It’s Time for #Choctoberfest 2017 with Imperial Sugar

Blog | October 16, 2017 | By

Choctoberfest-2015-2
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is the official start of #Choctoberfest. This is the third annual food blogger celebration of all things chocolate, made possible thanks to our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar and the other sponsors listed below.

Over 70 bloggers are participating in #Choctoberfest 2017 and will be posting 200+ chocolate recipes over the next week. Keep your eyes peeled, visit any of the blogs listed below, or use the #Choctoberfest hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to follow along. You can also check out our #Choctoberfest Pinterest board, where we post chocolate recipes all year long.

You can also enter to win our #Choctoberfest prize pack. Thank to our amazing sponsors who are contributing the following items for the prize:

  • $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
  • 1 case of granulated white sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of light brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), and 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds) from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
  • 16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint from our silver sponsor Barlean’s
  • 300-piece Lindt LINDOR Truffles gift bag (you choose the flavors!) from blog sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen

This prize pack is valued at over $450! To enter, simply follow participating sponsors and bloggers using the below giveaway widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned to see the delicious recipes bloggers have cooked up using Imperial Sugar and Barlean’s products. Thank you also to Davis Chocolate and Rodelle for being #Choctoberfest shoutout sponsors! Watch Instagram and Facebook to find out more about about their chocolate products.

Here is a complete list of all the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2017, so you can see the recipes they are posting throughout the week:

The PinterTest KitchenFix Me a Little LunchSavory MomentsCrumbs in my MustachioHouse of Nash EatsBake It With LoveThat RecipeHardly A GoddessCooking With CarleeA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresBody RebootedCindy’s Recipes and WritingsThe Redhead BakerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceSweet CoraliceSeduction in The KitchenCooks&Books&RecipesEveryday EileenUnder My Apple TreeFamily Around The TableBottom Left of the MittenThe Spiffy CookieFairyburgerJoin Us, Pull up a ChairJonesin’ For TasteJane’s Adventures in DinnerTake Two TapasJennifer BakesThe Unlikely BakerHostess At HeartKaren’s Kitchen StoriesKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynns Sweets and TreatsWildflour’s Cottage KitchenChocolate SlopesLittle House Big AlaskaMakes, Bakes and Decor2 Cookin MamasThat Skinny Chick Can BakeBooks n’ CooksMildly MeanderingLiving IdeasRestless ChipotleGet the Good Stuff!The Weekday GourmetAn Affair from the HeartWest Via MidwestCookie Dough and Oven MittThe Bitter Side of SweetCookaholic WifeDaily Dish RecipesFor the Love of FoodThe Saucy SouthernerCook’s HideoutBy the PoundsTramplingrose: Cooking, Baking & Ranting in Small-Town South DakotaSarah Cooks the BooksChef Sarah ElizabethFantastical Sharing of RecipesSarah’s Bake StudioThe Pajama ChefFrankly EntertainingLong Distance BakingPalatable PastimeThe Freshman CookThe Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine ♥ A Day in the Life on the FarmWendy PolisiTampa Cake GirlMy Southern Sweet ToothCanning and Cooking at HomeFull Belly SistersSuperSizeGuy.comOur Good Life

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth

Blog | October 12, 2017 | By

I have wanted to try an at home whitening treatment for years but choose to shy away from them since years of orthodontics as a teenager had my teeth sensitive, even into my 40’s.  So, when Smile Brilliant offered for me to try their whitening treatment at home – I jumped at the chance.  Didn’t hurt that getting my teeth whitened in time for turning 41 either.  An updated smile is just the confidence boost I didn’t know I was even missing.

You ask though, how did you do it with sensitive teeth?  The Smile Brilliant system is completely customizable even for sensitive teeth.  And when I say completely customizable I mean everything from choosing which treatment was best down to trays made-to-order so that there was no question every tooth would get covered completely.

