Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Friday, December 27, 2013

Giveaway - Brylane Home Deep Fryer Review and Giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received the following product from BrylaneHome to facilitate my review and giveaway.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks to the #sponsor for providing this package. 

We're two holidays down with only News Years left to go in the crazy busy holiday season, but that doesn't mean the gift giving has to stop.
Thanks to BrylaneHome, Julie and I are collaborating again to bring you another awesome giveaway with our latest reviews.

Just in case you've been off the planet for a while let me give you a little BrylaneHome schooling.  BrylaneHome was created in 1998 to make it easy for you to decorate your home with today's latest styles, colors, and designs - at year 'round White Sale prices.

At BrylaneHome you'll find everything from decorative home items to personal items and everything in-between.  They even have your pets covered.

BrylaneHome makes shopping and paying easy.  You can apply for a brylaneHome credit card and take 20% off your highest priced item when you use your card. Plus defer your payment for 90 days.
Sign up to get the latest offers and promotions in your inbox and get FREE shipping on your first time purchase over $70.

When BrylaneHome asked me chose a product to review, I already had one in mind.  This old Southern house was hurtin' for some fried chicken and I was hurtin' for a better way to cook it.  Who needs the mess of using a frying pan? So I quickly asked to review the Deep Fryer with Warming Tray.
This was a great choice.  There's the easy to read LED dashboard for one.  It's simple to operate with a select button to set the temperature or time.  By hitting the plus/minus buttons you can raise or lower the temperature or time.  Last but not least is your power button.  Above the LED screen you find a temperature guide for all your basic fried foods.
This is no little fry baby.  I was able to fry a 1/2 a chicken in one shot.
One of the pains of trying to get dinner on the table is having everything warm at same time.  We all know that fried food just isn't the same when it's cold.  That's why this warming drawer has to be my favorite feature.  The warming tray even held 1/2-a-chicken.

When I tested the fryer out I wanted to see how the warming drawer would work out.  So once the chicken was fried, into the warming drawer it went, while I moved on to frying the squash and mushrooms.  Let me tell you having that tray made all the difference.  Everything was warm and delicious.  I was a happy homemaker.  Neil may have been even happier than me.
The heating element kept the oil at the precise temperature for what I was frying.

Look at how beautiful my veggies turned out!
I don't think my fried chicken has ever come out so crisp and good.  The basket made it so easy and there were no blackened spots from laying against the bottom of the frying pan.  I hated the mess of frying so much before that I gave it up.  When we wanted chicken, we'd go out.  Now, with my new deep fryer, we're back in the fried chicken business again! We'll be having it once a week now.
The features, like the splatter protection lid with a window for viewing and grease filter, the adjustable temperature, digital display, and cool touch handle make this an all around great kitchen appliance.  The removable parts make it a dream to clean and a bit of a life saver.  I can now keep my Southern badge of Deep Frying.  Plus the stainless steel housing is not only easy to clean, it keeps the counter attractive.

I bet you'd like to win one.  Well, keep reading - we're getting to that.

