Gourmet Toppings for Popcorn


Winter has arrived. I’m watching the snow fall out my window. It’s a beautiful afternoon. This time of year, I love to watch holiday movies or curl up with a good book. This would be a perfect afternoon or evening for some homemade gourmet popcorn. I thought I share a few of my favorite popcorn toppings for you to enjoy too. Pop a bag of unsalted and unbuttered microwave popcorn. Use one of the following toppings:
Cinnamon Toast Topping

  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

Melt 3 – 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix with the Cinnamon Toast Topping. Melt 3 -4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over popcorn. Sprinkle the Cinnamon Toast Topping over the popcorn.

Spicy Italian Topping

  • 1/3 grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt

Place popcorn in a bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over popcorn. Mix with Spicy Italian mixture.

Cookies & Cream Topping

  • Grind about 10 chocolate sandwich cookies in a zip lock bag.
  • Mix in a pinch of salt.
  • Pour popcorn into a bowl and drizzle with 3 – 4 tablespoons of butter.
  • Mix with cookie crumb mixture

Leave us a comment with your favorite popcorn topping. I’m always looking for something yummy and new. Check out my list of Holiday Movies, you may enjoy them too.

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Simply faBOWlous Give Away

Looking for A Fabulicious Holiday Find? Head over to Simply FaBOWlous. They have adorable hats and headbands that will make a great holiday gift. Your little diva will love them. Their hat and headband sizes range from infant to 6 years, so you won’t have a problem finding the right size. They have a great range of colors to choose from too. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to review a hat and headband from Simply faBOWlous. I choose the white hat and headband with the daisy. I’m partial to white, it looks great with a variety of colors and so fresh in the summer and winter. Since I don’t have a little girl, the hat and headband were gifts to one of my nieces. She is a Lil Diva. If it relates to fashion, she’s into it. I knew she would be the perfect critic.

I was pleased with the quality of the hat and headband. They are packaged nicely, and the design of the items is superb. There’s a bonus, they are washable. I liked the fact that the hat would fit over different textures of hair and stay in place. If your child’s hair is thin, it will stay put. If your child’s hair is long and thick the hat will stay put, and it looks great. I didn’t feel the item would stretch out of shape once it was worn or washed.

My niece loved the hat and headband. The hat was her favorite. Because of the thickness of her hair and the length, the headband was more difficult to get on. She plans to wear the hat and headband often, so it’s a gift that won’t sit in a dresser drawer. I would suggest that you buy several, they look great with jeans or a formal dress.

Simply faBOWlous also sells tutus, ruffled leggings, and cotton hats with flowers if you’re not into crocheted hats. You can also design your own cotton hat. You must check out their selection of great gifts for the fashionista on your gift list. You won’t be disappointed and neither will your little one. Compliments are guaranteed. While you’re there, check out the Christmas Tutu. Isn’t it adorable. Your Lil Diva will photograph nicely in this tutu or she can dance til her heart is content in the comfort of home. There’s a large selection of Christmas hats in a variety of colors too.

Simply faBOWlous is giving a hat and headband away to 1 of our readers. You could be a winner, here’s how: Visit Simply faBowlous and let us know what hat and headband you would like to win. We will select a winner from the posts, so please leave us a valid email address. This give away will end January 5, 2010 at midnight. Items will be shipped directly from sponsor. Want extra credits? Do 1 or all of the following:Comment on 1 of our posts ( 5 entries)
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One Less Holiday Tradition

I took this picture before I took my tree down last year. I vowed that it would be the last year for a real tree in my house. The holidays have arrived and I’m not sure if I can follow through with my decision to purchase an artificial tree this year. The thought of not having a real tree is torturing me.

As I was decorating the tree last year I decided the pros of an artificial tree outweighed the pros of a real tree. I love the smell of a pine tree, but that was the only pro that I could come up with. I hate the mess when taking it down. Clean up is a little easier now that I have hardwood floors, but those needles stick and prick when the tree starts to dry out. I used to think that real trees looked better than the artificial trees, but they have great looking artificial trees on the market now. I have room to store an artificial tree and it would be easier pulling it out of storage than browsing tree farms in the freezing cold looking for a tree, tying it down and lugging it home only to find that a damn branch is keeping it from going into the tree stand or the trunk is too large for the stand that we have. Out the door we go with the tree to trim off the branch or the trunk while arguing like two crazy people on why we don’t buy an artificial tree.

