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.
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 Kitchen ♥ Fix Me a Little Lunch ♥ Savory Moments ♥ Crumbs in my Mustachio ♥ House of Nash Eats ♥ Bake It With Love ♥ That Recipe ♥ Hardly A Goddess ♥ Cooking With Carlee ♥ A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures ♥ Body Rebooted ♥ Cindy’s Recipes and Writings ♥ The Redhead Baker ♥ Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice ♥ Sweet Coralice ♥ Seduction in The Kitchen ♥ Cooks&Books&Recipes ♥ Everyday Eileen ♥ Under My Apple Tree ♥ Family Around The Table ♥ Bottom Left of the Mitten ♥ The Spiffy Cookie ♥ Fairyburger ♥ Join Us, Pull up a Chair ♥ Jonesin’ For Taste ♥ Jane’s Adventures in Dinner ♥ Take Two Tapas ♥ Jennifer Bakes ♥ The Unlikely Baker ♥ Hostess At Heart ♥ Karen’s Kitchen Stories ♥ Kate’s Recipe Box ♥ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats ♥ Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen ♥ Chocolate Slopes ♥ Little House Big Alaska ♥ Makes, Bakes and Decor ♥ 2 Cookin Mamas ♥ That Skinny Chick Can Bake ♥ Books n’ Cooks ♥ Mildly Meandering ♥ Living Ideas ♥ Restless Chipotle ♥ Get the Good Stuff! ♥ The Weekday Gourmet ♥ An Affair from the Heart ♥ West Via Midwest ♥ Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt ♥ The Bitter Side of Sweet ♥ Cookaholic Wife ♥ Daily Dish Recipes ♥ For the Love of Food ♥ The Saucy Southerner ♥ Cook’s Hideout ♥ By the Pounds ♥ Tramplingrose: Cooking, Baking & Ranting in Small-Town South Dakota ♥ Sarah Cooks the Books ♥ Chef Sarah Elizabeth ♥ Fantastical Sharing of Recipes ♥ Sarah’s Bake Studio ♥ The Pajama Chef ♥ Frankly Entertaining ♥ Long Distance Baking ♥ Palatable Pastime ♥ The Freshman Cook ♥ The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine ♥ A Day in the Life on the Farm ♥ Wendy Polisi ♥ Tampa Cake Girl ♥ My Southern Sweet Tooth ♥ Canning and Cooking at Home ♥ Full Belly Sisters ♥ SuperSizeGuy.com ♥ Our Good Life ♥
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.
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.
And then they were done and heading back to me….
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…
I was so pleased with my results that I did something that I rarely do, I took a selfie….
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.
Look no further than the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City , Indiana
for family fun in the Northwestern Indiana area.
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.
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.
There are three things that I’ve never seen before that made this trip one of my families favorites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 Kitchen • 2 Cookin Mamas • A Day in the Life on the Farm • A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures • Amy’s Cooking Adventures • Ashees Cookbook • Baking Sense • Body Rebooted • Bottom Left of the Mitten • Chef Sarah Elizabeth • Cook’s Hideout • Cookaholic Wife • Cooking with Sapana • Eat, Drink, Be Healthy! • Fairyburger • Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice • Family Around the Table • Fix Me a Little Lunch • For the Love of Food • Full Belly Sisters • Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks • Home Sweet Homestead • Join Us, Pull up a Chair • Kate’s Recipe Box • Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats • Little House Big Alaska • My Southern Sweet Tooth • Our Good Life • Oven Tales By Syama • Palatable Pastime • Rants From My Crazy Kitchen • Savory Moments • Seduction in the Kitchen • Sidewalk Shoes • That Recipe • The Freshman Cook • The Mad Scientists Kitchen • The Pajama Chef • The Redhead Baker • The Saucy Southerner • The Spiffy Cookie • The Weekday Gourmet • Tramplingrose • Turnips 2 Tangerines • Uncle 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?
We recently redid out back deck. It was a much needed upgrade and it turned out fabulous! I mean look at the difference. It went from this…..
While this is gorgeous the new deck could not provide a solution for a big problem that we have in our backyard–no shade! Lucky us we just happened to have this Flex Shade Canopy purchased a few years ago and hardly ever used. It was in great shape so we popped it up on the deck and anchored it down with a few screws. Viola! Instant shade.
But still even with the added shade the coverage at times was lacking. Like later in the afternoon when Little A likes playing in his water table the sun was coming under. So I thought……why not add curtains? Better yet how about shower curtains so they can stay up and get wet? Yeah, problem solved!
So I headed to our local Dollar General and picked up 2 shower curtains. The hooks are already included. I got a great deal on them when I used the $5 off $25 on Saturday’s coupon. You can find them on the bottom of almost every receipt.
Because of the position of the tent I put a curtain on 2 sides of the canopy. Once hung I added self-stick Velcro (which I also purchased at Dollar General) to the corners to so that the edges closed around the post. I used the Velcro thinking that it would be easier to adjust curtains as I saw fit and not be stuck with a certain design if I had sewn them shut. It worked out great.
For when I didn’t want the curtains down for shade on the canopy I decided to make some tiebacks. I had some leftover fabric that I cut 24″ wide x 5″ high. I then folded over the edges and sewed them so they wouldn’t fray. You could easily make this a no sew project with some Iron on Hemming Tape. Then I added the self-stick Velcro to the ends. I did end up sewing these on to make sure they were extra secure.
I had thought about adding a bow to the tie back but I already put up this little beauty that I made from leftover deck boards and it was a little on the girly side….I didn’t want my husband to revolt if I took it up another notch.
So here it is tied back. Little A can go out and enjoy his water table and we stay cool and shaded.
The total project cost around $21 for the shower curtains and Velcro using the $5 off coupon. I still have so many more projects that I want to do for the backyard in anticipation for my 40th Birthday party at the end of the summer so stay tuned!
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy your summer!
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.
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
- Snipping Tool
I set up my image in PowerPoint but you could use a Word Document as well.
Next you’re going to open up your ‘Snipping’ Tool
Once you snip the image it will open up in a window like this
Right click on the image and select ‘Copy’
Now you will take that image and paste it into your Paint Program
It will look like this
Now you have to flip the image so that when you iron it on it will be correct
It will now look like this
Now you will copy this image
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.
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
- embroidery needle
- embroidery thread
These are pens that I have used for my projects
Take your transfer pen and trace your image.
Cut the excess paper away from the image. You will want to iron the fabric you are using before you apply the transfer.
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.
And here you are…..
Time to emboider!
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.