Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting Into A Clean Routine With Cottonelle Products From Target

It is certainly true that my potty training days with my five kids are long over. They are all grown up now, and two of them have children of their own.

As a very involved grandparent, I am right here in the trenches of helping my daughter potty train her three year old son. We are trying hard to establish an effective but easy care routine for my grandson, one that he can be encouraged to eventually learn to do by himself.

My family has been buying Cottonelle bath tissue, and Cottonelle products for a very long time. They are part of our everyday routine of staying fresh and clean.

Target is now having a fabulous sale with a reduced price on their 18-packs of Cottonelle bath tissue, and offering a free dispenser of their Cottonelle Flushable Cleaning Cloths. Both of these products are an important part of potty training, and everyday self care.

Not only is my grandson Liam excited by the Cottonelle wipes, but I am too. Believe me, it is so much easier to be able to flush dirty wipes, than to have to dispose of them separately. They make cleaning up accidents a breeze, and they are nice and soft enough that Liam is using them to keep himself clean, along with the bath tissue.

Cottonelle 18-packs of bath tissue are on sale for $10, that's a savings of $1.49 on each pack. And when you buy two packs, you get a free dispenser, or a 168-count refill.

That is a great deal all the around, and I love stocking on items that we need for everyday use.
This dispenser is really great because of the way it always keeps the wipes moist, and doesn't let them dry out if the dispenser is accidently left open.

Back at home, the bath tissue has to be sat upon and played with before it can be put away, of course.

Who says products can't be good looking in the bathroom? I really like that the Cottonelle dispenser is nice looking and can blend in with other items in the bathroom.

I'm definitely going back to Target while the sale is still on and getting more bath tissue and more flushable cleaning cloths. I want to put a dispenser in my purse for those times when I am taking my grandson someplace where it just the two of us.

Being able to flush the wipes is so much easier than disposing of them in a bathroom trash can.

Time to put away the Cottonelle bath tissue. Target is one of my absolute favorite stores to shop at, and I love when they have great sales like this.

The flushable wipes aren't just for potty training, either. They are great for when you need to feel fresh and clean yourself. Strong but gentle, they are quite refreshing for all your bathroom needs.

I have to say the potty training is going well, and Liam is well on his way to being completely trained when preschool starts in the middle of September.

He likes using the wipes for regular hand cleaning too. So do I, and I love having wipes the most when I am at the gas station for using after pumping gas.

Cottonelle bath tissue and flushable cleaning cloths are a great part of having a clean care routine for everyone in the whole family.

You can see my complete shopping trip at Target in my Google+ Album. Shop for your own Cottonelle products at Target to get started on your own #cottonelleroutine.

You can also connect with Cottonelle and find more information on Facebook and Twitter.

Wordless Wednesday - Flowers In Bloom

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our Favorite Places To Eat - Social Fabric Restaurant Blog Hop #cbias

I love eating out at restaurants while I am on vacation. I do check out restaurants online, and read guidebooks, but I always appreciate the local's tips for great restaurants in their cities.

I recently posted my own list of restaurants that were my favorite places to eat on Bainbridge Island,
which is a gorgeous 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle.

That post is part of a blog hop with my Social Fabric community. Today, I am excited to share with you some of my other Social Fabric members recommendations for their favorite restaurants in their own cities.

The list is divided into specific areas of the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

So if you are vacationing in any of these areas, be sure to check them out. And even if you a local, it's always fun to try new restaurants that you may not have heard about.

Eastern US 

Tampa, Florida - I Run for Wine 
Annapolis, Maryland - Maryland Momma's Rambles 
Framingham, Massachusetts - 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires 
Orleans County, New York - Living Off Love and Coffee 
Charlotte, North Carolina - MommyB Knows Best
Eastern North Carolina - Rebecca Lately 
Raleigh, North Carolina - The Dirty Floor Diaries 
East Greenwich, Rhode Island - Mama Luvs Books 
Richmond, Virginia - Close to Home 

Western US 

 Phoenix, Arizona - Brie Brie Blooms
Aliso Viejo, California - Una Colombiana en California
Oceanside, California - Adventures of Valley Writer
San Diego, California - Toot Sweet 4 Two
Wildomar, California - Simple Sojourns
Las Vegas, Nevada - Growing Up Gabel
Las Vegas, Nevada - Home Cooking Memories
Reno, Nevada - Saving in Nevada
NE Oklahoma (Route 66) - The Creative Princess
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Masterpiece
Austin, Texas - Texas Type A Mom
Dallas, Texas - The Effortless Mom
Dallas/Denton County, Texas - Coffee & Giggles
Houston, Texas - A Day in Motherhood
Palestine, Texas - Going Crazy! Wanna Go?
Provo, Utah - Clarks Condensed
Salina/Sevier, Utah - Home Maid Simple
Salt Lake City, Utah - Summer Scraps
Bainbridge Island, Washington - Popcorn and Pearls
Seattle, Washington - Faith Filled Food for Moms

Northern US

Chicago, Illinois - East 9th Street
Lake County, Illinois - THE ROCK FATHER
Long Grove (NW Chicago Suburbs), Illinois- Make Dinner Easy
Naperville, Illinois - Making Time for Mommy
Cincinnati, Ohio/Northern Kentucky - {enjoy the view}
Detroit, Michigan - Roasted Beanz
West Michigan - Eat Local, West Michigan!
Rochester, Minnesota - The Mama Report
St. Charles, Missouri - Robyn's Online World
St. Louis, Missouri - inRandom
Omaha, Nebraska - Midwest Mammas
Seward, Nebraska - Busy-at-Home
Dayton, Ohio - Mudpies and Tiaras
Miami County, Ohio - The Home and Garden Cafe
Greenville, South Carolina - The Destiny Manifest
Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Outnumbered 3 to 1
Norwalk, Wisconsin - The Mommy Bunch

Southern US 

Northwest Arkansas - Jamie's Thots
Northwest Arkansas - MamaBuzz
Atlanta, Georgia - The Jort Report
Cumming, Georgia - In the Kitchen with KP


Quispamsis/Saint John, New Brunswick - Older Mommy Still Yummy
London, Ontario - Creative Cynchronicity


Banbury, UK - Bubbablue and Me
Bristol, UK - Slummy Single Mummy
London, England - The 21st Century Housewife
Portishead, UK - Practically Perfect Mums

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Vintage Flea Market Finds

One of my absolute favorite things to do for fun is go to flea markets. I love the fun atmosphere, the people watching, the food, and of course, the great stuff you can find there.

Over the last few weeks I have gone to a fabulous flea market here in Seattle, the Fremont Sunday Flea Market. I love this market, and always find great stuff to bring home. I never spend a lot of money for what I buy, and the thrill of the hunt is exciting!!

These plates were only a dollar each, there are four, and they feel very 60's to me, yet with a modern twist. I think they are great for a spring or summer meal.

I can never have too many flower vases, and this one is very heavy, and perfect for that one gorgeous flower. I paid two dollars for it.

I already have lots of baskets, but I couldn't pass up this sweet green one. Baskets are great for every room in the house, and I can store kitchen towels or other kitchen items in this one. This basket cost three dollars.

I love white dishes and vases. I can use this one for flowers, pencils, or really anything. I am using it right now for my knitting needles, which I am always losing. Cost was two dollars.

I am calling this a fruit basket, but I can store onions on the counter in it too. I thought it was cute, but it might be cuter if I spray painted it in apple green. At only a dollar, I couldn't pass it up.

I am always up for a visit to any flea market, and Seattle has a few more I want to go to before the summer ends. You can see that I didn't spend a lot of money for what I bought, and there are great deals on furniture, clothes, shoes, and more. I love flea markets!!!

What about you, are there flea markets in your city or town? Have you bought anything fabulous there?
 I would love to know.

Happy Friday!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Picnic Fun and On-The-Go With Bigelow Tea #AmericasTea #shop #cbias

Here in the beautiful Northwest, our summers are glorious but not very long. My family and I try to pack as much outdoor fun into those three months as possible.

My daughter Samantha and I have begun taking day trips with her children, and we try to go someplace different every week. This week we went to a wonderful little park that was on the beach, and we had a great time.

We took along a picnic, and a delicious drink that I made with Bigelow Tea. I have been drinking Bigelow for many, many years, and I love making iced tea with it in the summer. Bigelow Tea comes in so many different kinds and flavors, and it truly is a family favorite.

I went shopping at Walmart for Bigelow Tea, and brought home some Lemon Lift. I found a recipe for Lemon Citrus Tea Coolers on the Bigelow Tea website. The recipe is super easy, and I absolutely loved the delicious tangy, citrus flavor. It was the perfect drink to enjoy at our picnic. I made it the night before so that it was very cold when I put it in the cooler to bring.

It was a beautiful day for our picnic. My daughter loved the Lemon Citrus Tea Cooler, too. I enjoy plain iced tea, but sometimes it's just more fun to whip up something special. Bigelow Tea makes it so easy, and I try to keep plenty of pitchers of tea on hand for these warm summer days.

Bringing along our drink was super easy. I just put it in this plastic pitcher that has a tight fitting lid, and then popped it into the cooler. I like using cute things for picnics, and just because you aren't at home doesn't mean you can't eat or drink with style.

Transporting the kid's food was easy in these cute little plastic containers. Sandwiches are always so easy to bring, and we had egg salad this time.

All the kids loved the Lemon Citrus Tea Cooler. We didn't give any to my granddaughter, but she grabbed this glass on her own.

I promised the kids a special treat, so I picked up a box of Red Raspberry Herb Tea. The kids love slushies, and these were easy to make, and bring along. You just combine four cups of brewed, cold tea, one cup of Almond Milk, and three cups of mixed berries in the blender. I pored the mixture into a freezer bag and froze it over night. I set it out for about fifteen minutes before the kids were ready to eat it.

I squeezed the freezer bag to mix it up a bit, poured it into cups, and topped it with whipped cream. We all loved it, and it really was delicious.

You can get creative with Bigelow Tea no matter what season it is, and there are even ways to cook with it. Bringing Bigelow Tea along on vacation, a trip to the beach, or other fun outing is always a great idea.

My grandchildren thought it was great to have fruit slushies after their lunch. It was so easy to just toss the bag of frozen fruit mixture and a can of whipped cream in the cooler.

After lunch we went down to the water. Even though the day was very warm, the water in Puget Sound is always cold. The boys had a good time looking for things, and tossing rocks in the water. In the end though, they did take off their shoes and socks and wade into the water. So did I!

Being a grandmother is a very large and important role for me. I never knew either of my own grandmothers, so I feel very lucky to have four little grandchildren of my own.

It's wonderful summer picnics like this that help me build close bonds with them.

I can't wait to go on our next outing, and I'll be sure to bring along Bigelow Tea again for all of us to enjoy.

If you would like more summer tips and ideas, check out this great Summer E-Guide.

You can see my shopping trip for Bigelow Tea on my Google+ Photo Album.

You can also connect with Bigelow Tea on Facebook and Twitter.

Easy Lemon Bars For Lemon Lovers

I think I am going through a lemon loving phase. I'm looking through my cookbooks and on Pinterest to find some good lemon recipes to make.
I came across a recipe for Lemon Bars and made them yesterday afternoon. They came out delicious, and are quite zippy, with a tender crust, and lots of lemon flavor. The recipe is very easy, and you don't even need to pull out your mixture.

I highly recommend making them if you need a lemon fix.

Recipe for Easy Lemon Bars



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
pinch of salt
2 sticks butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan


4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.

Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Dip fingers into flour if needed if the mixture sticks to your hands. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix together the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice.
Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 20 minutes longer.
Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar when cooled and slice into squares.

Makes 10, depending on how large you slice them.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Luscious Lemon Sour Cream Cake Recipe

*Disclosure: I received coupons for free dairy products from Darigold. All opinions expressed in this post are completely my own. #sponsored

When summer rolls around, I start craving food and drinks made with lemon. I love the flavor of lemon, and one of my favorite ways to use lemons is to use them to make desserts. I love lemon bars, lemon cream pie, lemon sorbet, and more.

This lemon cake is super yummy and super lemony, perfect for all you lemon lovers to bake and enjoy. The butter and sour cream make it a good, old fashioned dessert that reminds me of my own Mom. She was a lemon lover too, and this cake is very similar to the one she used to make in the summertime.

I sprinkled some coconut on top of it, but this is completely optional. The sweetened coconut did contrast nicely with the tart lemon flavor of the cake though.

I used Darigold butter and sour cream in my lemon cake. Darigold is a Northwest Dairy Co-op, representing over 500 family farms. They are Seattle area based, and I love buying products that are made locally, and supporting local dairy farmers. Darigold makes delicious, high quality, milk, sour cream, butter, cottage cheese, and other dairy products.

You can check out recipes using Darigold Dairy products on their Dariblog.

Recipe for Luscious Lemon Sour Cream Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (optional)

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.  

Into a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a mixing bowl with hand held electric mixer, cream 1 cup butter and granulated sugar; beat at high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Blend in lemon zest.
Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with sour cream, adding each in 3 additions.
Scrape sides of bowl frequently.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake in preheated oven 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put lemon glaze ingredients in a bowl, blending until smooth. Carefully turn cake out onto a cake platter, frost or drizzle with glaze.
Sprinkle with coconut if desired.

Serves about 8.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend In Pictures

Spending time with my family, and my daughter Megan, is always a joy.

A yummy salad and a favorite magazine are something I enjoy.

I made a batch of delicious Oatmeal Strawberry Jam Bars, with this recipe.

Megan has a sweet new kitty named Mango.

This is one of my favorite thrift stores, and it benefits Seattle Children's Hospital.

At the bookstore, I loved looking through this book of stylish ladies, written and photographed by a blogger.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Best Restaurants On Bainbridge Island, Washington State #cbias

Seattle is a very beautiful city, filled with many fabulous restaurants loved by locals and tourists alike.  But just thirty five minutes and a gorgeous ferry ride away, is a special place where I lived for twelve years, called Bainbridge Island.

If you are visiting or live in the Seattle area, I highly recommend you take a trip to this charming island. I have put together a list of some of my favorite restaurants to eat at, and this list is by no means complete, but I have eaten at all of the restaurants on the list, and can honestly say that I have enjoyed each of my visits there.
All of the Bainbridge Island restaurants are walking distance from the ferry terminal, so there is no need to bring your car to the island. Whether you are looking for a fine meal, a homey breakfast, a delicious organic salad, fish and chips, or just a sandwich, you are sure to find it at one of these great restaurants.

Pegasus Coffee House - 131 Parfitt Way SW Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-6725

Don't let the name coffee house fool you, because Pegasus is so much more than that. Besides selling the best tasting coffee around, they are a great place for lunch or dinner, too.
Fresh, local, and organic  foods are used to make some of the most delicious salads, sandwiches, soups, and heartier fare available on the Island. Relax with a cocktail or glass of wine while listening to Northwest inspired live music, on many nights.
Pegasus is a wonderful place to come to no matter what time of the day you choose.

Café Nola - 101 Winslow Way East   Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-3822

Café Nola is the place to come to if you want to experience a European style café offering eclectic and Northwest inspired cuisine.
It is a little on the expensive side, but I love coming here for a special lunch or dinner. On a beautiful day, it's really a treat to sit out on the patio, or at night, the interior of the restaurant takes on a romantic glow from the candlelight. They offer classic cocktails, an extensive wine list, and a full bar. The desserts are delicious, and it's wonderful to come here if you are looking for a truly lovely dining experience.

Streamliner Diner -  397 Winslow Way East  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-8595

As you walk up the hill from the ferry terminal, and turn onto the main street of Winslow Way, you will see an Island favorite of many years, the Streamliner Diner.
Breakfasts are legendary here, and the restaurant is a welcoming combination of homey and hip. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, pancakes, omelets, and more, are cooked in the open kitchen, and it's always fun to sit at the counter and watch your own breakfast being cooked. The food is delicious, and sure to please.
Streamliner Diner is also open for lunch, and limited dinner hours.

