Friday, March 30, 2012

Homemade Hot Fudge Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Here in our home we love to make homemade ice cream and to go along with our ice cream we crave some delicious homemade hot fudge chocolate sauce! Today I thought I would share my favorite hot fudge sauce recipe with all of you!

Delicious Hot Fudge Chocolate Sauce

10 ounces marshmallow creme
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat marshmallows and evaporated milk in a double boiler until marshmallows melt, stirring constantly. Add the chocolate squares and stir until sauce is smooth. Blend in the salt and vanilla extract. Serve hot fudge sauce over ice cream.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Just like most people in the world...I love chocolate and when it comes to chocolate cheesecake brownies, I love those too! These brownies are sweet, rich and definitely decadent! Next week I will post my recipe so that you can make them and enjoy them too!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Skimming at Lucky Supermarkets Highlights Importance of Shopping Safety

After more than 500 California customers of Lucky Supermarkets called last week to complain they'd been victims of fraud, parent company Save Mart issued a warning. High-tech thieves had altered self-checkout machines at nearly two dozen San Francisco Bay Area stores with data-skimming devices that wirelessly captured customers' credit and debit card statistics.

ABC News aired a report Friday with advice on avoiding such in-store thefts, but consumers also need to consider security when shopping online. As Christmas shipping deadlines approach, more of us will cruise the Internet to find last-minute deals. Here are five tips to avoid falling prey to online thieves.

1. Use One-time Use Credit Cards
Companies like Citibank, Discover and Bank of America can issue card numbers for one-time use so thieves can't piggy back on your purchase. According to an article in TIME Techland, these cards typically have a 12-month lifespan and are not available from all banks and card companies, but still represent one of the best methods to avoid online fraud.

2. Only Use Credit Cards
Debit card holders often have a very small window during which they can contest charges, whereas credit card carriers have between 30 and 90 days. Federal law dictates that cardholders are responsible for $50 of fraudulent charges to their credit cards before reporting the theft, whereas debit cardholders are liable for up to $500 if they fail to report the theft within two days. Bottom line: save debit cards for in-store purchases.

3. Shop With Gift Cards
Discount gift cards from websites like both save you money off a card's face value while ensuring online thieves can't dig deeper into your pocket. You don't have to wait around until you receive one as a gift, either - there's no law against purchasing gift cards for your own use, especially when you can take advantage of instant savings.

4. Review Statements Regularly
Check your credit card and bank statements regularly while charges are fresh in your mind. Paper statements are almost passé these days, so bring a printout of any suspicious activity to show your bank. You'll likely need to include it within the paperwork required to contest the charges, anyway.

5. Secure Your Network
Turn off "Share Files," printer access, and "Allow Remote Log-in" on your computer. Use a firewall and make sure it's updated. And make sure a url's "http" address changes to "https" when you start the checkout process. Read this blogpost for how-to details.


Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert who has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles.

CafeWell & Altius partner up on Reach for the Peaks Wellness Program

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CafeWell for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a work at home mom and wife, I will admit, I don't get enough physical activity and exercise and these days, I have packed on 15 lbs. that I need to lose. Today, I want to tell you about CafeWell, a social network site to Get Well and to Stay Well and how they partnered with Altius for a new health and wellness program called Reach for the Peaks.

CafeWell and Altius are offering their members wireless pedometers to help encourage their members to get up and moving and to engage in more physical activity. I think that is a fabulous program because I know I could personally use some motivation!

CafeWell is helping to bridge the gap between health plans and their members by educating their members on a variety of health, fitness and nutrition topics. CafeWell is very easy to use and offers their member a free and safe environment to help improve their health.

A program like the fantastic "Reach for the Peaks" encourages physical activity and includes award prizes and social mentions. Doesn't that sound cool? I think so! CafeWell provides free tips and information (including motivation) from Olympic athletes, health and wellness experts, diet and nutrition experts, etc. I think that is very nice to have all of those experts available to help answer questions, offer support and of course, motivate you to become a healthier person.

Here are a few testimonials from a few of their valued members:

"I'm absolutely thrilled with this motivating program."

"So today I am taking a step forward to get up off the couch and to become healthy. I am overweight, underpaid and not so full of energy. I know if I think I can, I CAN."

I think this is the type of program that I need to help motivate me to turn off the computer and to take more breaks from my online work and get more physical activity going on daily within my own life. Perhaps having a buddy from CafeWell will motivate me to do so!

