French Toast Recipe, #CascadeShiningReviews #Giveaway @MyCascade #DDDivas #sponsored

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

So, last weekend I made a mess of my kitchen and I invited all of my friends over to see it! Well, not just to see the mess, but to enjoy a delicious homemade french toast brunch, along with a few Mimosas (mock cocktails). Then to watch me clean it all up, and witness the power of Cascade Platinum dishwasher pacs.

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To make all of this mess, I baked an amazing French Toast Brunch. Recipe courtesy of The Food Network and Alton Brown.

French Toast Ingredients
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 3 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
• 4 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

For the French Toast, in a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey and salt. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan.

Dip bread into mixture, allowing it to soak for 30 seconds on each side. Then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices.

Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

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I served fresh blueberries, along with whip. I also decided to cook and serve turkey sausage patties. The meal was delicious! A real hit with my friends and family.

STOP “DISH-WASTING” YOUR TIME AND SKIP THE PRE-WASH
The meal also created a real mess! Sticky syrup, and greasy sausage are sometimes a challenge for our dishwasher. I even put in the mixing bowl I used with raw egg, and heavy whip after it sat for a good ninety minutes. I skipped the pre-wash…

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But this one little pac of Cascade Platinum, and a fresh refill of Cascade Rinse Aid did the trick! Cascade Platinum features a premium, advanced triple-action formula specially designed to deliver Cascade’s best-in-market performance. The results are Very impressive. Everything came out sparkling clean.

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Wait! How does that work?
This is because the special enzymes in Cascade Platinum latch onto the leftover food particles, breaking them down so they can wash away – even 24-hour stuck on food. With no food particles on the dishes, the enzymes can’t do their job as well and this can lead to dish issues.

My guests were just as impressed, and happy to each take home a package of Cascade Platinum, and Cascade Rinse Aid.

To­ learn­ more­ about ­Cascade ­Platinum, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
For ­a ­limited time,­ consumers ­can­ go here to obtain a $5­ prepaid ­card­ when­ purchasing ­any­ Cascade­ Action ­Pac. This Offer­ expires ­12/31/14.­

You also have the chance to win a fun ­Cascade ­Platinum Prize Pack here on Five Dollar Shake!
Cascade Prize Pack 2

This prize pack includes:
1 pack of Cascade Platinum
1 Bottle of Cascade Rinse Aid
1 Whisk
1 Spatula
1 Wine Topper
1 Sugar Sifter

Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will chosen and contacted by email on November 4th. Winner must be 18+ and live within the U.S. No PO boxes please.

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Hurry, get to the Point! Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends is here! #BloggingatCP #Halloweekends

I’ve been going to Cedar Point for as long as I can remember. I’ve made some great memories being in the park with my family as a kid, with friends as a teen and over the last two decades with my girls, as a mom. If you know me offline or follow my social media updates closely, this is not news to you. From birthdays, summer celebrations, even a honeymoon – Cedar Point is our family’s go-to place for fun! Over the past few years my favorite time to visit the Point is now, during HalloWeekends!

HalloWeekends is when Halloween takes over Cedar Point, this year from September 12, through Saturday November 1. The thrills of the biggest and best coasters combine with spooky chills and monstrous fun. It’s a fun, family-friendly event during the day. Kids will love the Monster Midway Invasion Celebration parade (every weekend @5PM). BUT at night, look out as scary witches, zombies, skeletons, clowns and dead cowboys take over the place.

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I’m not very brave, so I usually sit out on haunted houses, but the new Hexed haunted house was calling my name. That and I had my BFF to hold my hand. It definitely scared me, but I had a lot of fun as we walked through the dark, twisted house of witches. After 10PM may be too intense for anyone under the age of 13. Or even for a scarey-cat like me! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you might have seen my plea for help, as I sat trapped in the wooden tavern, listening to the screams, looking out into the red lit street, too scared to come out. Even though we all know it’s scenarios like this that kill off the weak in a horror movie – rest assured that I made it out and back to the “safe zone”, Camp Snoopy all in one piece. It’s all in good scary fun!

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Cedar Point goes full force when it comes to celebrating Halloween! Packed with fun coasters and rides, Halloween family fun all day, and frightfully scary at night, HalloWeekends is Cedar point in it’s prime.

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Open Friday nights from 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to midnight; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Purchase your tickets online or at the gate.

You never know, you just might meet your new best friend. Who needs a horse with a heartbeat?

