Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Personalized Children's Book Giveaway

personalized children's book giveaway

Personalized children's books are such a great gift idea.  What child doesn't love seeing his or her own  name in print and being the main character in the story?  Recently, the amazing company Fabuloos Dreams allowed me the opportunity to have a personalized book made for my 4 year-old son, Max.  He loves the show Jake, and the Neverland Pirates, so I chose the "Pirate Captain" Book option.  There are three themes to choose from, and each is available in a boy or girl version.

Personalizing your book choice is easy!  If you've never customized a book before, Fabuloos Dreams has really made the process simple.  First, you choose the book you want.  Next, you upload a high resolution image of the child you want to appear in the book.  (Front on headshots are best, where accessories such as hats or glasses aren't shadowing or blocking the face.)  Finally, you fill in a few custom text fields, like the child's name and the name of siblings or friends that you'd like to appear in the book adventures with them.  It's as easy as that.

Currently, the books are available in both English and Spanish, which is fabulous!

My son runs to the book shelf in my office almost daily begging to read the story about him.  He loves being the hero in his own adventure, which also features his brother, Landon and sister, Kaylee.  Because he is only 4 and is just beginning to recognize a few simple words, he really enjoys noticing his own name in print.

The quality of the book is beautiful with such fun illustrations.  My other children thought this was such a fun book they are each begging for their own copies!

If this sounds like something that would excite a special child in your life, then today is your lucky day!  Fabuloos Dreams is giving away a copy of their adventure book and a copy of their journal books to one of my readers!  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  The contest will last 7 days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway This is a sponsored post.  However, the review and excitement about the product are genuine and all mine. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Tart Recipe

You know when you go to your arsenal of tried and true powerhouse recipes because you need a sure fire lick-the-plate clean dessert?  Yeah, this is one of those recipes.  Game changer. 

This recipe has withstood 5 generations of scrutiny, having originated with a relative in Germany, finally making it's way to me. Today it still stands as one of our family's most requested desserts.

Growing up, this fresh strawberry tart was a treasured dessert my mom made for special occasions and holidays.  Being more of a pie than cake girl, this was usually what I requested for my birthday instead of the traditional birthday cake. 

As I got older and began to bake myself, it was one of my favorite desserts to make.  It looks impressive, tastes even better than it looks and is always a crowd-pleaser.  Honestly, the only problem with this fresh strawberry tart is that there are never any leftovers!  (Even my husband, who rarely eats dessert, loves this pie!) Its thick sugar cookie-like crust, delicious filling, fresh berry and whipped creaming topping leaves me salivating like Palov's pooches. It really is that good!

German Dough Crust Recipe (makes 4- 9" tart shells)

*Note:  You may half the recipe for 2- 9" tart shells or carefully wrap any unfilled tart shells and store in your freezer for future use.

3 2/3-4 cups flour (add a little at a time)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cubes unsalted butter
3/4 package German (Oetker) baking powder or 1/2 teaspoon regular baking powder
1 lemon rind, grated


1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle of your oven.
2.  Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.
3.  Add the measured flour and baking powder until just combined and a soft dough forms.  Mix in grated lemon rind.
4.  Separate dough into 4 balls.  You will use one dough ball for each tart shell.
5.  Spray your tart shell pan with cooking spray. For each tart shell,  roll out a thin layer of dough on the removable tart shell pan base, using flour to keep it from sticking.  Trim away excess dough.  Insert base into the tart shell pan.  Roll a long "snake like" tube of dough to carefully press around the fluted edges to form the upper crust.
6.  Place in refrigerator to chill for 30-60 minutes.
5.  Prick the dough all over with a fork to avoid puffing while baking.
6.  Bake for 15-17 minutes or until crust is taking on a very slight color (do not overcook).
7.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before filling and/or removing from the tart pan.

Filling Recipe: (Enough for 2- 9" tarts.  Double if filling all 4 tarts.)

1 large + 1 small package of Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding
2 cups milk
2 cups of whipping cream (un-whipped)
1 tsp. of vanilla

Beat the above ingredients until thickened. Refrigerate.  Add cold filling to cooled tart crusts.  Top with fresh strawberries, strawberry glaze and whipping cream.

Strawberry Topping:

1 pint of strawberries per pie, washed, dried, hulled and sliced
Additional berries (optional)
Favorite strawberry fruit glaze

Arrange sliced strawberries and any additional berries on top of filling in a beautiful pattern.
Sparingly add your favorite strawberry glaze using a pastry brush.

Keep loosely covered in the refrigerator until serving.

Top with fresh whipping cream.