If the pros of an artificial tree outweigh a real tree, why don’t I just switch you ask? After 30 years of having a real tree, I’m having difficulty parting with tradition. Here’s what I will be missing:

  • No more bundling up in layers so I won’t freeze to death searching for a tree.
  • No more arguing with my significant other over the size of the tree.
  • No more 5 mile per hour drives for miles so we don’t loose the tree from the trunk or it won’t go flying off the back of the truck.
  • No more arguing over tree trunks or tree stands.
  • No more watching the tree fall to the floor after its been decorated because it has shifted in the stand or someone didn’t turn the screws tight enough.
  • No more tying the tree to the wall to support it and having to fill in the holes once we take it down.
  • No more cutting off the tip because I can’t get the star on the top.
  • No more arguing over taking the tree to the dump because I missed the only day the garbage man will take it.
  • No more arguing over whose turn it is to crawl underneath the tree so it can be watered.
  • No more arguing over why I surrounded the damn tree with gifts and now nobody can get to the stand to pour water in it.
  • No more streams running down the hardwood floor or soaked tree skirts because somebody poured too much water into the stand.
  • No more pine needles in the fake snow under the tree.
  • No more holes in the tree because the branches hadn’t dropped in the cold so we could see the tree’s true shape.
  • No more turning the tree around and around to find the best side and deciding where you had it originally is where it should be.
  • No more scratched up arms or hands from the needles.
  • No more arguing over my significant other’s left or my left.
  • No more browsing 10 different lots/tree farms and than heading back to the first one for the first tree that I saw.

This has been tradition in my household with a real tree. Who in the hell am I going to argue with now? How much fun is it going to be dragging a cardboard box out of storage rather than dragging the tree across a parking lot or tree farm while praying that I don’t turn into an icicle. I feel like a kid having to give up a security blanket or their favorite toy. I had no idea it would have this kind of affect on me. I have until the week-end to embrace the fact that the tradition of having a live Christmas tree is No More. Pray for me bloggy friends!

Kate Landers Party Hat Give Away

Will you be planning a child’s birthday party soon? If so, you should check out Kate Landers Events. We found the cutest children’s party hats there, and we thought you would want to know about them. These hats are quite unique, they are made from felt and are designed to be an heirloom. They offer an adorable lion, which would be perfect for the birthday boy or birthday girl at a jungle, safari or circus themed party.  Not into the jungle, they have other birthday party ideas such as farm animal, flowers, turtles and sailboats. If none of these will do, Kate Landers Events will custom design a hat that will meet your needs.

Kate Landers Events can coordinate your hat and table accessories too. They offer fabric hats as well as paper. The tablecloth, hat and napkins can be coordinated. If you want to go all out, check out the melamine plates and cups. They have fabulicious colors, green, yellow, pink, purple and many more, that will fit any child’s party decor. If you’re into one stop shopping, they can design your invitations too.

I love the cake and hat set shown. It’s perfect for a little girl. The colors are soft and the design adorable. You won’t find these hats at your everyday party or party store. If you want original for your next party, shop at Kate Landers Events. It’s one stop shopping.

Thanks to Kate, we’re giving a party hat to one of our readers. It could be you, but you must enter to win. Visit Kate Landers Events and browse her site. Leave us a comment and let us know what felt party hat you would like to win. A winner will be selected from the posts, so please leave a valid email address. This give away is open to US Resident 18+ only. It will end December 25 at mid-night. Your party hat will be shipped to winner directly from the sponsor.

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Good Luck!

Favorite Holiday Movies

The holidays are here. I love the family feasts, decorating the house for Christmas, and watching great holiday movies. It kicks off my holiday spirit. I like to curl up on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn and one of my favorite drinks and gear up for a good laugh or two. I’ve seen good and bad holiday movies. I just don’t watch the bad, but here’s my list of 10 Favorite Holiday Movies:

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. Deck The Halls
  3. Smokey Mountain Christmas
  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  5. Bad Santa
  6. It’s A Wonderful Life
  7. Home Alone
  8. Miracle on 34th Street
  9. Christmas With The Kranks
  10. Four Christmases
I would say that A Christmas Story is my favorite holiday movie. I would sit for hours wrapping gifts, sipping eggnog and rum, and LMAO. Oh that Red Rdyer BB Gun will live in my memory forever. I also loved Danny Devito in Deck The Halls. Who would want so many lights on their house you could see it from space? I must admit, I did enjoy the lights and music in the movie.
I enjoyed Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.  He was so adorable in that movie.  I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it here.  Let us know what your favorite holiday movie is and what you enjoyed about it. 
We hope that your holidays will be safe, happy and blessed.

