Win a year of Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto



If you follow my blog regularly you might recall that I LOVE Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto. It is one of my favorite indulgences.

I love all the flavors but Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup are my two most favorites flavors.

One of the unique things about Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto is that their products come in reusable plastic container with screw top lids. Unlike other frozen treat containers that you toss out, the Talenti containers can be re-purposed in a variety of ways from crafts to useful storage solutions.

We’ve used our Talenti containers to store dry cat food, nails, screws, left over food and make up accessories (make up brushes, nail clippers…).

You can leave the containers “as is” or decorate them to suit you needs.

Here are a few great ideas that you can do with Talenti containers.





I love these ideas, especially the one with the paint brushes. We have a lot of paint brushes where I work and we keep them in plastic cups which tend to tip over, not to mention you can only put a few in each cup. The next time I finish a container of Talenti I’ll bring the container to work with me. They might even be a great storage container for all the stickers we have to give out to the little kids.

Talenti is hosting a great contest where you could win a year supply of Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto. That is an awesome prize! You can get a new container of Talenti each week for a whole year.

Talenti is asking fans to share photos of the unique and creative ways they re-use their empty containers. Show off your creative crafts and uses!

There are three ways you can enter.

  • Post your photo on Twitter – include the hashtag #pintcycling
  • Post your photo on Instagram – include the hashtag #pintcycling
  • Upload your photo here: http://bit.ly/PintCycling.

The Grand Prize is 52 FREE product vouchers as well as social media spotlight through dedicated posts with the brand.

Second place prize is 26 FREE product vouchers and the third place prize is 15 FREE product vouchers.

If you are a Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto lover like I am I’m sure you’ve found creative uses for the left over pint containers. Why not share your ideas for a chance to win FREE Talenti.

Talenti products are found at many grocery stores across the country. To find a location near you visit the “Find Talenti” section on the Talenti website, www.TalentiGelato.com. You can also find the brand on social media.

If you enter – GOOD LUCK! I’d also love to see your entry. Feel free to share a link to your entry post (Twitter or Instagram) in the comments section of this post.



*I was not compensated for this post but I will receive some free products coupons in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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“Wicked” wine for your Halloween celebration


halloween night

Are you hosting a Halloween party this year, or have you been invited to a Halloween party?

I would LOVE to host a Halloween party. If our home was big enough I would have a huge bash and invite all my family, friends and neighbors. I would go all out and make it a fun night for everyone – kids and adults alike.

I’ve been to Halloween parties that done up in Halloween decor and served creepy food and drink concoctions. I’ve also been to Halloween parties that are just regular parties. As for me, if I was to hold a Halloween bash I would go all out and serve my guests ghoulish treats and dastardly drinks.

When I think about beverages to serve at a Halloween party I think about the usual (soda, tea, coffee, water…) and maybe a creepy punch mixture (non-alcoholic). When it comes to wine, I would never associate it with Halloween. For me, wine is a bit of a “classy” beverage and is better suited or a nice dinner or an afternoon with a best friend while enjoying finger sandwiches. Halloween and wine seem like an odd combination… until now.

New from HobNob wines is a unique wine called HobNob Wicked Red.

Look at the bottle! The bottle features a “sugar skull” making it a perfect addition to any Halloween gathering.

HobNob Wicked Red

I love the bottle! I’m saving it to keep in my collection (I have a collection of limited edition and unique bottles).

Already dressed for the occasion and outfitted with a decorative sugar skull on its’ label, Wicked Red is a fruit-forward blend of Grenache, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, spicy Shiraz and delicate Pinot Noir. Devilishly good, Wicked Red reveals aromas of roasted coffee, mocha, toasted hazelnut, and spicy notes embellished with hints of orange zest and flower.

I was reluctant to open the bottle because I love it “as is” but I was curious about how this wine tasted.

I am not a wine connoisseur. I cannot accurately each and every taste in detail. I can only describe it in “layman’s terms”.

The first thing I noticed when I opened this bottle is that it has a strong, fruity aroma. I smell cherries and some other fruit (raspberries perhaps?). The scent makes me think of dark red cherries.