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I was provided with free park tickets as part of my on going relationship with Cedar Point. I was not asked to write a positive review. All photos used and opinions expressed are my own and honest. Cedar Point is honestly one of my family’s favorite places on earth.

Just in-time for fall, Febreze Home Harvest Collection Review @Walmart @SheSpeaksUp #FebrezeFall

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Walmart, SheSpeaks and Febreze. All opinions expressed and photos used are 100% honest and my own.

Fall is by far my favorite season. Here in Michigan fall brings crisp, cooler temps, and a lot of beautiful color change. Each year I look forward to celebrating the delicious rich flavors and scents associated with fall, like pumpkin, vanilla and spices – I just love them.

I recently received this scentspiration box filled with various fall activities, recipes, home décor ideas, and several products from the limited edition Febreze Home Harvest Collection.

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Living in a house with kids, and several pets, I have been a regular user of Febreze products for quit some time. I love the way it works. Febreze doesn’t cover up odors, it actually eliminates them and replaces them with some of my favorite scents. Like Toasted Almonds, Vanilla Latte, and Autumn Harvest.

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The Febreze NOTICEable Dual Scented Oil Warmer does a great job at eliminating pet odor. We have one plugged in near our dog’s bed, and another in the room where the cat box located. Febreze makes all the diffidence! The warmers work for such a long time, that I often forget to replace them. Until, I walk into a room and smell the unwanted odor. So, I tend to keep one or two refills on hand. I can’t wait to stock up with these limited edition fall scents.

New to me is the Febreze Car Vent Clip that was included in this box. It attached easily and acted instantly on hard to rid of pet odor in my car. Replaced it with the nice fall aroma of Toasted Almonds. I love it! Moving forward, I honestly do not see myself going without one.

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I can’t wait to really dig into this fall inspirational box! It’s packed with fall recipes (Hello- Oven S’mores), fall activities for the whole family, and even crafty home décor ideas. Each a great way to celebrate my love for the season.

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The limited edition Febreze Harvest Collection can be found at your local Walmart.

Be sure to follow Febreze on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Febreze Harvest Collection for not only eliminated odors, but for adding that fall festive touch to our home that we enjoy.

Have you ever used Febreze to add an extra festive touch to your home?

Lightspeed Outdoors Tent Review, Screen House & Outdoor Blanket Giveaway

When we go camping it’s all about family, enjoying the outdoors, and well for me, the food. There is nothing like Aunt Luann’s campfire peach cobbler. Yum! Every summer my husband’s family schedules a week of camping. Filled with swimming, canoeing, and late nights by the campfire. Some relatives stay the entire week, while others come and go. It’s a great time!

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This year instead of renting a cabin across the park, we enjoyed staying on the campsite with everyone else, in our new three room Compound 8 Tent from Lightspeed Outdoors. Sent to us for review here on my blog. Before leaving for a week, we of-course did a trial run of the tent in our backyard. The Lightspeed Outdoors compression hub system really makes it easy. My husband had the tent up in no time.

“At LightSpeed Outdoors we are committed to making the outdoors easy so you can spend less time hassling with your gear and more time enjoying life.”

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With the highest point being 7 ft tall, this tent is huge. The three rooms divided by zippered walls, and the covered front porch gave us all the space we needed to stay the entire week with our family. Each room features wide, zippered, screened windows and built-in storage pockets. Plenty of room for us, even for dog Roxy! A fun home, away from home.

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Before settling in for the week we decided to spray the tent to repel bugs and rain. Boy did it rain! The rain flap over the tent, and double covered seems did a great job keeping us dry, but the lose design of the outside window cover aloud for some condensation over the head of our bed. Disappointing, but nothing a little Velcro wont fix for next year.

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We’ve camped in the Compound 8 tent three times so far and loved it. We’re also enjoying a Lightspeed Outdoors Screen House. Whether we’re on a campground or enjoying family time in our backyard, the added bug protection of the screen house let’s us eat, talk and play board games longer into the night. It’s Lightspeed Outdoors compression hub system allows for ultra quick set up and tear down and easy to carry case let’s us take it anywhere.

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To add to our camping experience the generous people at Lightspeed Outdoors also sent us one of their Outdoor Blankets.

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The Lightspeed Outdoors Outdoor Blanket was designed for any family occasion. Made of 3-layers, this outdoor blanket is awesome. The first layer is a heavy yet spongy material that insulates the middle cushion layer from wet and hard ground. A top layer of soft, water repellent polyester brings it all together. This blanket has been a big hit with our family, especially Roxy.