First I want to tell you about a few of BrylaneHome's other items, like the Betty Multi Piece Comforter Set - Sale From: $24.00 - $109.99.  This is the same bedding set Julie reviewed. You really should go checkout her review.  Julies a great seamstress.  I mean really good!  Which means she can attest to the quality of an item like this.  When I buy a fabric item, I want to know about more than just it's beauty.  I want to know about the quality, how it's made, does it have good stitching. Is the size generous?  Read Julie's review and let her answer these questions for you.  You'll be able to gain extra entries in the giveaway by visiting Julie's blog Mamawj's Moment Away.
Take a look at this beautiful bath collection.  Click over to The Sequins Bath Collection and see a close up.  The sequin circles are so pretty.  Love it!  The tans and blues have that wonderful beach look and the shiny sequins remind me of seashells.  I don't need a shower curtain and I'm wanting this one.  Maybe I'll have to get the towel and accessory set instead.  Priced great from $9 - $34.
I already have a Laundry 3-Bin Sorter similar to this, but this one looks sturdier and the bags are better tailored than mine, plus I like the color.  If you don't have one of these, seriously get one!!  It will make your laundry work so much easier.  As soon as Neil and I get undressed we toss our clothes into the appropriate bin.  That means no sorting laundry on wash day for me.  Yippeeee!!
BrylaneHome even has beautiful accent furniture like this Naples Hall Tree.  This is a great way to store all those shoes and coats to keep things neat by the front door and it's so pretty.
And why not check out their Holiday items while you're there. Finally an answer to my cord problems.  I've complained all season about all the extension cords from having wreaths in my EIGHT windows and TWO columns.  That's a lot of ugly cord mess.  Not a problem with BrylaneHome's Cordless Battery-Operated LED 30" Christmas Pine Wreath.
Originally $59.99 - Sale $24.99 / Save 58%
Oh' BrylaneHome, PLEASE make my wishes all come true and send me ten of these, so I can show them off and keep my sanity.

Now, how can you win a BrylaneHome Deep Fryer for yourself?  Easy just use this simple Giveaway Tools entry form below.  Ends 1/15/14 @ 10pm EST.


After you enter this awesome giveaway be sure to stick around and enter my Swiss Colony giveaway HERE and my Ryans/Old Country Buffet/ Hometown Buffet featuring the game CLUE HERE.  You'll want to check out Julie's other giveaways too.  She's like the giveaway Santa right now!!!

Happy Sweeping Y'all...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Family Game Night with Ryans/HomeTown/Old Country Buffets Giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received the following product from Ryan’s®,HomeTown® Buffet and Old Country Buffet®  and Hasbro to facilitate my review and giveaway.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks to the #sponsor for providing this package. 

Ryan’s®,HomeTown® Buffet and Old Country Buffet® want to clue you in on some family fun they're promoting during the month of December.
Thursday nights are Family Night at these family friendly restaurants every month, but during the month of December they partnered with Hasbro, the makers of CLUE, the classic mystery game. Every Thursday evening from 5-8pm there will be Clue themed activities for families to enjoy.  
If you stop in and dine this month, you will receive some great money saving coupons good on your next visit thru January 15, 2014.  
During their CLUE board game promotion you'll receive a 10% product discount at HasbroToyShop.com, and you also have a chance to win a $500 gift card!!  Plus, you definitely want to enter to win a free trip to Singer Castle on Dark Island in New York, worth $10,000!!! 
It's a giveaway BONANZA!!

We took a short road trip to Waycross, GA to visit our nearest Ryans.  I love road trips.  It's easy to find a location near you. Just visit the visit one of these websites and search for your zipcode:

We couldn't have had a better dining experience.  The staff at Ryans was gracious and helpful, i.e...everything you want for a pleasant night out.  When I mentioned that we were from out of town, the manager Nicole, who showed us to our table, even offered to give us a tour.  How's that for accommodating?  Our server Amanda, took very good care of us, filling our glasses and bread basket before we ever ran out. Neil hates to sit with an empty glass.
The fact that it's "All you can eat and drink - for one LOW PRICE" makes it a great place to take the whole family. Thursdays are even a better bargain because kids under 12 eat for ONLY .99 cents!!!  Now that's family affordable.
I love buffets because I can chose exactly what I want and have a taste of everything.  Who says I can't have a steak and pizza too. :)  And oh' my gosh, those rolls - well I could make a meal off of them alone!!

Ryans had a large selection of foods to choose from including:
roast beef, ham, ribs, seafood, chicken - fried and roasted, tacos, pizza, spaghetti and more.  
Of course you can't pass up the dessert bar.  With choices like chocolate cake, carrot cake, a mile high coconut cream pie, pumpkin pies, cheesecake, cookies, candies, and ice-cream, there is bound to be more than one thing you'll add to your plate.  Plus on Thursdays Family Nights they even have Cotton Candy!  And yes, I had desert and still left with a fresh cone of Cotton Candy in my my hand.  Have you ever eaten Cotton Candy in the South, the land of humidity?  Eat it fast before it melts. haha.  I love me some Cotton Candy!

