Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eco-Felt Owl from Pixiekids Toys and Gifts - GIVEAWAY!***CLOSED***

 Pixiekids Toys and Gifts on Etsy specializes in handmade toys made of eco-felt, which is felt that is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. How cool is that??? I'm sorry, I just had to let the professional writing style go for a minute there to express just how very excited I am about this shop! Is the picture of the tea set pictured above not enough? I don't know about you, but I'm sold. I just love the details like the swirls on the tea. Absolutely genius.

I was particularly excited to hear from Melisa, because I had just discovered the concept of making pretend food out of felt, and had *attempted* to make Lydia some cookies for Christmas, but barely got started, and they do not even ever so slightly begin to hold a candle to the cuteness and coolness that are the toys available at Pixiekids Toys. Let me just give you a sampling of some of my favorites. It will be hard because they are all very cool! I just love the sushi and cinnamon rolls with icing. They look almost real!

Couldn't you just EAT them?

Not only does Pixiekids Toys and Gifts make play food and groceries, but she also makes adorable eco-felt stuffed animals, games, and more! I especially love the eco-felt owls!


Pixiekids Toys and Gifts is offering my readers a chance to win their very own eco-felt owl!

Here's how to enter:

Go to Pixiekids Toys and Gifts on Etsy and come back here and leave a comment letting me know which eco-felt toy you'd most like to have!
(Leave a separate comment for each entry. Include your email address if it is not easily accessible through your blogger profile.You do not have to have a blogger profile to enter, as long as you leave a valid e-mail address.)

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This giveaway is open worldwide through Feb. 5, 2011 at *11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator. I will email and post the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

*Note the change in my usual ending time of the giveaway. I will not be at the computer at midnight, but any entries after 11:59 PM EST will not be included in the drawing.  

This is not a paid post. The opinions expressed are completely my own! You can see my full disclosure here.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on the Stovetop

 *Disclaimer: I realize this is nothing new to the rest of the world, but please humor me. I began this blog originally by logging my experiences in learning to make things myself that I was used to buying pre-made. It's a little challenge I've been enjoying. Please don't think badly of my mother. I wasn't the least interested in these things as a kid and didn't pay attention. It's not her fault! :)
 I spend time with my friend Rachel on Thursdays, and the last time I was there, she made some mac' n cheese with...you won't believe it...CHEESE! I was pretty excited because I hadn't seen it done that way, that I *remember.*

Yet again, I was surprised to learn how to make something simple from scratch that I'd only ever known to come out of a box. I must say, my mom did make homemade macaroni and cheese when I was a kid, but it was in the form of a casserole, and I never thought of it as an option for a quick, stove top meal.

I haven't got measurements because she just eye balled it, and so did I. It's pretty hard to go wrong.

1. Start about 2 cups? of macaroni noodles boiling.
2. In a saucepan, melt 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter.
3. Add about 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
4. Stir in "a little" milk (sorry for the vagueness.)
5. Continue cooking and stirring on medium low heat until blended.

6. When I realized I was just making a white sauce with cheese, I added a tablespoon of flour to thicken it a little.

7. When noodles are done, strain them and then mix them into the sauce.

This is where the "choosy" wins out over the "cheap," because cheese is expensive. That's why I'll just make this every once in a while. I'm not at all opposed to a good ol' box of Kraft Mac n' Cheese every now and then either. I'm just glad to know I can do it myself. This way a comfort food becomes a healthy food...relatively speaking.;)

Scratch boxed Mac n' Cheese off my grocery list!