Shop
You can purchase the Compound 8 tent, Screen House, and Outdoor Blanket, as well as a variety of other quality LightSpeed Outdoors products on their website. You can also shop LightSpeed Outdoors products at select retailers nationwide.

Connect
Follow LightSpeed Outdoors on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Enter to win!
One lucky Five Dollar Shake reader will win a Screen House, and an Outdoor Blanket from Lightspeed Outdoors. Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on September 26th. Winner must be 18+ and living in the U.S.

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FTC Disclosure: Free products were received for the purpose of social media promotion, this and future blog posts. I was not asked or influenced to share a positive review. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. All photos used are my own. Lightspeed Outdoors is responsible for all prizing.

Kushies Receiving Blanket Review

We were recently blessed with a new grand-baby. Louise, A.K.A. LuLu was welcomed into our family just last month. Being a grandparent sure is one of life’s sweetest experiences.

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With every little baby, comes a BIG list of “must haves”. Bottles, binkies, diapers, wipes, blankets, sheets, and the list goes on, and on… just ask any new parent.

New to me, is Kushies !

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Based in Ontario, Canada, with U.S. headquarters located in Niagara Falls, New York, Kushies® creates and provides an innovative collection of quality baby products and accessories. Trusted by moms since 1987, Kushies offers more than 350 superior baby products including stylish layette and playwear, washable diapers, the award-winning Kushies Zolo toy collection and a broad range of baby essentials. The worldwide market leader in reusable cloth diapers and accessories, Kushies takes great pride in operating as a responsible company and as an environmentally concerned member of our planet.

Kushies recently sent our little LuLu a Pink Safari Print Receiving Blanket.

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Made with 100% cotton flannel, this adorable receiving blanket is super soft to the touch. Generous in size, and weight, it’s doing a great job at keeping LuLu warm, which is good because this grandma likes to crank the AC. The blanket has been washed several times, and so far is showing no signs of wear. Quality you can see, and feel.

I would highly recommend this blanket to any new parent. Looking for a great shower gift? Visit http://www.kushiesonline.com/.

Follow Kushies on Twitter: twitter.com/kushiesbaby; Facebook: facebook.com/kushiesbaby and Pinterest: pinterest.com/kushies/ too!

FTC Disclosure: Free products were received for the purpose of this blog post. I was not asked or influenced to write a positive review. Opinions expressed are honest.

All personal photos on this site are copyrighted and may not be used without permission. Copyright rests with the webmaster, the individual photographers and writers. Unlawful use will be percussed and prosecuted by law.

If I Stay, in theaters now

Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley). But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate. “If I Stay” is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

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Staring Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, Aisha Hinds and Stacy Keach. Directed by R.J. Cutler. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material. “If I Stay” is in theaters now!

You can watch the trailer here in my previous blog post.

I recently had a Five Dollar Shake team member attend an advanced screening of “If I Stay”, and she had the following to say about the movie.

“In a nutshell… It was very good – a tear jerker for sure but with light touches of humor throughout the movie – which in my opinion didn’t make it to dark or depressing throughout the whole movie…it made it “real”. I wouldn’t suggest it for those that have lost a Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister tragically-

It was a reality check for families to understand what is important in our lives…and that is – each other and not to take for granted that we all will “always” be there.

It brought me to question – even if I lost all my family around me tragically – could I live or would I want to live…? It shows that not only family can love and care … but in fact extended family and friends would be there – to help me through getting up, dusting off, pulling through and moving on in life..not to say it wouldn’t be the hardest path I would tread… ”

- Suzanne

Will you see If I Stay? Or have you seen it already? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie?

PB Crave 4 Flavor Variety Pack Review & Giveaway #pbcrave

Curt’s Peanut Butter Company has developed four unique PB Crave flavors. The exciting new premium peanut butter is produced by Sweet Harvest Foods in Cannon Falls, MN and is now available at Walmart Supercenters and Cost Plus World Market stores across the US.

Mmmm, did someone say peanut butter? BP Crave takes peanut butter to a whole new level! With four mouthwatering, natural peanut butter blends — each mixing favorite flavors with premium peanut butter — for a new twist on an old classic.

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I recently received the above PB Crave 4 Flavor Variety Pack for my family to review. We go through a lot of peanut butter in our house, so to say this has been a welcomed review, is a real understatement.

We put peanut butter on almost everything! Sandwiches, toast, apples, bagels, waffles, pancakes, pretzels, gram crackers, to just name a few.

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PB Crave is artisan-crafted using high-quality ingredients and proven practices.

–No hydrogenated oil
–No artificial flavors
–No syrups
–No high-fructose corn syrup
–Gluten and cholesterol free
–Small batches, artisan crafted
–USDA-approved manufacturing
–Fun, delicious and nutritious

While the Choco Choco is amazing on anything, the Cookie Nookie was the first of the four flavors to be finished. I think my husband might have been adding a little on top of his evening ice cream. Who would blame him? This stuff is delicious! All four flavors have been a hit with my family. The only, even close to negative thing I’ve heard is a mention that each jar requires a lot of string when opened. But no worries – once you give it a stir, there are a ton of yummy treats to be blended in each jar. I assume that has something to do with the all natural process of how it’s made. Judging by the quality and taste, I wouldn’t change a thing!

My current addiction – CoCo Bananas spread thick on-top of chocolate chip waffles. Yum!

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PB Crave is a delicious twist on peanut butter. But, don’t just take my word for it. PB Crave is now available at Walmart Supercenters and Cost Plus World Market stores across the US. Shop online or to use the store locator visit www.pbcrave.com.

Get social with PB Crave!

On Facebook and Twitter #pbcrave .

You can also enter to win a PB Crave 4 Flavor Variety Pack here on my blog! Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. Winner must be 18+ and live within the lower 48 states. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email on September 5th.

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FTC Disclosure: Free products were received for the purpose of this blog post. All prizing to be handled by the sponsor. Prize is a $28.92 value. All opinions expressed and photos used are honest and my own.

Girls Night In with Butterfly Kiss & The Other Woman

I recently received a fun, unexpected package in the mail. Containing a magazine full of colorful recipes, several cute butterfly tags for wine glasses, two full size bottles of Butterfly Kiss wine and a copy of the movie The Other Woman. All the makings of the perfect “Girls Night In”.

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Being a mom that works outside of the home, life can get pretty busy. It’s a nice slow things down every now and then to spend time with friends. Add a couple bottles of wine and a fun new movie on DVD, and it’s more than just “nice”, it’s darn good time!

I have to say – I’m blessed with some really great friends. Even when they ask me to put away my phone and not take their photo. (Like this time) Our evenings together are always a good time.

The wine
Butterfly Kiss currently features five lively, bright varietals reasonably priced at under $15.
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I’ve always favored a semi-sweet red wine, but I’m really looking forward to trying all of these!

Empress Red Blend – A light kiss of chocolate covered black cherries.
Pinot Grigio – a delicate, light wine showing kisses of citrus and ripe pear.
Chardonnay – a lush, tropical fruit flavors, kissed by a touch of vanilla.
Moscato – a lovely, well-balanced sweet white wine loaded with stone fruit and citrus.
Pink Pinot Grigio – a rosé-styled wine showing lively flavors of strawberry shortcake and bright citrus.

Found in the the Sandra Lee magazine that was included in my package, I served Peachy Punch Sangria to my friends along with a couple of light appetizers (crab puffs, artichoke whip w/ rice crackers) during this Girls Night.

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It was peachy heaven! Sweet and refreshing, but with enough kick to keep our party and the laughs going. Speaking of laughs…

The movie

Cameron Diaz leads a knockout cast in this irreverent comedy about love, lust and the laws of karma. New York attorney Carly Whitten (Diaz) is nobody’s fool. So when she accidentally discovers that her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is married, she’s less than thrilled. Not only that, she and Mark’s wife Kate (Leslie Mann), learn about yet another mistress (Kate Upton)! Before long, however, the betrayed beauties have become unlikely pals who’ve decided to teach their three-timing man a lesson. The more the trio learns about Mark, the worse he seems, and the more fun they have without him!

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We found the plot to be somewhat predictable, but Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann have great comedic chemistry, so over-all we enjoyed this movie. It’s a good “chick flick” for a get together. We talked through a lot of the movie, but then laughed pretty hard at it too. Or was it the Butterfly Kiss wine!?

You be the judge, The Other Woman is avaible NOW on DVD, and Digital Download !

FTC Disclosure: Free products were received for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions expressed are my own. This blog post contains one affiliate link.