As you'll read in Julie's review some locations even have balloons, FREE fun game sheets, game tables of foosball, a drop box to enter to win a prize and more.  I didn't see any of that at my location, but I did see a lot of satisfied people enjoying a night out with their families.  There was group of at least 20 family members having a reunion at a table near us. They were having a great time!
Clue has a new twist.  The classic mansion murder game now has a second crime scene.  The gameboard is two sided the mansion is on one side and a boardwalk on the other.  Just flip the board over for twice the fun!!  Neil and I did just that.  We played a double game while having snacks with a glass of cold apple cider.  When it's 80 degrees outside cold sounds better than hot, even by the glow of the Christmas tree. :)
Here's a holiday tip from me:  After Christmas is done and you're tired and worn out from cooking and cleaning, give yourself a break.  By then you're probably sick of ham and turkey, so why not head out to Ryans, HomeTown Buffet, or Old Country buffet Thursday night for a little bit of steak and everything else you can think of.  And if you don't want to cook for Christmas day, they've got you cover.  You'll find them open that day too from 12pm -6pm, serving all the holiday favorites.
One Cotton Pickin Cute reader is going to win a prize pack that includes a family pack of four meal passes to Ryans/HomeTown/Old Country Buffets and the Hasbro CLUE Board Game - that's a $60 value!!

To enter just follow the easy instructions on the "Giveaway Tools" form below.  Be sure to leave a comment - that's the only mandatory entry - but you can up your chances by completing the addition entries.  
The giveaway will end Jan 1, 2014 at 11:59 EST.

**My blogging cohort, Julie over at Mamawj's Moment Away is having the same giveway there.  I hope you'll head over and enter hers as well and read her wonderful review about Ryan's and CLUE.  You'll even receive extra entries on my giveaway by just entering hers.  Hows that for upping your chances of winning one of these terrific prize packs.

Be sure to enter my other giveaways.  You can find them listed on the sidebar.
Good Luck and Merry Christmas Y'all...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

DIY Christmas Pallet Art Craft

Do you need one more project for last minute Christmas decorating.  I have one or two here.
You probably have just enough time to knock this baby out, all with things you can find right around your home.
Look around your house and see what you have that can spark your creativity.

After sitting my Santas out I need something in the middle with some height.  What to do, what to do?  I found one of these tacky little christmas trees in a plastic bucket sitting around.  I wasn't about to sit out untouched, as is.  I tore it out of the foam and looked at it like "what the heck am I gonna do with a wire post".  Inspiration struck when I went digging in Neil's room of weird treasures.
That's were I found this vintage cast iron bell holder. I love that it's stamped PHILA. PA and that it has that lovely scroll work!!  Upside down the hole was perfect for holding my tree. I just stuck a couple of styrofoam balls in to hold it up right.  I love it!!!
Remember when decorating balance is important.  Using lifts is a great way to achieve height.  One of my Santas was much smaller than the other.  They don't need to be the same size but more in scale than these really are.  By sitting the one Santa on a block of foam covered with a piece of scrap gingham fabric and sitting it in a basket basket, it's now more in scale.
Remember to just play with what you have and you'll be surprised how things come together.  I added a wrapped gift and these adorable pop-up cards to fill empty space.
Here's a simple tutorial to make your own pallet plaques.
The steps to making the pallet plaques, if that's what you call it, couldn't be more simple.
  1. Grab a some old fence boards, saw, hammer, nails, clamps and gorilla glue.
  2. Decide how big your plaques should be.  I used the bread size Christmas plates, so I made my plaques about 10"x14".
  3. I didn't have any glue at the times so I layed 3 boards side by side face down.  On the back I used 2 paint paddles and nailed each board.  You know my motto - "Get 'er done" with whatever you have, do or die.  The nails were too long, so once I turned the plaque over I just snipped off the tips of the nails. **If you have gorilla glue just skip this step and glue the planks together side-by-side and clamp till dry.  I did come back and add glue later.
  4. To make the hanger on the back I added 2 tiny tacks and wrapped floral wire between them.
  5. I didn't want my plates attached permanently because I'd like to change them out later for a summer feel.  To solve that issue I made homemade hangers by snipping paper clips in half and then attached them to the plate with a combination of gorilla glue and hot glue to hold in place and then cover them with a bit of felt.
And that's how you create pallet art work on a zero budget.
I have to admit the pallet and plate art wasn't my idea but I think I made it my own for Christmas.  I got the idea from April at House By Hoff.  She's one super creative gal, be sure to stop by and see for yourself.  You can see her pallet art tutorial that I pinned HERE.  