CafeWell is FREE to join so head on over there today and check it all out! I think you will be glad that you did!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies Recipe

I love to make and bake a large variety of cookies for my family and last week I baked a batch of these delicious peanut butter and jelly cookies for my grand-wee-one to take into her preschool class and all of the little kids loved them! Here is the recipe that I used (thank you auntie!). This recipe will make 4 to 4 1/2 dozen cookies depending on how large or small you make your cookie balls.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves (or your favorite flavor)

In a large mixing bowl cream together the softened butter, creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract until creamy and smooth. Stir in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gradually add in the all-purpose flour and mix the cookie batter until well combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Start forming the dough into 1 3/4" diameter balls and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet. Press your thumb into the middle of each ball to make an indent into the cookie. Spoon a 1/2 teaspoon of the strawberry or raspberry preserves into the center of each cookie.

Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove baking sheet from oven and place the cookies on a wire rack to cool. Store them in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I won a beautiful Mohawk area rug!

A few weeks ago I started entering a giveaway that was being hosted on the 3 Princes and a Princess 2 Blog owned by the wonderful Crystal for a giveaway that was being sponsored by the rug company called Mohawk.

If you won the giveaway you would be able to choose any 5 ft by 8 ft area rug as your prize and guess what? I won the giveaway!!! The rug you see posted here in my blog post is the rug that I received which is now proudly sitting in my living room.
It is absolutely gorgeous and very well made! I love this new area rug so much that hubby and I now want to purchase another Mohawk rug for our dinning room. Isn't it gorgeous! We love it!

Thank you Crystal and Thank you Mohawk for sponsoring and hosting the giveaway. I am a proud winner of this gorgeous Mohawk area rug!

~ Shelly ~

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Beauty of Dogwood Trees in Bloom

Every year I look forward to our dogwood trees blooming as I always think they look so pretty and I love their floral fragrance. We usually see them in full bloom in early to mid April. This year they are in full bloom in mid March thanks to all of the mild temperatures we have been having here in South Central, Pennsylvania.

I love how gorgeous they are right now but completely astonished that they are all blooming a full month early. In addition, my tulips and daffodils have sprung up too with the daffodils alreayd blooming and the tulips are getting ready to bloom.
I am super excited that today is the first official day of Spring and was more than happy to kiss winter 2011/2012 goodbye! I am a warm climate type of girl so I am loving these early mild and warm temperatures right now! yeah!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bring on the Girl Scout Cookies

I love Girl Scout Cookies and have been buying them for clost to 30 years now! Our daughter who is now 26 yrs. old did 12 years in Girl Scouts and to this day...we love their cookie drives! Every year we go nuts and purchase about 15 boxes of cookies from our local Girl Scouts and I freeze them. As the weeks go on throughout the year I thaw out one box at a time for the family to enjoy.

My husband loves the Thin Mints, I love the Tagalongs and my daughter loves the Samoas. Now that we have a little grand daughter she is following in my foot steps and loving the Tagalongs too!

When it comes to Girl Scout Cookies...what is your favorite cookie flavor? Do you only buy one box or are you like me and purchase a lot?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone! Later today we are heading into the city to watch a small local St. Patty's Day parade and then coming back to our home for a backyard barbecue with family and friends!

Are you wearing your green today? I don't decorate for St. Patty's Day but I do try to wear green so I am all decked out from head to toe in green attire today. My hubby is wearing his "Luck o' Irish" t-shirt so later one we will be having some St. Patrick's Day fun once our dinner guests arrive.

Are you doing anything special for St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Grand-Wee-One at the Movie Theater

My almost Wordless Wednesday post today is an adorable photo of my almost 3 year old grand-wee-one who finally got to see her first "real" movie at the big old movie theater! My hubby (her pappy) took her out 2 weeks ago to see the new Lorax movie and she loved it!

She had a great time on her pappy and grand daughter date and gobbled up a big bucket of popcorn along with a bag of M&M's while at the theater with pappy. Once they got back home we enjoyed a nice walk in the park with her.

We just adore her and enjoy spending as much time with her as we can!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sparkling Green Sangria Cocktail Recipe for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about what to serve your guests. Instead of serving ordinary green beer filled with calories and unnatural food coloring, dazzle your guests with something a little more sophisticated for your taste buds. Demonstrate your chic bartending skills by serving a refreshing wine infused cocktail. VOGA Italia Wine can be used to make quick and easy cocktails for any occasion. VOGA’s collection ranges from Italian made Pinot Grigio, Premium Sparkling, Moscato, Quattro and Merlot.
VOGA’s Sparkling Green Sangria Recipe

2 bottles of VOGA Italia Moscato Wine
3 oz. Triple Sec
2 sliced cucumbers
2 cups of seedless green grapes
1 sliced Granny Smith apple
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
1/2 liter club soda

Preparation: Pour wine in a pitcher or bowl and add sliced cucumber, apple, lemon and lime. Next add triple sec and stir gently. Cover and chill from 2-24 hours (the longer, the better!) Before serving, top with club soda. Stir gently and serve over ice. Makes about 15 servings.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frugal Fashion Tips - How to Make Your Wardrobe Last

Everything is more expensive these days but some items experience higher price hikes than others. To the dismay of fashionistas everywhere, apparel is taking the hardest hit with a whopping 4.7-percent increase in January alone, according to

The best way to save on clothes is not to buy any, but that's easier said than done for most. Carefully selected pieces that are cared for and stored properly can last a long time, however, reducing the necessity for replacement. If you struggle with making your clothes last, consider these tips to promote wardrobe longevity.