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.
I received Smile Brilliant complimentary but all opinions stated in this post are my own.

If you’ve ever had to endure a youth full of braces like I did the first step in Smile Brilliant will take you back.  Smile Brilliant provides everything to make a full mold of your teeth as well as extra just in case something goes awry.  Once done I shipped them back to the lab to be made.  What I really loved about it was that I got an email every step of the way.

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

And then they were done and heading back to me….

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Going at my own pace really made me feel so relaxed through the whole process.  I could adjust the amount of gel I used and then wait a day in between gave me the flexibility to make sure that I had no tooth or gum pain that I was worried about.  Once I put the kids to bed at night I would pop them in and go about my nightly routine.  Just put them in and get the kids lunches packed for the next day or binge watch a few episodes of your favorite show.

I noticed the results almost immediately.  After just two treatments I could notice the years of daily coffee drinking slowly erasing away.  I started seeing the smile from my youth that I went through so much trouble to get.  No trips to the dentist, no waiting for appointments and all of this is less than $200.

Check out my before & after…

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I was so pleased with my results that I did something that I rarely do, I took a selfie….

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Have more questions about Smile Brilliant?  Please leave a comment below I would love to share my experience more with you.

GIVEAWAY:  Want to win a Smile Brilliant custom T3 Sensitive Smile Brilliant experience for yourself*?  Click here to enter today!  Or use ‘bottomleftofthemitten10’ for a 10% discount on your order.

   From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Smile!

*The giveaway is for a $139 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open for 1 week (7 days after blog post date) and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.


Tooth Whitening Gel

 

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Smile Brilliant | Bottom Left of the Mitten #sensativeteeth #teethwhitening

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City

Look no further than the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City , Indiana
for family fun in the Northwestern Indiana area.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

We are into the middle of Summer and looking for fun stuff to do!  I can’t believe that Washington Park Zoo is not one that we’ve visited before.  Located in Michigan City, Indiana this zoo is small enough to get through quickly but unique enough to want to go back again and again.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Winding walkways go up and up but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t easily accessible with strollers or wheelchairs.  Lots of different paths to take so that one way you can look into the bear exhibit then go another way and you are up behind it looking down.  This gives a great 2nd chance to see animals that may have been in a spot that wasn’t visible before.  After seeing the animals and riding the train the little petting area toward the end was not to be missed.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

There are three things that I’ve never seen before that made this trip one of my families favorites.

Otter Tunnel

I wish that I got a better picture of Ace in this but there were so many kids going through it that I just got this one.  It was a busy place!  Ace had to go back 4 separate times because he loved it so much.  While the kids go in the tunnel the otters can swim over them or even sit on top of the tube.  It was so cute and all the kids were enjoying it very much.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Observation Tower

Take a little walk off the beaten path to the observation tower.  Small balconies are on each level as you walk out to give a full 360 degree view from the tower.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

After the trek up many, many, many steps the payoff was a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan.  The open windows were very well guarded.  Even the most height weary person would feel comfortable enough going up to enjoy the scenery.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Feed the Birds at the Aviary

By far my boys favorite at the zoo. Once you walk into an enclosed area there is an option to buy a stick with bird seed on it for $1.  Be careful since Ace thought this was for him and promptly put it in his mouth! Lol.  The employee selling the sticks assured me that it happens multiple times a day.  After that it’s time to feed the birds.  It was a popular spot too but big enough that everyone had lots of chances to feed any bird they liked if they were on the ladders, bird houses or even on the ground.  They also got lots of chances to hold the birds on their sticks.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten
This zoo was about an hour from our location in Southwestern Michigan and well worth the trip.  We completed the whole zoo in about 2 hours and had enough time to visit Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets for a little shopping and lunch downtown.  If you live the SW Michigan/NW Indiana area I recommend putting this on your families Summer list.