Normally I’m not a big fan of red wines (I prefer white wines) however there are a few red wines that I do enjoy.

HobNob Wicked Red has a full, robust flavor. It’s very fruity when you first drink it. When you swallow there is a lingering taste in your mouth that has a bit of a “kick” to it. Not a spicy kick like hot peppers but there is a little something at the end that is unlike anything I have ever tasted in a wine before. I enjoy it. It’s different. You get the strong, bold fruity flavor followed by an interesting after taste.

I can see why they gave this wine the name “wicked”. It’s red wine with a bit of a naughty, subtle spiciness to it.

HobNob Wicked Red would be fun to serve to Halloween guests. It would also make a wonderful hostess gift. I’m sure your holiday host would never expect something like this.

HobNob Wicked Red retails for around $10.99. Look for it at a wine/liquor store near you.

For more information about HobNob wines please visit HobNobWines.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you tried HobNob wines before? What do you think about this bottle?

HobNob Wicked


*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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SMIRNOFF Sours – A “frightfully” delicious drink



Halloween parties are in full swing now that Halloween is right around the corner. Who says the holiday is only for little ghosts and goblins. Adults enjoy Halloween just as much as kids do. The only exception is that adults want grown up goodies (although most grown ups do like candy :-)).

If you are planning a Halloween party for your friends, or you are planning on attending a Halloween party, you should know about SMIRNOFF Sours. SMIRNOFF Sours are flavored vodkas which are available in Green Apple, Watermelon and Fruit Punch flavors.

What makes these vodkas even more fun for Halloween parties is that the bottles glow in the dark. They glow under black light (not from sunlight). How cool is that?

Normally I don’t drink “hard liquor”. Maybe once in a blue moon, especially something as super strong as vodka. However the sour flavors really caught my attention. I couldn’t imagine a sour tasting vodka.

I was sent to review the Watermelon flavored SMIRNOFF Sour vodka. I LOVE the bright pink bottle. It’s really cool!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tried some. I know vodka can pack a punch to begin with but nothing prepared me for what I experienced.


WOW!!! This really is sour! But sour in a good way – like the way Lemonheads and Sweetarts. I don’t mean it tastes like them – I mean that it’s an enjoyable sour taste. It also tasted like watermelon!

My husband said it smells like a Jolly Rancher watermelon candy. I would have to agree with him on that.

The SMIRNOFF Watermelon sour vodka has a sweet taste to it, but still packs a punch as only vodka could do.

This is NOT a cocktail drink – this is vodka. It’s meant to be enjoyed in small doses (like shots), or mixed with other ingredients. You couldn’t drink a glass full of this.

Here are some recipes you might want to try at your next get together featuring the SMIRNOFF Sour vodka.

Sour Captain Drop

  • 1 oz. SMIRNOFF Sours Green Apple
  • 5 oz. Spiced rum
  • 8 oz. Energy drink

Mix SMIRNOFF Sours Green Apple and rum, pour into a shot glass, drop shot into energy drink

Sour Drop

  • 2 SMIRNOFF Sours Watermelon
  • 8 oz. beer

Drop shot into beer

Sour Berry Drop

  • 5 oz. SMIRNOFF Sours Fruit Punch
  • 5 oz. Cranberry juice
  • 8 oz. Energy drink

Mix SMIRNOFF Sours Fruit Punch and cranberry juice, pour into shot glass, drop shot into energy drink

SMIRNOFF Sours Green Apple

2 oz. SMIRNOFF Sours Green Apple

Taste best served as a chilled shot.

SMIRNOFF Sour Watermelon

2 oz. SMIRNOFF Sour Watermelon

Taste best served as a chilled shot.

SMIRNOFF Sour Fruit Punch

2 oz. SMIRNOFF Sour Fruit Punch

Taste best served as a chilled shot.

I haven’t tried any of the mixed recipes yet (just the chilled Sour Watermelon) although I am planning on trying the Sour Berry Drop (I love Cranberry).

Sours Watermelon

You can find more recipes on the SMIRNOFF Facebook page.

I am enjoying the new sour vodka. I wouldn’t be surprised if these don’t become very popular drinks at both parties and clubs. It takes a classic, like vodka, to a whole new level.

SMIRNOFF is asking consumers who enjoy their sour vodkas to snap a photo of their face when they drink SMIRNOFF Sours (the sour face) and upload the photos to social media using the hashtag #MyFaceWhen.

Whether you plan on hosting your own “Fright Night” or a night out with friends, try SMIRNOFF Sours delicious tart line to get in the Halloween spirit!

Have you tried any of the SMIRNOFF Sours yet? If so, what flavor did you try and what did you think about it?

Do you think you’ll try one of these flavors? Which one is your favorite?

For more information about SMIRNOFF visit SMIRNOFF.com.

REMEMBER – Always drink responsibly and NEVER drink and drive!




*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.  

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Be the most popular house on the block this Halloween with Justin’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Justins Peanut Butter Cups

I have a weakness for chocolate, especially when it’s combined with peanut butter. I could literally eat chocolate and peanut butter all day long – every day! I don’t think I would ever get sick of it. I haven’t yet. :-)

When my kids were still into trick-or-treating I would lay claim to every chocolate and peanut butter confection they received (of course I would share a few with them). They are my favorite.

I know many people are also a fan of chocolate and peanut butter treats. If you are one of them you should check out the new White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Justin’s.

Justin’s, maker of all-natural, high-quality nut butters and organic peanut butter cups, announces the launch of the latest addition to its nutty family: White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Currently available in dark and milk chocolate, Justin’s line of organic peanut butter cups are crafted to please consumer palates everywhere as a confectionery treat you’ll feel good about eating.

“The richness of the white chocolate pairs perfectly with the finest, organic peanut butter creating a truly incredible flavor combination,” said Justin Gold, founder of Justin’s. “Adding a dash of sea salt makes for a melt-in-your mouth experience that is out of this world, and takes confections to the next level. We are completely nuts about this innovation, and are excited to share it with the world!”

Delivering an exceptionally sweet and velvety taste and texture, Justin’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups offer a guilt-free treat perfect for Halloween candy bowls, holiday stockings or everyday snacking. The USDA-certified organic cups, made from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, are gluten free, contain 0g trans fat, and are undeniably delicious. Get ready to treat yourself, as the White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups will be available in stores nationwide this October for $1.99.

I received several packages to try out with my family.

Justins White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

OH-MY-GOODNESS!!! They are heavenly! Normally I’m not a fan of white chocolate but it goes very well with these confections. The melt-in-your mouth creamy goodness of the chocolate pairs perfectly with the flavorful creamy peanut butter filling. Mmm… I think I’m going to grab a package after I am done writing this post. LOL!

If you are not familiar with Justin’s you can read my review about them here – Justin’s Nut Butters – Something for Everyone.

Justin’s makes all-natural, high-quality nut butters and peanut butter cups that deliver great taste, unique texture and convenient nutrition. Established in 2004 in the home kitchen of health enthusiast Justin Gold, Justin’s supports an on-the-go lifestyle and was the first nut butter brand to market nut butters in single-serve squeeze packs. Justin’s peanut butter cups are USDA-certified organic and are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, while the nut butters offer six to seven grams of protein, are enriched with vitamin E and serve as a good source of fiber. Every product is sourced as locally and sustainably as possible, as Justin’s emphasizes taking care of the community, helping fuel hunger relief efforts and Pine Ridge Reservation through local nonprofit Conscious Alliance.

If you gave these White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups out on Halloween your home would be the most popular in the neighborhood. Parents will start knocking on your door dressed in costume just to get one of the sweet treats. Ha Ha.

The peanut butter treats are also available in dark and milk chocolate too.

These yummy treats would also be great to give out during the Christmas holiday. You can use them as fillers in gift baskets and as stocking stuffers. You could even give one to a neighbor or co-worker “just because”.

If you would like more information about Justin’s visit www.Justins.com. You can also find them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/JustinsNutButter) and Twitter (www.Twitter.com/Justins).

Justins Products


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Mummy’s Mix and Vampire Variety Perfect for Trick-Or-Treating


Mike and Ike Vampire Variety

You can’t walk into most grocery stores or drug stores these days without coming face-to-face with candy. It’s Halloween season so most places are stocked up on candy to sell to people to give to the little trick-or-treats on Halloween night.

I both love and loathe this time of year. I LOVE candy, but I also loathe the temptation of having all that candy around. I literally have to buy candy at the last minute otherwise my family – or myself – will eat half the bag (if not the entire bag!) before Halloween night. I intentionally try and buy candy we DON’T like to avoid that temptation. But it’s hard. Candy is so yummy. :-)

If you are still looking for Halloween treats you should check out the Halloween candies from MIKE AND IKE.

Just Born Quality Confections offers Halloween themed editions of the iconic MIKE AND IKE® fruity, chewy candy.  MIKE AND IKE® Mummy’s Mix and the MIKE AND IKE® Vampire Variety are perfect for all trick-or-treaters this Halloween!

All MIKE AND IKE® Halloween mixes and other varieties including Original Fruits, Tropical Typhoon®, Berry Blast®, Red Rageous!™ and more, are now made with real fruit juice that enhances all the great flavors!  Mummy’s Mix contains the great tastes of Lemon, Orange, Grape, Lime and Raspberry while Vampire Variety includes Cherry, Raspberry, Grape, Watermelon and Fruit Punch.

The Halloween flavors are available in several packages, including 5 oz theater boxes of both Mummy’s Mix and Vampire Variety.  There are also 45 count and 72 count variety bags that contain individually wrapped snack size packages of Mummy’s Mix and Vampire Variety.  Also available are 21 count snack packs of Mummy’s Mix. The SRP for the Halloween theater box varieties ranges from $1.00-$1.39.The snack pack and variety bags range from $3.00 – $6.99 SRP, depending on the pack size, retailer and location.  The Halloween mixes and all other varieties can be found in supermarkets, mass market retailers and drug stores near you.

“Don’t be afraid to try our MIKE AND IKE® Halloween varieties!” says an enthusiastic Koren Ivie, Brand Manager for MIKE AND IKE® candy.  “The Halloween candy is perfect for ghosts and ghouls of all ages.”

Mike and Ike Mummy Mix

The individual bags are ideal for trick-or-treating. Each bag holds just enough candy to satisfy your sweet tooth. The flavors are great too. I like the flavors in the Vampire Variety the best, but both packages are good.

I’ve always been a fan of MIKE AND IKE candies. I have been enjoying them since I was a kid. They have been around since 1940 (I’m not THAT old… but I did enjoy them as a kid). They are from the brand Just Born Quality Confections. They are the same company that bring you other delicious treats including PEEPS®, HOT TAMALES®, MIKE AND IKE® and GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS®. I love all of these candies.

All Just Born candies are made in the U.S.A.

Look for MIKE AND IKE and other Just Born Quality Confections at a retail store near you.

For more information visit JustBorn.com.

What is your favorite Halloween candy (or candy)? Are you a fan of MIKE AND IKE or any of the other Just Born Quality Confections? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.



*I received a few samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Happy National Pasta Day! (10-17-14). Imagine the “impasta”bilities!



Friday, October 17, 2014 is National Pasta Day. Are you planning on celebrating by preparing your families favorite pasta dish?

I love pasta. I love it a lot. I could eat it every day at every meal if it was possible. I’ve never met a pasta dish that I didn’t fully enjoy. My family enjoys pasta too (thankfully).

The great thing about pasta dishes is that they are typically super easy and quick to prepare. You can have a big bowl of spaghetti with sauce on the table for your family in a matter of minutes. That is why pasta is my “go-to” meal option on those nights where I don’t have anything defrosted for dinner or I’m just too tired to cook a bit meal.

One of our favorite pasta dishes is spaghetti tacos (pictured above). It’s spaghetti served in warmed taco shells. Sometimes we add meat and cheeses too.

What if you were asked to celebrate National Pasta Day WITHOUT using pasta? That seems like a very odd request. How can you celebrate day dedicated to pasta without pasta?

Earlier this week I was asked to just that – created a pasta-less pasta dish.

I’m not a “foodie”. I know a lot of bloggers who are. I’m always amazed at how they can wipe out drool-worthy recipes with just a few ingredients and an idea. I love how creative those types of bloggers are. I wish I could be more like that.