1. Follow care instructions.
"Hand-wash only" is just a suggestion, right? Wrong. I've ruined many a blouse due to laziness. By following care instructions closely, clothes will last longer and you can enjoy them for years. If you have dry-clean only items, avoid professional cleanings with at-home kits and use mesh bags for delicates to prevent damage from the washer drum or other garments.
2. Invest in classic pieces.
Avoid spending too much on trendy clothes and invest in classic pieces instead. After all, buying $100 worth of cheap, trendy items is no deal compared to a $100 blazer that lasts a lifetime. To reduce the initial hit on your bank account, purchase discount gift cards at sites like to places like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.

3. Wash inside out.
Avoid fading and reduce pilling by turning your clothes inside out when washing. This is especially important for denim and dark articles of clothing. Additionally, search your whites pile for the mutinous red sock before loading it into the washer.

4. Don't replace, repair.
We all have that favorite pair of shoes we can't stop wearing and can't imagine giving up. I wore down one such pair of boots and frantically looked for a worthy replacement. Upon finding nothing that could compare, it occurred to me I could just get them re-heeled. For $15 my faves were as good as new.

5. Hold onto all sizes.
Unless you're a Victoria's Secret model, you likely change a size up or down every few years. It's when that adjustment decreases that we want to find new, smaller clothes and get rid of the bigger stuff, but it's best to hold onto these pieces for the inevitable. That way, you don't have to spend money on a bigger size that you're not too thrilled about purchasing.

6. Hang vs. fold.
Crumpling your clothes on the floor every night requires more turns in the washing machine and leads to faster wear-out. Hang up your clothes the minute you remove them to increase longevity. If space is an issue, double up by placing two blouses or two pairs of pants on one hanger. For knitwear like sweaters, it's best to keep those folded in a drawer or shelf since a hanger can damage the stitching.

7. Hang with Care
Always remove plastic from dry-cleaned items so the clothes can breathe and toss those wire hangers immediately. Clamp hangers are great for trousers and skirts -- just make sure to clamp the closure at the waistband to avoid creasing. Padded hangers with nonslip material ensure suit jackets and pants don't endure hours and days of creasing. For recommendations on the best hangers, check out Oprah's picks.

8. Longer lasting shoe care.

Water and dirt can damage shoes over time, especially those made of suede and leather. Apply a protector spray after each wear, and use a wire suede brush to remove dirt and scuff marks. Keep leather shoes looking new with a touch of polish. Place tissue paper in the toes of heels and flats to maintain their shape, and make boot shapers out of cardboard boxes to keep boots from creasing.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit

Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Patrick's Day - Frosty Leprechaun Cocktail Recipe

Are you hosting a St. Patrick's Day or St. Patty's Day party this year? If so, check out this delicious looking cocktail recipe from the great folks over at KRUPS. Hubby and I are definitely make a few of these come St. Patty's Day!

Frosty Leprechaun Recipe

4 oz. Cold Espresso
1 oz. Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz. Coffee Liqueur
1/2 oz. Irish Cream
1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
1 dash Simple Syrup
4 cups Ice
Whipped cream and chocolate shaving for garnish

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Garnish with shipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Disclosure: You must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly and always use a designated driver. Photo and recipe is courtesy of KRUPS.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hubby and his new toy... DRY ICE

I get a lot of packages delivered to me since I am a professional product reviewer and ghostwriter and often times I get fresh food delivered to me that has been packed with dry ice. My 50 year old hubby decided to "play" with the dry ice I got yesterday and was like a little kid in a candy store.

He put a big block of dry ice in my kitchen sink with some water and it looked like fog was rolling out of my sink and kitchen for over an hour! LOL He then threw a chunk of the dry ice into our guest bathroom toilet and it sounded like popping bubbles in the toilet for 40 minutes as the dry ice fogged rolled out of the bathroom.

Oh my hubster had a blast playing with the dry ice for well over 2 hours! Geesh! I think for Christmas this year I will just purchase him some dry ice and he can play with it a few hours over the upcoming holidays.

My photo above shows the kitchen sink fogging up with the dry ice that he was playing with. He now has a new facination with dry ice and wants all of my dry ice that I receive in food packages saved so he can "play" with it all again. ugh!