Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip #Hormel #Dip

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.
The other weekend, we hosted a game night at our house. We have always been a big game family and have always enjoyed having friends in for game night. This most recent evening was a smaller gathering with only three couples able to join us. One tradition is that everyone brings a snack to share. One of the women that I met when I first moved to town 12 years ago brought along a dip that my kids both loved. So, when we hosted family for a birthday party this weekend, I reached out to get the dip recipe to make it for party. The recipe called for bacon, to make it easy, I used a jar Hormel Real Bacon Pieces. It actually was less bacon than the recipe called for, but was just right in my opinion. I loved that it made prep quick and there was no mess from frying bacon that I had to clean up. The dip was a hit!
Bacon Cheddar Ranch dip

16 ounces light sour cream
1 package ranch dip mix
2.8 ounces Hormel Real Bacon Pieces
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients. Chill. Serve with pretzels, crackers or chips.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post. The recipe was shared by my friend, I don't know the original source.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Winner of the 4-pk of tickets to Cedar Point HalloWeekends

Congratulations to Amanda! Her entry was selected as the winner of the 4-pk of tickets to Cedar Point HalloWeekends.

An e-mail has been sent to the winner.

Stay tuned for more giveaways coming this weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cedar Point HalloWeekends - 4 pack of tickets #Giveaway #CedarPoint

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.
Growing up, I have many memories of family trips and Girl Scout trips to Cedar Point. Our trips were typically during the week and were a total blast. Now that I have my own family, we try to make a trip there at least once a season. It has been an interesting progression, as the kids get older, we have started to migrate to some of the big rides, but still spend much of our time in the kids area and riding Gemini.
I have not been to HalloWeekends before, but a fellow blogger shares about HalloWeekends here. Based on her experience, it definitely sounds like the daytime would be full of fun for the whole family.

Don't miss out on HalloWeekends! Cedar Point is open on Friday nights (after 6 p.m.), Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 2, 2014. Here is pricing info:

Fri or Sun Night Admission as low as $38.99 plus applicable taxes and fees
Saturday Night Admission as low as $45.99 plus applicable taxes and fees
Sat or Sun All-Day Admission All Day & All Night as low as $47.99 plus applicable taxes and fees


Win a 4-pack of tickets to experience HalloWeekends with your family. Please note, the tickets are only good for the remaining three HalloWeekends this year. Cedar Point is open on Friday nights (after 6 p.m.), Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 2, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through October 17th. Tickets are only redeemable this year, for any day during the remaining weekends of HalloWeekends, through November 2nd. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. Cedar Point provided the information as well as the 4-pack of tickets for the giveaway. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me. 

I come from a large family. My grandparents were an important part of my life and I enjoyed listening to the stories that Grandma would share. When I read the blurb about The Mason Jar and the letters that Finn and his grandpa would leave for each other, I decided it was a book that I was interested in reading.

The style of the book is different than others that I have read in that the story starts in the present day and the back story is told through a book. Finn and Eden met at a college in Southern California. Though they only spent a little time together, the impact on Finn was large. So much so that years later, he wrote a book that focused on their time together and her impact after she left. Her college roommate made her aware of the book and once she had the book, she read it straight through.

There were times where the heavy conversation of the book made it a little challenging to read, but I enjoyed reading the love story told through the man's point of view (and by a male author). In the context of the book in the book, we learned a lot about Finn and his perspective on the relationship. I enjoyed reading the perspective that Finn's grandfather was able to provide to him as a mentor, through the letters that they exchanged.

It was nice that at the end of the story, at Homecoming, when they saw each other for the first time since she had left, that we learned more about her and why she left all of those years ago.

If you are looking for a different love story, this is a good book to check out.

About the book:

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex.

In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk---letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.

Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.

A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.

Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.

Purchase a copy here.

About the author:

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles for The Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

Find James online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Find more reviews and info here.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

THE MASON JAR Kindle Fire Giveaway from @JRLingerfelt!

No compensation was received for this post. I received this information as a participant in the Litfuse Blogger Program.
James Russell Lingerfelt's debut novel, The Mason Jar, is hot-off-the-press and causing quite the buzz. It's even been optioned for a feature film and is in pre-production.

Catch the spark by entering James' Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at James Russell's blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective.


No compensation was received for this post. I received this information as a participant in the Litfuse Blogger Program.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

As much as I love the fall and the associated smells and flavors, it still is a little disappointing to have to turn on the heat the first full week of October. The temperature in the house hit 64 this weekend, so I decided it was time to at least take the chill out of the air.

Friday night we enjoyed dinner at our friend's restaurant. It was a nice time out with the kids and we all enjoyed some new foods. Saturday was supposed to be in part filled with sports, but some rain on Saturday morning washed out both soccer and baseball. A cool, wet fall morning unexpectedly at home led to much baking on my part. I started with a recipe I found on Pinterest for Pumpkin Dinner Rolls with Cinnamon Butter. The rolls are okay, but did not turn out as I would have expected based on the picture on the post. The cinnamon butter is yummy and we are enjoying it on regular toast now. Next I made a batch of Pumpkin Chip Cookies and Biscotti. I started making cookies and decided that the dough was too sticky and would be better as a batch of biscotti, so a pan in I switched gears. Then, I made some soft pretzels with some bread mix that I had on hand. My husband, who had been taking care of service for the car, enjoys the food I made but has decided that leaving me home alone with the kids on a cold, wet fall Saturday is not a good thing for his waist. We had a quiet night in and watched the movie Chef.

Sunday, it was cold, but we resumed sports and did our best to keep warm at baseball and soccer - both were wins. Sunday evening, we tried something new - Chicken and Waffles - and to mix it up a bit more, we made the waffles with the chicken inside. It was a hit with the family.

We have a reasonably quiet week ahead and have some familiar favorites filling our menu this week.

Chicken and Waffles


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Skyline Chili

Pork Chops with Provolone, Prosciutto and Peppers



Now that the kids are back to school, breakfast will be cereal, oatmeal or toast most mornings and lunch will be a mix of the hot plate lunch at school or a packed lunch from home. My husband and I will stick with our standard routines. I do hope to get back to packing more. I seem to eat better when I pack, plus I am hopeful that it leaves me some time to walk at lunch.

This post shared on Menu Plan Monday.