I have been known to make a meal out of odd ingredients that might not sound like they would go well together but actually do, like pineapple and mushrooms. Yumm!


Earlier this week myself and a few other bloggers were invited to an event hosted by Ragu in New York City. I grew up with Ragu. It was the only pasta sauce my mom ever used. As far as my family was concerned there was no other pasta sauce available but Ragu. My mom wasn’t even tempted to try another brand.

I married into a 100% Italian family. My mother in law made her own sauce and “gravy” every Sunday. Needless to say she wasn’t exactly too keen on me using sauce from a jar but that was OK with me. It’s what I grew up with.

When I arrived at the event I was thinking we were going to learn how to make some delicious pasta dishes using Ragu’s sauces. That was some what correct, but there was a twist. We learned how to make pasta-less pasta dishes in honor of National Pasta Day.

One of the recipes we learned how to make was Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese. It was made with cooked cauliflower, bread crumbs and a jar of Ragu Cheese Sauce. You could even toss in other ingredients like bacon and/or peas.

I know what you are thinking. How can cauliflower make a delicious “mac and cheese”? I wondered that too. I happen to like cauliflower, but my family won’t eat it. I was surprised just how delicious the Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese tasted. It was so good that I plan on making it for my family. I think they will enjoy it too and I’ll finally be able to get them to eat cauliflower.


Ragu’s chef (I wish I could remember her name!) also showed up how to make Eggplant Lasagna which is basically lasagna but instead of pasta you use sliced of eggplant.

Then came the big surprise. We were paired up and told to create our own “impasta” recipe (a pasta-less pasta recipe). Yikes! I had no clue what to make. Thankfully there were plenty of wonderful ingredients made available to use so we could get as creative as we wanted to.

I was paired up with David from SpicedBlog.com. If you’d like the Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese and other recipes we were taught how to make you should visit his website. David was kind enough to list the recipes on his site – National Pasta Day.

I wish I could give you the specifics for the recipe we created, such as how much of each ingredient. We didn’t measure anything. We literally just put together ingredients we thought would taste great together.

Our recipe consisted of the following.

In a pan we drizzled some olive oil and sauteed some pancetta, onions, red peppers, garlic, a pinch of salt and basil. We also roasted some squash with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Once our ingredients were ready we mixed them into a bowl of cooked spaghetti squash that had prepared (so it looked like real spaghetti). After tossing in all our ingredients we added some ricotta cheese, spinach, breadcrumbs and about 1/2 a jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion sauce. We also topped our dish off with more of the Ragu sauce, breadcrumbs and some Parmesan cheese. We even topped it off with some fresh basil leaves which sadly shriveled up in the oven when it was baking.


Our “impasta” turned out SO GOOD! I was very impressed. I think we did a great job (it was YUMMY!). I wish I had a way of taking some home with me to share with my family.

After all the teams were done we sat down for lunch and sampled each others creation. The dishes were all A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It’s hard to believe that all the dishes were made our of veggies, Ragu sauce and other ingredients EXCEPT pasta. Most of the dishes were meatless too with the exception of some pancetta.

It was an eye opening experience. I’m excited to try and come up with more pasta-less pasta dishes.

National Pasta Day

If you would like more recipe ideas visit Ragu.com. You can also find the brand (and recipe ideas!) on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like some great “impasta” recipes check out Ragu’s National Pasta Day Impastas Pinterest page. Use the hashtag #NationalPastaDay for more recipe ideas.

Ragu is also hosting a Twitter party on Friday, October 17, 2014 (National Pasta Day) at 1:00 PM (EST). They will be giving away a lot of prizes including a $750 grand prize!

Here are the details.

When: Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1PM EST

Where: #NationalPastaDay on Twitter

Follow: @Crowdtappers & @RaguSauce

Prizes: $725 in Visa gift cards

Questions: Ask @Crowdtappers

Are you planning on celebrating National Pasta Day? What is your favorite pasta dish? What do you think about the idea of creating “Impastas”? Do you think it’s something you and your family would enjoy? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


*I was compensated for my participation however the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.

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