, right now if you become a new fan of their on facebook page, you can get an exclusive discount).

Their scented candles come in fragrances that sound amazing and I can’t wait to try ~  like Orange & Evergreen, Christmas Lily,  Holiday Baking, Ginger Berry and Vanilla Cinnamon Brule.  Their 20 oz. Empire Designer Jar Candles say they are “richly scented” and they truly are! 

But even putting the scents aside, I especially love their specially shaped candles.  They have ball, birthday, floating and even patio candles ~~ but the unique ones, like the cupcake party candles, win me over every time.  And if you are wondering about those patio candles ( because I was)… it’s a specially shaped candle that lends itself to sitting on a patio, both looking and smelling good while it also glows to beautifully light up your patio.

So… do you need floating candles for that special decorator touch? You will not believe the selection they have from floating bees, and butterflies to anthurium flowers and apple halves (and so lifelike). Just take a look at some of these!!See what I mean… you need to get over there and get not only some great holiday candles, but also look through their supplies and accessories. They have some nice holders, toppers, pots, plates and linens too!

ANY and I mean ANY of these would made a spectacular hostess gift!

What are you waiting for… get over there and check out the selection — but before you go, enter to win a $100 Credit to Crafted Candles — which you can even apply to shipping!  You have be 18+  and a resident of the US or Canada to enter.  Giveaway runs from 11/19/12 to 12/3/12.

 The Winner was … Entry #649Debbie M.

NOTE:  This post has been sponsored by Crafted Candles and powered by Couponista Queen. Its Annoying is not responsible for the prize fulfillment. All opinions expressed here are 100% mine  and have not been influenced by any compensation that I may have received.



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Step2 Toys is another company that I, without any hesitation, would endorse.  Having 2 boys who destroyed so much in their time, you might understand that even though the toys may cost a little more than some copy cats — they are worth the price because they can survive all the things that kids can “throw” at them.  They also make toys that challenge a child to think “out of the box”.

A child can have a limitless supply of imagination.  Their dress up clothes, super hero capes, and even simple pots and pans can all be fun toys through the imaginative eyes of a child. When you add those elements to a super fun play space, you could soon find your child occupied for hours.

Welcome to the Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen Giveaway Event

Hosted by StuckAtHomeMom.com, TheNightOwlMama.com,
In the Kitchen with KP, TheGiveawayGals.com,
Zoe’s Printable Coupons, My M.O.G. Blog,
and many more wonderful bloggers!

Your sweet little ones will love the realistic sounds of the burner and microwave.  This adorable little kitchen is 41″ H and 26″ W, so it won’t take up half of your living room. Imaginations will flourish when inspired with this incredible new giveaway!

Fresh Accents Kitchen Product Features:

  • Stylish kitchen with “window” for imaginative play
  • Electronic features: microwave and stove top
  • Includes coffee pot with molded-in coffee maker
  • 30 piece accessory set included (accessories may vary)
  • Requires 4 “AA” and 2 “AAA” batteries (not included)
  • Minimal adult assembly required

Giveaway starts Nov 16th at 12:01 AM EST and ends Dec 2, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.
Open to the US only.
Must be at least 18 years old to enter and eligible to win.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER… THANKS FOR EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!!

Disclosure: Its Annoying received no compensation for posting this giveaway, and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.



 

I love Little Tikes Toys — why? because I had two boys who were inquisitive and industrious and darn hard on every toy they had. However, no matter what they did, the Little Tikes Toys (especially that Green Turtle Sand Box) lasted thru all that hard play, and was still in good shape to be passed on! That’s saying something. My kids did all sorts of things to their toys, our house (think flushing the vitamin bottles), my car (think washing the inside with the dish detergent and the hose) and even each other. I am so happy Little Tikes is still around building quality into their toys and you can bet I am going to be spoiling my only grandson with lots and lots of them.

Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow Kitchen Giveaway

Sponsored by Little Tikes
 

This kid’s kitchen playset  grows with your child, and yes I do believe it’s equally good for both boys and girls.  I love that it can “grow” with your child, coming out of the box the perfect height for toddlers.   And then later, it can be converted to the perfect size for your preschooler to cook your dinner (imaginary dinner, I hope).  There are 50+ accessories included for hours and hours of F-U-N !

