Monday, June 30, 2014

Italian Pasta Salad

I shared this recipe on DeDa Studios about a week ago...With the July 4th holiday coming this week I thought maybe some you of might want to give this a try for your celebrations this 4th.  Easy & Delicious!  - Perfect for outside celebrations!
Super easy to make and very refreshing.

Italian Pasta Salad
You will need:
I bag of spiral noodle - I use the tri colored noodles - cooked & drained
one small can of sliced black olives
one can of Artichoke hearts chopped
I small jar of chopped Pimiento
Small package of Pepperoni chopped
1 large Tomato chopped
1 Bottle of Italian Zesty Salad Dressing 
1 cup of Mozzarella cheese grated

Mix all ingredients together and chill!  When ready to serve add about another 1/4 of the bottle of the Italian Zesty Salad Dressing.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Circus World Museum ~ Baraboo, Wisconsin

Last week I had the opportunity to have a fantastic road trip with my three crazy grandchildren.  We left our home in the rain and headed uppa north!  Our first stop was to ride the Merrimac Ferry across the Wisconsin River.  The Merrimac Ferry is  Wisconsin's only free ferry. It shuttles WIS 113 traffic between Okee on the east bank and Merrimac on the west.  The ferry is open for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, normally from April
15 through November 30. This was not my first trip on the ferry but it was the first for all three grandchildren.  Isa loved it!!! Caleb was not fond of the ride at all and Davey was so scared...he was sure the Jeep and us were going down. As we started across the river Davey got less and less scared. By the time we were driving on shore on the other side of the river ...Davey was ready to travel back and forth!  The fear was gone! The ferry is a great reminder of how many people crossed rivers years ago. Now it is not the norm...but years ago ferry travel was very very popular. 

Once on the other side of the Wisconsin River we headed to our next stop which was the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI - the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus.  We had no idea what to expect...but we were in the mood for the circus!   This past winter the circus came to Milwaukee and we
totally missed buying tickets. At that time we made the decision to check out the Circus World Museum this summer.  At the annual Pancake Breakfast at the kids school we won a raffle that included 4 tickets to  Circus World!  Once inside we headed to the Tristan Crist Illusion Show that was starting at 10:15.   Fun show...lots of great magic tricks that we are still talking about.  We can not figure out how it did what he did!  I was not able to take any pics so trust me it is a good magic show!

Once the Tristan Crist Illusion Show was over we headed to the Big Top for the Circus Performance at 11:30am.  Here are a few pics before the show started.
Davey wanted Cotton Candy so we all were enjoying the Blue Cotton Candy that makes going to the circus so much fun!  The BIG TOP SHOW was fantastic!  If we seen nothing else put the Big Top the tickets price would of been worth it!  For over a hour we watched some amazing circus acts.  Again no pics and I did not want to tell you the acts because the suspense is half the fun!  But again....I highly recommend that you check it out!  All four of us truly liked the Big Top Show and would return each year for the new yearly show.

Here is the map of Circus World.....our next stop was the museums at the beginning. Yep we are visiting circus world kind of goofy. We designed our adventure around the shows.   Inside the museum we began learning the history of the circus and were able to view some amazing treasures that are on exhibit.  The circus was such a part of our American history - for the kids
and I to see the beautiful wagons, items used to perform acts and follow the path of the circus acts was really interesting. 
Circus World is located in Baraboo Wisconsin just south of Wisconsin is definitely a historical attraction that should be on everyone's bucket list. Very interesting and  I am sure we will be visiting again.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge ~ Wisconsin Dells

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that the some of the products mentioned in this post have been received for free for evaluation purposes.  With that being said rest assure that I only give honest opinions. The opinions are my own and always will be.  Thanks for visiting.

This past week I was able to spend two fantastic days with my three bestest friends! Caleb ~ Isa ~ Davey! We were off to Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells!  If you were ever wondering about taking a trip and staying at a Great Wolf Lodge location......