Enjoy! (You're welcome!)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's Giveaway Time!


It’s official!  Blue Goose Boutique, Lauren McKinsey’s newest shop, is open for business!   Blue Goose Boutique is a dream come true for them as they begin to sell what they fondly refer to as physical products.  What does this mean?  It means that you will now start to see the cute designs that they offer in their printable shop appearing on things such as a notepad!  Currently, you will find seven notepad designs in their boutique. They are so excited to be CELEBRATING their grand opening of the shop with a wonderful giveaway!

The GRAND PRIZE winner will receive: {total value of $194}

  • $50 gift certificate to Blue Goose Boutique
  • One year CUTE CLUB membership to Lauren McKinsey {value $89}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • Mongramed tumber from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $15}
  • $25 gift certificate to Paper + Pop {a printing & cutting service for printables}
The SECOND place winner will receive: {total value of $65}
  • $25 gift certificate to Blue Goose Boutique
  • One month CUTE CLUB membership to Lauren McKinsey {value $12.99}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • One set of 3 monogram decals from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $12}
The THRID place winner will receive: {total value of $43}
  • Choice of 1 notepad set from Blue Goose Boutique {value $18}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • Sheet of 20 monogram return address stickers from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $10}
The notepads make the perfect gifts for:
  • teachers
  • moms AND dads
  • birthday gifts
  • graduations
  • holidays
  • and just FOR YOU
Each notepad was lovingly designed by Theresa of LM and then made in their home. YES, for now, they are making their own notepads.  So, every notepad you order was designed by them, made by them, wrapped by them and sent to you with lots of love! They have a fun variety of sizes and quantities of notepads.  Four out of our seven notepads come in packs of two with an adorable pencil picked out to match your pad.  The notepads are beautifully packaged in a clear cello bag, wrapped with pretty twine and have a matching gift tag attached.  They make the perfect gifts, and all the pretty packaging is already done for you.  Three of the notepads are single pads.  You will find the description for each notepad on the website, but each tear off notepad is filled with high quality paper and backed in thick recycled chipboard making the notepads extra sturdy.  Several of our notepads come with a magnetic strip so that you can hang them on the refrigerator or other magnetic surfaces.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: ABC notepad

I am the proud owner of  this A to Z notepad !  It is adorable! Each page in the pad has a different letter of the alphabet.  The notepad has 52 pages in all.  This notepad is inspired by the ABC collection Lauren McKinsey created a few months ago that is just adorable!   To see an image of what each page looks like click here.  This 5 x 71/2 inch notepad comes as a set of two pads with a matching pencil and gift tag.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: Always be Sunshine

The Always be Sunshine notepad.  This 5 x 71/2 inch notepad comes as a set of two 50 sheet pads with a matching pencil and gift tag.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: Dream Big

The dream BIG notepad.  this 5 x 71/2 inch notepad comes as a set of two 50 sheet pads with a matching pencil and gift tag.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: Little Bookworm

 The Little Bookworm notepad.  This 5 x 71/2 inch notepad comes as a set of two 50 sheet pads with a matching pencil and gift tag.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: Shopping List

The To Do list is another personal favorite.  I LOVE the 15 lines for writing and the HAPPY graphic at the top of the page.   This 5 1/4 x 8 inch notepad is filled with 60 sheets of cuteness.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: To Do List

The Shopping List.  This 3 1/2 x 8 inch notepad is filled with 60 sheets perfect for making your grocery and shopping list.  It comes with a magnet for the back as well if you want to hang it on your refrigerator or another magnetic surface.

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey :: Superhero Dad SUPER list

And just in time for father’s day, this adorable Superhero Dad SUPER list is perfect for that special dad!  this 3 1/2 x 8 inch notepad is filled with 60 sheets that will make dad smile as he tracks his lists of things to do!

Blue Goose Boutique notepads from Lauren McKinsey

I just had to show you the sticker that “sits” on the back of each notepad.  isn’t it fun?
for the next 30 days, you can use the coupon code GiveAway-10 for 10% off your Blue Goose Boutique purchase.


Lauren Mckinsey is also excited to be giving away two CUTE CLUB memberships as part of their grand opening celebration.  The CUTE CLUB is an EXCLUSIVE membership program that allows you to download EVERYTHING {yes, i said EVERYTHING} in the Lauren McKinsey store.  They have over 1200 printables and add a new collection every week.  Sometimes they even add two new collections.  They offer an annual or a monthly membership.  You can learn more here!  You can even use the coupon code GiveAway-10 for 10% off your CUTE CLUB membership.
Thank you for celebrating with us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway