July 29, 2011

WTF, Dude?!?!

Yes, those were my exact words to Beckett.  Beckett is NOT a chewer.  He never had been.  He has his toys and has never been one to demolish them (that's Meadow's job!), nor has he been interested in my shoes before.

So...I usually leave my shoes in harm's way.  You know where this is going, right?

The little brat has eaten two pairs of flip-flops in the past month.  One pair I got on sale at Macy's a few months ago and had a really cute crystal flower thingie on it, and the other pair were my new black Havaianas

I love havaianas.  Super comfy little Brazilian flip-flops.  Great quality.  The straps don't stretch and they NEVER smell feety.  If I hadn't lost my last pair when I moved, I wouldn't have even needed a new pair.

But it's hard to stay mad at this little face.  Even if I am stuck with either pink flops, turquoise flops or sneakers until I order a new pair of black ones....

July 25, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Ice Cream Sandwiches

Howdy, gang!!  How is everyone doing?  I've noticed some new faces lately and want to give you a hearty WELCOME!!  I love seeing all your fabulous recipes and dropping by to visit you all (I know I need to get better about visiting everyone.  It's a work in progress...). 

Please keep sharing and visiting each other. You all have been so supportive of each other.  It makes me so happy!!


This week I'm sharing some easy ice cream sandwiches (courtesy of Taste of Home).  Right up my alley for a hot summer day.  :-)

Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 gallon ice cream

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, shortening, butter, egg, water and vanilla until well blended. Divide into four equal parts.

Between waxed paper, roll one part into a 10-in. x 6-in. x rectangle. Remove one piece of waxed paper and invert dough onto a ungreased baking sheet. Score the dough into eight pieces, each 3-in. x 2-1/2-in. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until puffed. Immediately cut along the scored lines and prick holes in each piece with a fork. Cool on wire racks.

Cut ice cream into 16 slices, each 3-in. x 2-1/2-in. x 1-in (the diameter of a square half gallon of ice cream). Place ice cream slice between two chocolate cookies; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

July 21, 2011

Words of Wisdom From Pinterest

You're all on Pinterest, right?  (If you're not, and want an invite...email me!)

These are a few of my favorite Pinterest words of wisdom lately.  What are yours?


July 18, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Lemon Ginger Meringues

Happy Tuesday, ladies!! Is everyone enjoying this heatwave?!?!  Yeah.  Me either.  At least we're all suffering from coast-to-coast TOGETHER! :-) **group hug**

Anyway, because I don't have central air conditioning...the only cooking I do is early in the morning or late at night. Something about 90 degree heat (and rising) doesn't inspire me to turn on the oven.  How are you dealing with keeping everyone fed during the heat?  Are you a lucky person who has central air conditioning? Eat only things that can be grilled? Eating out a lot?


I love meringue cookies during the summer.  They're light, barely require time in the oven and store well.

Lemon Ginger Meringues

2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar

Crack eggs and let egg whites come up to room temperature in a medium bowl.  Add lemon extract, cream of tartar and ginger to egg whites.  Beat with an electric mixer (on medium) until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. 

Spoon egg white mixture about two inches apart (or you can use a decorating bag and round or star tips for a pretty design) onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn off oven and let cookies dry in a closed oven for 40-45 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.  Store in an airtight container.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

July 17, 2011

A Baby Revelation...

I have a feeling, that no matter how tactfully I write this...I'm going to lose a few followers.  I apologize in advance!

I've been surrounded by people who have had babies in the last few years.  I'm genuinely thrilled for the blessing of a child that has come into their lives!  My friends have some of the cutest children!!  I absolutely adore them!  Their little voices saying my name and showing me their toys makes my day.  :-)  However, seeing all these children has made me come to an unexpected revelation...

Not all babies are cute!

It pains me to say that.  Am I a horrible person?!?!  For quite a while, I didn't realize that there was such thing as an unpretty/uncute baby. I looooove seeing babies!!  So sweet. So small.  So cuddly and cooing! I know that I want a few of my own!

For a stretch of time, I was confronted with one such uncute baby on a daily basis, and found myself commenting on the picture surroundings and the child's outfit to compensate for not speaking directly about the little munchkin. It was only when another individual also mentioned that she compensated that way, did I realize that it wasn't just me.  This other person was a mom, so it made singleton me feel better...and also very grateful that the other mom had no idea that others didn't find her little bundle of joy as adorable as she does.  Really, if my child(ren) aren't cute - I do not want to realize that!!  Give me the survival mechanism to think that they are the cutest things on the face of the earth!

Am I the only one?  How do you deal in the few-and-far-between situation of being confronted by a little one (or picture) that isn't your usual beautiful cherub?

July 16, 2011

SodaStream Winner!!!

Many thanks to all everyone that entered the SodaStream giveaway!!  I was thrilled with the response!  I had no idea that so many of you were as interested in SodaStream as I am.  :-)

Without further ado...the winner is:


Lauren @ A Mommy In The City


Do you want to sponsor a product review or giveaway?  Email me here!

July 11, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Grilled Pineapple

Happy Tuesday!!  It's been an interesting few days - between my dad's birthday on Sunday, my birthday on Monday and an assortment of fun and oddities.  I'll do a birthday weekend recap later in the week.  :-) Have you entered my SodaStream giveaway yet? You have until Thursday night!

This week I'm sharing one of my favorite summer desserts.  Grilled pineapple.  Quick, easy and a crowd pleaser.


Grilled Pineapple

1 large pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch thick slices
3/4 cup tequila
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream

Mix tequila, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together until sugar is dissolved. Preheat Grill. Place pineapple on grill and baste with tequila mixture while grilling. Turn occasionally. Grill about 10 minutes. Serve hot topped with a scoop of ice cream.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

July 06, 2011

Product Review: SodaStream (and a GIVEAWAY!)