Wordless Wednesday: Parking Lots

    Look, Daddy’s a Parking Lot!

Cook’s Ham Give Away

The holidays are approaching and delicious meals will grace tables around the country. There’s nothing better than a yummy ham surrounded with all the trimmings. I was thrilled when a representative from Cook’s offered Mother 2 Mother a tasty ham. I browsed their site and I found so many helpful tips on hams. They have information on How To Purchase A Ham, How to Cut The Ham, How To Garnish A Ham, and the list goes on.

Cook’s Site explains the benefits and advantages of Bone In Hams, Spiral Hams, and Boneless Hams. Not only can you find delicious hams, you can find ideas on setting the table, activities to do with the kids and tips on wrapping gifts on Cook’s site too. I love the Spiral Hams. They make great sandwiches and are wonderful in casseroles.
Would you like one of Cook’s delicious hams for your Christmas dinner? You can win one here. Just leave us a post and tell us about a Dinner Disaster that you’ve experienced or witnessed while you were a guest.
I have a Dinner Disaster. I ruined my stuffing last year at Christmas dinner. I fry my turkey, so I make my stuffing as a side dish. I purchased Seasoned Salt that I normally use, and they had changed the top on the bottle. I didn’t realize they had incorporated the shaker portion of the bottle into the cap. Instead of taking the cap off and shaking the seasoning, you now have to lift the top on the cap and shake the seasoning from there. I took the cap off as I normally do, and I poured way too much seasoning into the stuffing. It was ruined. It was too late to make a store run and there was no way I could salvage the stuffing and the ingredients. Have you ever served turkey with no stuffing? Not good at a holiday meal. My family still talks about me and the fact that they couldn’t pour gravy over their mashed potatoes and stuffing.
Tell us your story and we will randomly select a winner from the posts. We will send you a coupon for a Free Cook’s Ham up to $30.00. Don’t have a Dinner Disaster, visit Cook’s and tell us which ham you will purchase if you’re the winner. Cook’s also list the stores in your area that sell their hams. Check it out.
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This give away will end December 15, 2009 at mid-night. It is open to US Residents 18+ only. Winner will have 2 days to respond to notification. Failure to respond will result in disqualification and another winner will be selected. We would like the recipient to receive the coupon so they can purchase the ham for Christmas or New Years dinner.
Good luck!

Children’s Shoes Give Away

Looking for an adorable pair of shoes for your little one? We have found the most adorable shoes at 5 Lil Monkeys. I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review a pair of their shoes. I choose these blue suede shoes by Kai for my grandson. I’m glad I did, he loves them. My grandson couldn’t wait for me to get them out the box. He immediately take off the ones he was wearing, and put these on.

These blue suede shoes are so cute. Elvis would have loved them too. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. As you can see they have a white stitching, which really draws your eyes to the shoes. They are so soft and have a box toe so there’s plenty of wiggle room for those little tootsies. I also love the thick, rubber sole. You know that you have a sturdy and quality shoe. What I love most about the shoe is the velcro closure. They are so easy to get off and on. As a mother or father, you know what it is like when you have a 2 year old that’s ready to jump off your lap so they can play with a toy or run. This velcro closure is heavenly. No strings to tie over and over. My grandson will get plenty of wear out of them this winter. They look great with jeans. This is my first encounter with Kai shoes, I’m sold.

5 Lil Monkeys has a diverse selection of shoes to choose from. They carry Pediped, Rileyroos, Squeaker and Wee Squeaks. I’m quite pleased with their selection of shoes for little boys. The black and white shoes above would be so cute for Sundays or any occassion requiring formal wear. You can always find adorable shoes for girls, but boys are a different story. I’ll be visiting the 5 Lil Monkeys often. They carry as many adorable shoes for boys as they do for girls. I have my eye on a pair of sandals for my little sweetie for the summer. This site has been Bookmarked!

Too bad I don’t have a little girl. Look at these cupcake shoes. You can find then at 5 Lil Monkeys. Don’t you love the colors. These would look great with jeans, skirts and tights or shorts. They are made by Squeaker Sneaker. In addition to the cupcake, you can find them with ladybugs, sunflowers, strawberries, apples and balloons. This is a fun shoe for any little girl to wear, and they are Pediatrician recommended.
Susana Castaneda, co-owner, of 5 Lil Monkeys wants one of our readers to enjoy a pair of shoes from their store. The winner chooses. You could be that lucky person. Just visit 5 Lil Monkeys and let us know what pair of shoes you would like to win and the size. (Please select from the inventory on their site). Leave us a comment with a valid email address and we will randomly select a winner from the posts.
If you would like extra entries do 1 or all of the following. Information can be found on the left sidebar:
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This give away will end at mid-night on December 19, 2009. It is open to US Residents 18+ only. Winner will have 3 days to respond to our notification. Failure to respond in that timeframe will result in disqualification. Good luck!