Features:

  • Kitchen has 2 age grade configurations
     1) Kitchen is expanded and the height is just right for toddlers
     2) Compacting the kitchen makes it just right for preschoolers
  • Electronic cooking sounds
  • Hooks for hanging cups
  • Molded in slots to hold plates
  • Oven, refrigerator and microwave doors all open and close
  • Shape-sorting lid for pot helps develop fine motor skills
  • 50+ accessories included
  • Requires 2 “AA” batteries (not included)

Read Coupon Gator Mommy’s Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow Kitchen Review.

Want to enter more Giveaways including an iTikes Piano and other toys, click HERE

One lucky winner will receive a 
Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow Kitchen. 
This giveaway ends Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. 
Open to US residents.
Good Luck!

The winner was…  Entry #6925  Joanne H.

 

A special thanks to all the amazing bloggers who are participating in this giveaway!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my 100% own and may differ from yours.  Its Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

 

Whoa…. can you believe that Christmas is coming up very quickly this year? I think I just got used to it being 2012 – and already it’s almost 2013! Need something special for that great little boy, you call son, grandson or even nephew? … well then look no more ~ this is it!   What little boy would not think that this is the ultimate room and because this is a Step2 Toy – we know it’ll last through even the most “energetic” boy on your list! 

Welcome to the Corvette Christmas Giveaway!

Hosted by Mom to Bed by 8

Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Mommy and Me Giveaways, JadeLouise Designs, Confessions of a Messy Mama and Barbara’s Beat!

Prize Package Includes: Corvette Toddler to Twin Bed with Lights, Corvette Dresser, Corvette Storage Chest and Corvette Room Organizer

 

One lucky reader will receive the Step2 corvette bedroom set!

Giveaway ends December 5th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Continue reading »

 

For the first time since I was able to vote, I stayed up till 2 AM and watched the election results and the speeches.  And while I had not been involved in the actual political process in this election, I felt invested in the outcome. 

I came from a family who was divided (one parent republican and one democratic).  Each had their own ideas and was outspoken in expressing them.  My mother was a councilwoman.  They always talked  in terms of what “so and so” would do for the people of this country, each candidate having pluses and minuses.  I think in the end, they likely voted right along the party line because back then I think each party had some really good ideas and unique ways of handling things they had planned for their city, state, county, or country. 

This time, I feel that America voted their hearts.  I know I did.  Just this week someone came to my office and was joking with me about voting for Barack Obama —  I wasn’t joking when I said I would be voting for him.  They were seriously appalled, and of course a discussion ensued. I said Mr. Obama is “an evil I know, as opposed to one I don’t”  and meant that I knew where Mr. Obama stood on many issues and didn’t really know where Mr. Romney stood at all.  I told them my vote goes to whom I think will be the best person for the job, not because I am a member of either party.   I said I didn’t trust Mr. Romney because I never saw him clearly outline any plan for this country, just rhetoric about changing, eliminating, and fixing.  That “secrecy” did not sit well with me.  And while I am all for changing, eliminating and fixing — I would have liked him to outline how he planned to do that.  Instead it was more a campaign of persuasion ~  “I’ll fix it, just trust me.”  Lots of people bought that and did decide to cast their vote for him, but I don’t work that way.  You can tell me an investment is good, but I want to see the proof, the trend, the outcome over the last years, and I want to know why you think it’s going to continue on that path. 

In the end, I will always vote for whom I feel is right for this country, whether they be democrat or republican, old or young, white, green or even purple.  I think the republican party let the American people down with their choice of Mr. Romney as the candidate – I think it’s about time they reassess what AMERICA wants, not what they want for America.  It’s the health of this country and the people who call it home that I want them to have as the basis of their agenda.  I sincerely feel that if  Barack Obama didn’t think he could be a good fit for the job, and couldn’t continue to try and fix issues facing America,  he wouldn’t have ran for a second term. 

Congratulations Mr. President – I have high hopes and expectations that you will be able to steer this ship we call America onto a better and more prosperous path in your next four years.