We had a BLAST!  From the minute we walked in the front doors of the lodge our adventure began. We arrived about one hour before check-in.  I told the kids we might not be able to register - that was not the case.  The lady was extremely nice told me our room would be ready in a few minutes. She asked for my cell phone number so that she could give me a call when the room was ready.  She also told me if we liked we could change clothes and enjoy the waterpark.  The kids eyes lite up right away.  We decided to spend our waiting time checking out the lodge. We took our map and found the inside and outside waterparks right away. Visited each restaurant and for sure checked out the gift shop. 
Within about 15 minutes my phone rang - the lady on the phone was very nice and informed me of our room number.  
When we opened the door to our room we could not have been more pleased!  We had a family suite with fireplace. Perfect for this bunch!  Living in Wisconsin you never know when you will need a fireplace. Sure enough the first night the temps dropped and we turned it on to warm up the room! 
Two queen beds ~ two TV's ~ couch ~ chairs ~ outside patio with table & chairs ~ fridge ~ Microwave ~ coffee pot .... lots of room! As you can see in the pic...Davey right away has his Wolf Ears on and he is changing his clothes for the waterpark! Caleb has picked his bed for the stay! Isa is in the bathroom getting her swimsuit on. 
For this stay each of the kids received a PAW PASS. I personality would recommend this for all families.  PERFECT way to save $$$$ and control cost for your trip. There is so much included in the PAW PASS that all three kids were totally happy!  YEP! ALL THREE!  Ages 13 - 10 - 5!!!  That is a feat in itself!  The Paw Pass is a addon you can purchase for each child. Great Wolf offers two different passes - PAW PASS and CUB PASS.  
Their PAW PASS included......MagiQuest or ShadowQuest Game - Wand or Topper or Belt for the game - Great Wolf Creation - Mike & Ike Candy Cup - Water Goggles - Glitter Tattoo - Ice Cream - Sports Bottle with unlimited refills and discounts to two local attractions.  The kids LOVED the PASSES!  The passes were perfect for the kids....with the passes they did not ask for one thing extra. It was a good combination of items that keep them all satisfied. The Great Wolf Creature was a little young for Caleb - but he got one for his niece and the MagiQuest was a little old for Davey but he enjoyed every minute playing and with older was a total WIN!! WIN!! With me not having to say "No" you can not have this and "No" you can not have that all day makes for such a fun trip!  Plus.....the PAW PASS saves about 38%! Which is awesome! Each park must have a different PAW PASS since our pass had two local discounts. When you check in make sure to ask about that locations PAW PASS...I know you will not be sorry!

Waterpark here we come!   The weather was beautiful the day we arrived so outside we headed!  

I am very very impressed with the amount of lifeguards and their dedication to ensuring every child is safe. They were definitely doing their jobs. 

Check out Davey with his new Great Wolf Lodge Goggles enjoying the water.  When we got to the outside park Caleb & Isa headed to the slide. Isa stayed on the slide while Caleb found a couple of  boys his age and they started to play basketball in the pool.  What was so nice is that all three were able to find kids their own age to enjoy their pool time with. 

I joined Davey in the pool..we headed to the moving river - as we floated on our tubes ..I thought gosh this is really really fun! 
When I got out I sat in my lounge chair enjoying the warm sun while watching the life guards and the kids. I noticed they had a outside refreshment location.....a BAR!  I thought a glass of wine would sure be nice. I got up and headed to the bar....sure enough they had a good tasting white wine in a neat plastic wine cup. Perfect for the pool! The wine was chilled and tasted very good. 

When the sun started to go down we headed inside! The inside is just as much fun as the outside! Totally different fun in the water!  My favorite is the WAVE POOL...the WOLF started to HOWL and the WAVES started coming!  FUN!
Time to go back to our room....we dried off - stopped by the Arcade then headed to the room to change and check out the MagiQuest Game! We had no idea what to expect. Their PAW PASSES were good for a game and either a wand - topper or belt. We had no
idea what that meant. Once inside we were like "WOW" what a fun place!  They each got a wand...since they needed a wand to play the games. MagiQuest is a video game that is played using a wand. 

The game is a series of task that are completed by finding objects throughout the  three story maze. Caleb & Isa LOVED it! 

Davey had fun even though it was a little old for him..he still enjoyed it! There were kids his size at the game which made it nice for him. They also had tables and chairs where I sat watching Davey play the games. 

GOSH it was late and we had not eaten dinner!  When we got back to our room we ordered a Pizza from the The Loose Moose™ Bar & Grill.  Caleb & Davey walked to the grill to pick up the pizza. The pizza was tasty and very reasonable - We all had pizza for less than $15.00 - not bad!

Time for bed..................

Day Two!
We slept great!  When we got up and opened the patio was raining!  ICK!
So we had a quick breakfast of cereal and headed to the inside park. 