Mattel’s Burqa Barbie Controversy

Barbie is involved in another controversy, i.e. Burqa Barbie. It seems that Mattel has offended some Islamic women, and they’re demanding that Mattel take note. Mattel has produced 500 Barbies in a Burqa for auction in Italy. The auction is part of Barbie’s 50th anniversary. Proceeds will go to the Rewrite the Future, a charity, which helps millions of children around the world effected by conflict.

A representative from Mattel has stated, “I think this is really important for girls, wherever they are from they should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them”.

Muslim women are offended because the Burqa is not a true representation of Islamic dress, so where is Mattel coming from? Islamic women are fighting to not have to wear a Burqa. The Burqa is believed by Muslim women to be a garment forced on them during the Taliban, it is not mentioned in the Quran; therefore, it should not be seen as a part of their traditional dress. The Quran is our Bible. They see the Burqa as a means to oppress women. Muslim women are required to wear Hijabs, a scarf, to cover their heads and to dress modestly only. The Burqa is worn over a woman’s normal dress when she is outside the home in some Islamic countries. It is made to cover them from head to toe. Because of political instability, it was seen as a way of protecting women so they were forced to wear them.

I normally don’t post on religious or cultural issues, but I believe this concern was important enough to bring to light. Especially since it involved a toy maker. I am somewhat knowledgeable of Islam and I am aware that Islamic women are fighting for rights as women. Rights that we take for granted in this country. Muslim women believe that Mattel should have taken the time to understand the Islamic culture and what it represents before they produced a doll that supposedly represents traditional Islamic dress. Especially, a Barbie doll that little girls will be playing with. Burqas are currently the center of a big controversy in Western Europe. They are being banned because they are not a part of the traditional Islamic dress.I posted on the Burqa Barbie because so many problems are created simply because statements and opinions are formed without having all the facts. What’s funny is Mattel’s Barbie has been banned in most Islamic countries. They see her as being too westernized for their little girls. She has been replaced with the Fulla doll (shown above). This doll is more culturally correct as far as Islamic dress than the Burqa Barbie produced by Mattel.

I patronize Mattel and I will continue; however, a little research will go a long way when it comes to cultural and religious issues. Do you think Mattel should have done their homework before they produced a culturally incorrect Barbie? Do you think the focus was on money rather than the fight of Islamic women for their rights? Would love to hear your thoughts on the Burqa Barbie.

Divorce Cakes

Going through a divorce or separation? Call the girls or guys and celebrate your new freedom with a slice of Divorce Cake. It’s the thing to do, really it is. No more crying on your pillow or wondering what you’re going to do with your life. Get your party on. Hell call the cater who made your wedding cake and flip the switch. Tell them you have a new reason to celebrate, and you would like a custom cake for the occasion.

Don’t like the cake shown, they’ll make one with you sticking a knife in his or her back or heart or pushing your spouse over the edge. Anyway you want it, they can give it to you. When I first saw the cakes, I was like WTH. After I thought about it, I concluded that maybe it was a good idea. If it’s over, it’s over. I spent months crying, feeling lonely, and wondering what my next move would be. I spent hours on the phone with my girlfriends shedding tears and wondering how I ended up heading for divorce court. When I look back on it, I wish I had used my energy in other ways. A party was the last thing on my mind, but it probably would have been a good idea. Having a party sure sounds better than crying on your pillow.

For those who are in the party/celebration mode here’s another idea for you. Just shoot each other, lol. The baker of the cakes, Kay Millar, owns Pink Rose Cakes. She’s located in the United Kingdom, but Kay stated that the cakes were popular in the United States first. The cakes are intended to lighten the mood associated with divorce. They are a nice way to announce that you’re available again.

There has been complaints that the cakes are too violent or promoting violence. My response to that, don’t buy one. I believe that a bakery should be able to to make them if a customer chooses to order one. I also believe that a person should be able to celebrate or grieve over their divorce too. I think the idea is pretty entertaining and good for a laugh or two. What’s your thoughts? We would love to know what you think about the Divorce Cakes.