 

SOUP NUMBER TWO – Creamy Stuffed Baked Potato and Leek Soup. 

This soup was so very different from what I expected.  And as usual, I varied from the recipes that I read online. 

potato leek soup ingredients

6-8 small to medium baked potatoes
1 Tbs of butter
3 medium leeks
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups of chicken broth
kosher salt (it was already on my potato skins)
pepper to taste
6 slices of thick bacon (eventually diced)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheese

 

I baked my potatoes earlier in the week.  I actually planned on trying this soup – and I especially wanted to see how different this recipe was from the creamy potato soup of the week before.

So I started my prep with making sure I had all my ingredients ready. I peeled and cubed the potatoes, I diced up about 1/3 of the potato skins (discarding the rest to the compost pile),  I washed and cleaned my leeks – and sliced them up.  I prepared my garlic slices and then got started.

First, I put my 1tbs of butter into my pan, melted it and then added my 6 slices of thick bacon (doesn’t that look good middle picture below – smelled good too).

Once that was done, I took the bacon out onto a paper towel lined plate  and added in the garlic, onions to the bacon drippings ~  and re-washed leeks.  I used all three of the leeks that I purchased. They were organic and I had to wash – slice and then rewash,  but I used them all because the other recipes I had read said people couldn’t taste them in the soup and I definitely wanted the onion like flavor of the leeks in the soup. 

Add and cook your sliced leeks with the onions and garlic until the leeks are soft  – about 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth and cook for about 20 minutes longer to really get the leeks very tender.
Next you’ll add the potatoes and chopped skins – I simmered this for about 10 more minutes – while I thought of how I would “cream” my potatoes.  

I finally decided on two almost even batches in my kitchen aid mixer – as I could not find my blender (which is the usual way I would do this).  Once I got them to the consistency I wanted, I returned them to the pot.  You can chose your own consistency here — but the thickness does depend on the starch from the potatoes, so you will want to break some down to get the soup thickness you desire, as well as a creamy texture.

Stir the sour cream and milk together and then stir into pot with about 1/2 the cheese.  I didn’t have cheddar cheese that I could actually use (it turned out to be moldy), so I used  a 4 cheese blend.  I have read of people using all sorts of odds and ends of cheese in this soup and I don’t think it can hurt it.  My soup would have had a stronger cheese flavor with the cheddar, but it also might have lessened the flavor of the leeks.  You taste buds must be your guide when choosing.

I cooked mine down  (about 30-40 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly), and then stirring in the remainder of the cheese right before I served it.  I will say it retained the leek flavor and was definitely not as creamy as it could have been had I used the blender, or if I added cream cheese instead of the sour cream.  But it was good, hot and hearty and we definitely enjoyed it with the poppy seed homemade bread that I made earlier in the day.  I think though if I had to choose, I’d go with the easier and faster creamy potato next time.  Much less work and definitely richer tasting.

Don’t forget to garnish with those bacon bits — and extra cheese  ~ and if you like it ~  some sour cream!

cooking and ready to eat

 

 

Welcome to A Girlicious Event!

hosted by Kara’s Deals and Steals and Little Elves for Little Angels: California.

Ready for a great giveaway that not only gives you the chance to win some great “girly” prizes, but also benefits a charity for less fortunate children?  Well, here it is…. Little Elves for Little Angels – California is a virtual Gift Tree servicing less fortunate children in the Greater Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. They are celebrating reaching 2000 Facebook “likes” and have a list of great sponsors and prizes which will make a wonderful girly package valued at over $230.

Savvyilicious Sweets offers custom cake pops and treats {dessert buffets and candy stations..YUM!}.  Fresh Ingredients is all they will use  in all of their Cake Pops, which  are hand-made to order .They offer classic and seasonal cake flavors, as well as custom flavors in a variety of designs, making them a perfect choice for any occasion. They are sponsoring a dozen Not-So-Plain-Jane Cake Pops for the prize package {$54 Value}.

Too Cute Tutu Boutique has tons of adorable custom made tutus for your little ones! They also sell hair accessories, custom wooden letters and much more! They are sponsoring a tutu for the prize package {$25 Value}. Continue reading »

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