The water bucket is really fun.  There is a huge bucket very high up that fills with water...when it starts to make a clicking noise it is about to tip and dump the water on everyone under the bucket. Davey and I really enjoyed the bucket.  It was also fun to sit and watch as others enjoyed the bucket water! SO much fun!   Day two Davey meet new friends and also reconnected with his friends from yesterday. He was really happy!   We keep checking outside  for the weather to change...the rain had stopped and it looked like it was going to turn into a nice day. We had our fingers crossed because we all enjoy being outside when we can. Living in Wisconsin we had a terribly cold winter and it was a long winter. We want sun!!
It was about 1pm when we decided to have lunch. Last night when Davey & Caleb picked up the pizza they said the food really looked good at the The Loose Moose™ Bar & Grill. We dried off and headed to the grill.  We were all very pleased with our choice of food. The kids all got Chicken Fingers..they had a good portion with drink for $6.00. I ordered a tasty chicken salad croissant with sweet potato fries. Check out the pics.

The food was very tasty - reasonably priced...we ate lunch for $30 - not bad!  The best part is everyone cleaned their plate! We had a nice sit down enjoyable lunch overlooking the lodge grounds and watching the cloudy sky turn into a sunny day!  When we finished eating we headed to check out if the outside pool was open! 

Outside water park here we come!

Davey wanted to play basketball with Caleb.  Great Wolf has life jackets available for the kids. Davey needed to wear a life jacket to play basketball since the water was 4-5 feet deep in that area. Check out their faces......13 and 5 years old.  Both as happy as can be!  In the background of the pic there are two children is Isa and her new friend!  
We stayed outside till about 5pm - we dried off and headed back to the MagiQuest game. I was very pleased to find that their game was still good. No need to pay for today!  That was nice. They played MagiQuest for about 2 hours then it was time to head out!
What a fun we drove out of the parking lot we were talking about when we should come back! 

Check out our souvenir ~~~~~ the perfect reminder of our fun trip! 
Oh I almost forgot ......
One of the best things about Great Wolf Lodge is that they are a Green Seal facility!  In fact they are the ONLY GREEN SEAL CERTIFIED waterpark!  CLICK HERE to read about Great Wolf Lodge's GREEN PROGRAM! They CARE about our environment and are doing great things to make a difference!
Recycle bin in each room...towel and linen program to save water.  Make sure to check out the above link to find out all the ways GREAT WOLF LODGE  is making a positive difference to our environment!

We had a BLAST and we will definitely be returning!
Thank You Great Wolf Lodge for giving us such 
Great Memories!
We had a HOWLING GOOD Time!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Barking Wednesday - Purggo is coming!

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that the products mentioned in this post have been received for free for evaluation purposes.  With that being said rest assure that I only give honest opinions. The opinions are my own and always will be.  Thanks for visiting.
Welcome to Barking Wednesday - each Wednesday I discuss a topic related to my bestest friend King my Black Lab. This week I want to share a new product I was asked to test.

Two weekends ago I was traveling with Kingers in the Jeep. He had gotten wet and he stayed in the back seat of my Jeep. The next Tuesday Dawn used my Jeep to take the kids to SIx Flags Great America.  When Caleb - my 13 year old grandson sat in the Jeep the first thing out of his mouth was  "It smells like dog in here."  Dawn rolled her eyes and keep going down the road. Right away when she told me I said "Of course it does - King is always riding in the Jeep".  

On Wednesday a package arrived and to my amazement it was items  from a company named Purggo. Purggo is the marker of car freshners that are 100% bamboo charcoal. Perfect Timing for a review!

When I opened the box I was taken back my the concept of the air freshener. I immediately read the instructions to find out what I needed to so I could get the freshener in my dog smelling Jeep.

They recommend that you let the Purggo sit in the sunlight for about one hour. This allows any moisture that got into the Purggo during shipping to be removed. Removing the moisture restores the odor absorbing capabilities of the Purggo.

The instructions state that you tie the Purggo to the seat
headrest.  Check out how I attached the Purggo to the Jeep headrest.

The info states that the Purrago will last 365+ days. All I need to do is put the Purggo in sunlight for about one hour a month. That is it! No replacement needed for over 1 year! Nothing to buy or add to the Purggo. Since sunlight is FREE this is GREAT.

Thursday  - the Purggo had been in my Jeep for one day. When I sat inside...I was amazed at how nice it smelled.  I would describe it as a FRESH smell.  NO dog odor and no chemical smell. 

I knew the test will be Caleb - Friday morning when I pick him up. Caleb has a nose like a hound dog!  LOL  I wonder if he will notice the difference and if so will he say anything. Caleb is 13 and very opinionated.  

I picked up word about the Jeep. I was beginning to think that the Jeep still smelled like dog to him.  Then when I went to drop him off  at home he said.."Thanks Nana for cleaning out the Jeep - it is nice not to smell dog"  I said "You're Welcome"  As I drove down the road I thought "YES" "The Purggo works - because the only thing I did was install the Purggo!

Purggo is Eco Firendly

100% Natural!!! No harsh chemicals which can trigger asthma and allergies.