I am in love with my SodaStream!! For quite a while I've been trying to get away from hauling soda bottles to and from my house, as well as bottles of carbonated water.  Plus, I feel so guilty.  Think of all the bottles that we throw away or that we hope get recycled each day.  I'm trying to find ways to be more "green".

The folks at SodaStream were nice enough to let me review the "Genesis" model of their product.  In fact, two very large boxes showed up on my step, and I was like a little kid on Christmas Day unpacking the goodies that they had shipped me.  Not only did they provide me the "Genesis", but a plethora of different flavored soda/water concentrates as well.  I was thrilled!!

Set up for the SodaStream was a breeze.  Seriously!  Take the machine out of the box, pop in the CO2 canister, fill one of their bottles to the fill line, screw it onto the machine and press the carbonation button on the top of the machine, unscrew and add your desired flavor concentrate.  Did you notice that I didn't list "plug in the machine" as a step?!?!  Can I even tell you how happy I am that it's one kitchen appliance that doesn't require electricity?  Because of that, this little beauty has been used in the kitchen, on the porch, and even outside!

Now, let's talk about flavors.  This is where it gets fun.  :-)  Their version of Root Beer is super yummy, and I love their MyWater Essence flavors (I haven't tried the mint yet...but I will!).  I love that their line of "sparkling naturals" don't contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  But, by far - my favorite is their Pomegranate Peach Green Tea.  Soooo good!  And JC is in love with their Energy Drink.  No more $3 per energy drink for him!

Which brings me to the topic of money.  The money I've saved in bottle deposit, and purchasing soda/bottled carbonated water has been considerable.  So much that I likely could have bought another SodaStreams by now.  Each of the flavor concentrate bottles runs from $4.99 to $9.99 and makes twelve or so liter bottles. The MyWater Essences makes about 20 liter bottles.  Eventually, I'll need to exchange the carbonator as well.  You heard me right - EXCHANGE.  SodaStream will let you exchange the empty CO2 cartridge for a new full one for a small fee - and provides you with local locations where you could exchange the cartridge as well.  Given that it takes time to ship your empty canister back and get a new one (not even considering the cost of shipping), I would highly recommend that you go to a local store and exchange your CO2 canister.

Here's the best part:

The fine folks at SodaStream provided me with the "Genesis" to review - AND gave me the "Fountain Jet" to give away to one of you lovelies!!  How cool is that?!?! Additionally, I will let you choose one flavor (Ginger Ale, Cola, Diet Lemon Lime or Root Beer)to try.

Here's the deal...
You get ONE entry for commenting on this post.
You get ONE entry for following my blog.
You get ONE entry for following me on Twitter.
You get ONE entry for Tweeting about my giveaway.
You get ONE entry for blogging about my giveaway or putting it on your sidebar.
You get FIVE entries for going to SodaStream and commenting about what flavor you'd most like to try or what you think the best/most intriguing thing about SodaStream is.

This giveaway will be open until midnight EST on July 14th.  Please leave seperate comments for each entry, so you get appropriate credit.  :-)

Product Review Disclaimer

The purpose of my reviews is to offer my reading audience an objective opinion, so they can make an informed decision before buying.
•Cole @ All The Small Stuff reviews products based on quality, practicality and value.
•Cole @ All The Small Stuff will always deliver an honest and unbiased opinion.
•Cole @ All The Small Stuff will not review products that fail to comply with FDA, and other regulations.
•Some reviews are from products sent free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review.
•Cole @ All The Small Stuff will never accept money to review a product. The only compensation is the use of the product during the review period.

If you have any questions concerning my product reviews, please email me at allthelittlestuff@gmail.com

July 04, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Blackberry Simple Syrup

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend, and got their fill of friends, family and fireworks!!  I had a fabulous weekend. Ah...I love summer.  Well, except the humidity. :-)


This week I'm sharing a blackberry simple syrup.  It can be frozen into cubes, but I use it for sweetening up lemonade (which I did today), iced tea and occasionally with some carbonated water.  So yummy!!

Blackberry Simple Syrup

2 pints blackberries
5 cups water
2 cups sugar

In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium and add your blackberries, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes.  Take the saucepan off the heat and use a masher to squish up the fruit.  Allow the liquid to cool, then strain and pour into a quart sized bottle.  This refrigerates well for a little over a week.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

July 03, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy Independence Day!!  The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  Fireworks, cook-outs and friends!! (Plus, it means there's only a week before my birthday!)

I'm having a really fun weekend. Saturday was an impromptu gatherering at Kristin's.  Sunday I had to stay home and clean (a story I may share with you all later), and Monday is another fun gathering at Queen H's. 

I already had S'mores brownies ready for Sunday's shin-dig, so they're going to be served on Monday instead. 

Then, I think I'm going to make these...

And if Queen H has room in her freezer, I'll bring ice cream and homemade magic shell topping.

What kind of fun are you having this holiday weekend?

July 01, 2011

A Prayer Request for Lo

This is Jane (right) and Lo (left). 

**Picture hijacked w/o Jane's approval. But I'm willing to get yelled at for sharing. :-)**

Jane is an awesome blogger than I'm blessed enough to call my friend.  Sure, we've never met in person.  But that hasn't stopped the random sending of gifts or lengthy emails.  :-)

Lo is Jane's sister and best friend.  Despite the fact that I've never "met" her, Lo is one of the bravest people I know.  She has cystic fibrosis and has already had two lung transplants.  On July 5th, she'll be having a liver transplant.  The donor?  Their dad!  Isn't that great?!?!  If you could keep them in your prayers - I, and they, would really appreciate it.

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