Spice Route Cuisine Of India - 403 Madison Ave. N  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 780-3545

If you love great Indian food, you will certainly enjoy eating here. The ambiance is very casual, and the service attentive.
The proportions are generous, and I have shared one meal at lunch time with my daughter, and it was plenty. The prices are reasonable, and take-out is available. The lamb curry is a favorite, and so are the garlic, or spinach naan, which is very fluffy and delicious.

Fork and Spoon - 120 Madrone Lane  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 3675

If you are looking for a casual and delicious lunch, then Fork and Spoon is the place to go.
This is a cute little restaurant where you order at the counter, and then your food is brought out to you. On a good weather day, sitting in the outdoor patio is a nice choice.
From delicious sandwiches, soups, quiche, chopped salads, and more, you are sure to find something you will love. The Reuben Sandwich, soups, and chopped salads are a personal favorite. Beer and wine are also available.

Harbour Public House - 231 Parfitt Way SW  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 0969

This 21 and over Pub and restaurant, is a great place to have a cold beer on a hot day. The building is an old 1881 house that has been turned into a very charming space. The sunny and spacious deck has a lovely view of the harbor and is a great place to enjoy your lunch or dinner.
The food here is quite delicious, using very high quality ingredients, and much of it is grown locally.
It is definitely a large step above the usual bar menu. With burgers, salads, seafood, chicken, and more, there is plenty to choose from. And of course the beer and wine selection is fabulous.

Doc's Marina Grill - 403 Madison Ave. South  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-8339

Doc's is located right on the waterfront, and has a great view of the harbor and all the boats there. There is a large patio for summer dining.
My family and I have been coming to Doc's since they opened in 2003, and always enjoy the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant caters to locals and tourists , and you may meet your neighbor there, or someone from across the globe.
Northwest cuisine and seafood are their specialties, along with burgers, fish and chips, pasta dishes and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and there is a  bar area with a TV for watching sports.

The Four Swallows - 481 Madison Ave. North  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-3397

If you are looking for a lovely and magical night of dining, there is no better place on the island than The Four Swallows.
Located in a large and beautiful old house, this restaurant is perfect for a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion dinner. Serving fine Northwest cuisine, and some of the most delicious seafood dishes around, the wait staff are welcoming and efficient. The restaurant offers a wonderful selection of Washington State wines, and the desserts are to die for.

San Carlos Restaurant - 279 Madison Ave. North  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 1999

The San Carlos has been run by the same family since it opened almost twenty years ago. If an islander wants delicious Mexican food, this is where they will come. With a very extensive menu, featuring specialty beef, pork, and chicken dishes, there is also plenty of seafood dishes to choose from, including my favorite, crabmeat enchiladas.
With seven different kinds of margaritas to choose from, including The Santa Fe, The Lemon Drop, and The Prickly Pear, I always enjoy coming to The San Carlos.

*I was not compensated in any way for this blog post or restaurant recommendations. All opinions are strictly my own.
I am participating in a restaurant blog hop with other members of the Social Fabric Community.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Making Summer Treats, Blueberry Sour Cream Popsicles

When my kids were growing up, I made them a zillion popsicles during the summer months. They were pretty basic, using orange or grape juice or lemonade.

Now I'm making popsicles for my grandchildren, and I'm being more creative. These Blueberry Sour Cream Popsicles were easy to make, loaded with tasty blueberries, and the kids loved them.

Recipe for Blueberry Sour Cream Popsicles


1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup regular sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
4 popsicle molds, 4 ounces each


Lightly mash berries to release some juice. Whisk together milk and sour cream.
Stir in vanilla extract and sugar. Add blueberries, stir.
Spoon mixture into molds.
Freeze overnight, or at least 8 hours. Run warm water over molds to release popsicles, or leave them out until they easily come out of the molds.

Makes 4 popsicles.