NO masking odors - Purggo absorbs odors!

Last 365+ Days - the only thing you need to do is place the Purggo in sunlight for one hour a month

Eco-friendly - made of bamboo one of the fastest growing  crops... bamboo can grow up to 40 feet in one month.

When your Purggo is no longer working after a year...discard the ingredients into your garden or flower is 100% natural fertilizer.

The funny was when Kingers got into the Jeep.  Right away he noticed the Purggo hanging from the headrest. He sniffed the Purggo and then laid down.  Nice to know that I am keeping the Jeep smelling good with no risk of harm to Kingers or anyone that is riding in my Jeep.

Purggo's mission is helping people breathe healthy and live happy.  Please join them in helping spread the word about this great product.  Purggo will be launching a Kickstarter campaign soon. The Purggo is in the early stages - they are redesigning the Purggo to be more attractive. Here is a pic of the newest design!  Very stylish!

Sign up to receive exclusive updates, bonuses, and other cool stuff from Purggo!  
Go HERE  to sign up  - easy and fast! 

I am very pleased to say that I placed the Purggo in my Jeep  over a week ago. Since then I have taken a road trip with three grandkids and one 100 pound black lab. I have had Kinggers in the Jeep numerous days.
The Jeep smells so fresh!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Tour ~ Taken by Love by Melissa Foster Giveaway Ends 7/6

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that I have received no product or compensation to promote this book. I do so because I LOVE to read! Thanks for visiting.

Book #7 The Bradens, Love in Bloom Series #15

TAKEN BY LOVE is the first of six hot, wealthy, and wickedly naughty Braden cousins, and the newest additions to the BRADEN series by New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster.

Daisy Honey fled Trusty, Colorado, after years of battling rumors sparked by her gorgeous looks and lust-inducing name. Now a physician on the brink of a promising career, she reluctantly returns home when her father is injured in a farming accident. Daisy expects the small-town girls who hurt her in the past to take cheap shots again—but she’s completely unprepared for a run-in with tall, dark, and wickedly sexy Luke Braden, the only man who has ever stood up for her—and the man she’s never forgotten.

How to get paint off of old hardwood floors.........

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that  I have received no product or compensation to promote this product. I do so because it works and I wanted to share with my readers. Thanks for visiting.  

You have seen the pics of my spare bedroom redo - I told you about the paint all over the old hardwood floor. Now to tell you how I got it off.

I tried so many products - the BEST product was Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro!  Yep - it cleaned better than products made to remove paint. Extra strength Goop was so bad I am taking the can back to Menards.  Dish soap and hot water plus Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro did the trick. I used a rag and a putty knife.

I hate using chemicals but I could not get the paint off without using chemicals. With fans in both windows - gloves and a mask I tackled the floor. But I got it done!

The floor does not look the best but it is better than carpet and will do the job until we replace the whole house with new hardwood floors.
Before                                             After
This is the room pic before I totally finished cleaning the floor. If you look close you can still see areas that I had not removed the paint. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Spare Room - Final Journey

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that  I have received no product or compensation to promote these products - I wanted to share with my readers great ways to decorate and stay within a budget.  Thanks for visiting.

To wrap up the redo of my spare bedroom I wanted to let everyone know how to make a terrarium and share quality paint info. Plus, some odds and ends info about my room. 

How to Make a Terrarium
You will need:
Potting Soil - $2.99 Menards
Rocks - $2.49 on sale at Menards  & $4.99 at Walmart
Spanish or Green Moss - $2.99 Menards
Plants - have a odd number ( 3 - 5 - 7 ) - $2.49 each at Walmart - I bought 5 plants
Glass container

I purchase my potting soil, moss, and rocks from Menards. My plants come from Walmart. The containers I had in the basement.  Walmart carries container I think are about $10 each. If you like thrift stores, flea markets and rummage sales....they are great places to find interesting containers. All of my containers that I had in the basement came from rummage sales or flea markets.

In the bottom of your container put about one inch of  rocks - then add about 1 inch of moss.  On top of the moss add about 2 - 3 inches of potting soil.  Now add you plants...arrange your plants however you want - remember to us a odd number of plants. In the large round container - I add a butterfly on the outside (Menards $2.99) and in the jar I added a bench inside by the plants - I purchased the bench at Menards for $2.99.  They are many many many items you can add to your terrarium - you can buy them or take items from your home. Whatever you want to do is is your garden.  Then I water the terrarium.- water each plant making sure that there is enough water for the roots. the excess water will go down to the rocks.