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten #zoovisit #funwithkids #michigancity

It’s Time for Cookout Week 2017 + Giveaway

#CookoutWeek_Logo2

Get those grills fired up… because it’s #CookoutWeek 2017! This week, I’m joining forces with over 40 food blogger friends to bring you delicious recipes perfect for every backyard BBQ, picnic, summer party, or cookout.

We also have a fabulous giveaway featuring products from the brands who have made #CookoutWeek possible! You can enter below to win:

  • From blog host The PinterTest Kitchen: $100 Amazon gift card, to use to buy all the supplies you need for your next cookout
  • From our sponsor The French Farm: A gift pack of gourmet products hand-crafted by small businesses and using only the finest ingredients – La Favorita Genovese Pesto, Caprichos del Guadalquivir Cadenera Orange Marmalade, and L’Abeille Occitane Lavender Honey
  • From our sponsor Smokin’-Os: A sampler pack of their “smokin’-os” wood rings, to help you add wood-fired, smokey taste to your grilled foods, even if you don’t own a smoker
  • From our sponsor Primal Kitchen: $200 of Primal Kitchen goodies, including condiments made with avocado oil and bars and shakes with grass-fed collagen
  • From our sponsor Langers Juice Company: Your choice of 10 bottles of Langers Juice, with flavors including traditional Apple and Grape, as well as interesting mixes such as Pineapple Orange Coconut, Cranberry Blood Orange, and Mango Peach
  • From our sponsor True Made Foods: A 3-bottle sampler pack of sauces with real flavors made from real vegetables and less sugar – Ketchup, BBQ, and Veracha

This prize pack has an ARV of over $400! You have until July 1 at 11:59 PM to enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned… remember, throughout the week, all of the participating bloggers will be posting delicious cookout recipes. Here are all the bloggers who are part of #CookoutWeek 2017:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAshees CookbookBaking SenseBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenChef Sarah ElizabethCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with SapanaEat, Drink, Be Healthy!FairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFix Me a Little LunchFor the Love of FoodFull Belly SistersHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHome Sweet HomesteadJoin Us, Pull up a ChairKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynn’s Sweets and TreatsLittle House Big AlaskaMy Southern Sweet ToothOur Good LifeOven Tales By SyamaPalatable PastimeRants From My Crazy KitchenSavory MomentsSeduction in the KitchenSidewalk ShoesThat RecipeThe Freshman CookThe Mad Scientists KitchenThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetTramplingroseTurnips 2 TangerinesUncle Jerry’s Kitchen

As one of the bonus entries in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post… what is your favorite dish to eat at a cookout?

Cupcakes & Measuring-Get Kids Cooking

I am excited this week to have Education.com as a guest poster! My first ever. This fun recipe combines the fun of getting kids in the kitchen and learning. Big A right now is learning measurements so this is a great project. And the cooler weather has me thinking Fall so the recipe can’t be beat.

Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Missing the flavors of fall? For those of you who are “apple people” all year long – and who may have kids who are – try baking these scrumptious spiced apple cupcakes! At a quick glance, these lovely little treats look like caramel apples. But look again and you’ll see that they’re actually soft, delicious cupcakes coated in caramel. Baking is a great way for your child to practice important math skills like measurement and fractions, while she prepares some delicious food for the family. No doubt about it, these cupcakes are as much fun to make as they are to eat!

Print Recipe
Bake Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes
Spiced apples are added to cake & pudding mix then topped with a rich caramel glaze. All the flavors of Fall!
Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 24 cups on your cupcake pans with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
  3. Prepare the cupcake batter: Place the drained apple rings in the food processor and finely chop them with the pulse button for 15 seconds.
  4. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, chopped apple rings, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds.
  5. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the batter is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined.
  6. Spoon or scoop about 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way. You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes.
  7. Remove the empty liners if any and fill the empty cups in the pan each with a small amount of water. Place the pans side by side in the oven.
  8. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.
  9. Gently remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before glazing.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel glaze: Unwrap the caramels and place them in a medium-size saucepan. Add the evaporated milk. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until all the caramels are melted and the mixture is combined, about 5 to 6 minutes. At the very end, stir in the vanilla.
  11. Immediately spoon the warm caramel glaze over the top of each cooled cupcake and sprinkle the chopped peanuts around the edges. Careful! The caramel will be hot and this part can get pretty sticky too!
  12. Push a craft stick in the center of each cupcake, if desired, to make them look like caramel apples. The cupcakes are ready to serve and enjoy!
  13. Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver, under a glass dome or in a large tupperware container, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them (without the craft sticks), wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Recipe Notes