You can put a top on your terrarium or not - your choice. None of mine have tops - they are all open terrariums.   When a terrarium is closed top it will act like a rainforest - very neat!

I spent $26.00  to make 3 terrariums.  I split the plants up making one plant work for multiple terrariums. Two  terrariums for the bedroom one for the kitchen. Total cost for bedroom terrariums is $18.00

Now to discuss the lamp I purchased from Walmart. I got the lamp on sale for only $15.00
the shade was another $5.00.  Isa and I tried put every shade Walmart had on this lamp trying to find the right shade. We both agreed that this shade looked the for a bedside lamp. The details in the lamp are really pretty....they make it a attractive piece.

Another new item is the alarm clock - battery operated only $2.88 at Walmart.

Also, I wanted to mention the paint I used for the bedroom.  The bedroom is 13 x 15. I used two gallons of Pittsburg Grand Distinction Eggshell that I bought from Menards. The paint was on sale $32.00 a gallon - paint cost $64.00. The paint was fantastic!!! We painted two coats to cover the green shade that was on the walls. I picked a gray white color...very nice.   I explained to the paint salesperson that my walls were old and in need of repair. He told me the Eggshell finish is great at hiding flaws. He was so right -t he walls look the best they have ever looked
I also had my husband replace three electrical outlets and one light switch - total cost $10.00 from Menards.

Last but not least is my rug for the room.  I got the rug used from my mom.  She purchased a new rug for under her kitchen table. She game me her old rug. By getting the rug free that saved me about $300 - Thanks Mom!

This decorating total was $115.00

Total cost of redoing my spare room...........$566.00
Not Bad!!
Make sure to check the previous post to find out some great ways to decorate on a budget.

Green Tip of the Week - Redo Air Freshners

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that  I have received no product or compensation to promote this movie. I do so because I want to share a great way to live with no chemicals.  Thanks for visiting.  

I love the concept of electrical air fresheners but I hate the thought of using chemicals to make my home smell good.  Dawn came up with a fantastic solution to our dilemma.  She purchased a electronic air freshener system. She then poured out the chemicals and refilled the bottle with natural essential oils.  Check out her pic!  Super easy to do and now we have electric air fresheners with NO CHEMICALS.

She purchases her oils from Save on Scents ~ Good quality oils at very reasonable prices.

In the bathroom she adds only oil. In the bedrooms she adds water to the container. Adding water will soften the scent making it less strong.

Great way to scent your home with no chemicals.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Spare Bedroom - Decorating

Hi….I wanted to make sure to tell you upfront that  I have received no product or compensation to promote these products - I wanted to share with my readers great ways to decorate and stay within a budget.  Thanks for visiting.

This post is all about what I used to decorate the spare room. I wanted to add my grandchildrens school art into the room. What I did was purchase $4.00 frames from Walmart then placed their school art inside each frames. Since their art work was larger than the frames I picked a section of the art work and made that the focus
area. I did not cut their pics I folded them in back of the part that would show in the frame.  Five frames - $4.00 each - $20.00 for the artwork.   While at Big Lots I found the perfect additional to their artwork - a frames saying.....Create .. Imagine.. Challenge! Only $6.00
While shopping I knew I wanted a mirror for the room - I was just not sure what style and color.  Another Big Lots find! The mirror was only $25.00 - I could of bought a brown
tone with bronze accent or this black mirror. Since gray and black are my colors...I picked the black mirror. I really like how it contrast with the dresser.  In my next post I will give complete instruction on how to make the terrariums on the dresser and on the sewing cabinet. They are super easy to make and look nice.  If you noticed the green birds on the dresser -t hey are made out of melted beer bottles. Years ago while working at Anchor Hocking Glass my hubby took hot beer bottles and  designed these two swans.  They are so unique!  I love bonsai tree - I found this neat tree at Walmart $10.97 - I could not believe it when I found it. They are usually so expensive.
While at Menards to pick up some items to remove the paint on the floor I found a great deal on plants and pots.  Check out my pot I got for $7.99 and it is ceramic and glazed. I bought two houseplants for $5.99 each. While checking out items in the basement to make my terrariums I found the gray pot on the sewing cabinet. I split the tall plant into two plants and planted one in big pot with the other plant and the other in the gray pot. I used leftover dirt and rocks from making the terrariums.  Total cost of plants...$20.00 - add in the $12.99 stand to place the larger pot on the floor - that makes the total cost $32.99
Cost for these decorating items is $95.00
So far .....
Furniture $142.00
Drapes  $82.00
Bedding  $132.00
Decorating $95.00
More decorating ideas to come tomorrow - tomorrow I will give complete instructions on how to make a terrarium