*The Cupcake Doctor Says...

If you can't find spiced apples, you can use fresh apples as a substitute. Cut 3 to 4 fresh apples (any kind you like) into slices and throw them into a saut*The Cupcake Doctor Says...

If you can't find spiced apples, you can use fresh apples as a substitute. Cut 3 to 4 fresh apples (any kind you like) into slices and throw them into a saute pan with 1/3 cup of water, about a Tbsp of sugar, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute over medium low heat for a few minutes until the apples are tender. Once they've cooled for a few minutes, chop them up or throw them into the food processor for a rough chop. Add the apples to the batter and follow the recipe accordingly. These cupcakes are perfect for parties, and they look beautiful lined up on a wooden tray!
e pan with 1/3 cup of water, about a Tbsp of sugar, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute over medium low heat for a few minutes until the apples are tender. Once they've cooled for a few minutes, chop them up or throw them into the food processor for a rough chop. Add the apples to the batter and follow the recipe accordingly. These cupcakes are perfect for parties, and they look beautiful lined up on a wooden tray!

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Embroidery Transfers – Make Your Own

March is National Craft Month! I want to show how easy it is to find a craft that you can start today. One of my favorites, and actually the first one that I tried, is embroidery. When I started out I used patterns that I purchased but once I got a little better at it I wanted to make my own patterns. It was a little difficult to find directions that had every step. After a lot of research, I put together a few different steps that ended up making a perfect transfer for my embroidery.

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Since I had such a hard time finding the right directions I figured this would be a perfect post for Bottom Left of the Mitten. So let’s get started.

You will need to have 3 programs open and available to create the image you are going to print:

  • PowerPoint or Word
  • Paint
  • Snipping Tool

I set up my image in PowerPoint but you could use a Word Document as well.

EmborideryPP1

Next you’re going to open up your ‘Snipping’ Tool

EmborideryPP2

Once you snip the image it will open up in a window like this

EmborideryPP3

Right click on the image and select ‘Copy’

EmborideryPP4

Now you will take that image and paste it into your Paint Program

EmborideryPP5

It will look like this

EmborideryPP6

Now you have to flip the image so that when you iron it on it will be correct

EmborideryPP7

It will now look like this

EmborideryPP8

Now you will copy this image

EmborideryPP9

And then paste back into your PowerPoint or Word document.  I usually delete what was on there after I am done clipping the image I’m going to use so I have a clean sheet.

EmborideryPP10

Once that is done you can now just print this document out.  Now gather your final supplies.

You will need:

  • a piece of fabric
  • your printed image
  • transfer pen
  • iron
  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery thread

These are pens that I have used for my projects

Take your transfer pen and trace your image.

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Cut the excess paper away from the image.  You will want to iron the fabric you are using before you apply the transfer.

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Flip the paper so that it is ink side down then cover with the iron.  *Tip: If you have a large image make sure that you do not rub the iron back and forth since this may leave ‘streaks’ on the fabric.  Just simply pick the iron up and place back down on alternating sections.

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten

And here you are…..

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Time to emboider!

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten
I would love to see any items you make with this tutorial.  Head over to my Facebook or Instagram #bottomleftofthemittenshare to share.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post.  Please read my Discloser Policy.  

 

Embroidery Transfer | Bottom Left of the Mitten #embroidery #howto

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