Hey, don't leave yet.  If you enjoy that DIY project, click HERE to checkout my Hot Cocoa Beverage Bar. 
Be sure to enter my Swiss Colony - Make entertaining easy giveaway HERE.

Merry Christmas Y'all...
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
                  ~ Proverbs 18:10 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Swiss Colony Gift Assortment Giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received the following product from Swiss Colony to facilitate my review and giveaway.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks to the #sponsor for providing this package. 

I promised you a Swiss Colony giveaway and that's just what you're going to get today.
If you didn't see the my Swiss Colony Makes Holiday Entertaining Easy review, you really should take a look at the huge spread this gift box makes.  It really does make putting a party together so much simpler. Take a peek HERE and then come back and keep reading to see how you can win one for yourself.
The older I get the more food seems to reflect the spirit of Christmas.  Not only because of the smell and the sight of all the delicious goodies spread around the house, there’s more to it than that.  It’s the way we share what we have during the season.   We open up our homes and our hearts to share what we have.  It’s almost an uncontrollable urge to do so.  I believe the urge is put into our soul by our Father whether you believe in him or not. His way of lighting up our whole being from the inside out, which will radiate out to the rest of the world and bring out kindness and a sense of serenity, at least once a year.

I love the wonder of the season.  I mean, isn’t it a miracle to see so many people with that joy all at the same time. You walk into the convenience store and are greeted by strangers with a “Hi, Merry Christmas”.  My heart warms and my soul is happy.  I love Christmas!
Well, I got a little side tracked for a minute with my Christmas Spirit!!  But, this post is all about giving - it’s a GIVEAWAY afterall. Swiss Colony takes all the work out of the shopping and preparing.  Everything is made and delivered right to your door.  Besides saving yourself tons of work and stress, you save so much money on gas, and all the ingredients that it takes to bake all these delicious foods.  When you look at it that way, it’s really much more affordable than you think.  Plus, I don’t know about you but my goodies just can’t compete with Swiss Colony’s cute factor.  It’s taken me a lot of years to realize I’m not Martha Stewart, heck Martha’s not Martha Stewart anymore.  I’m ready to embrace my discovery of this fact and let someone else do the work while I sit back and enjoy the party myself.  
Take a minute to peruse the Swiss Colony website and see all that they have to offer.  Really, if you haven’t been there in a while get ready for a surprise.  They of course have all the wonderful foods, including delicious Gluten Free and Fat Free choices. There’s so much more than food, like some of the items below.
If you don’t like to fight the Christmas shopping crowds, why not shop from the comfort of home and have it delivered right to your house or to your friends and family who live out of town.  Talk about convenience! You can even use the buy now - pay later method HERE.

Enjoy Stress-Free Shopping with


Budget-Friendly Benefits Include:

  • Low monthly payments starting at $20 a month
  • No annual fees
  • Credit line increases
  • Secure and confidential account management

Ready to Apply? Just Start Shopping!

So lets get this giveaway started.  Giveaway Tools make entering my giveaways easy.  All you have to do is follow the directions.  The first entry is mandatory but after that you’re free to pick and choose with entry options you would like to do.  Up your chances of winning by completing all the options!  No cheating, I check. :)

Good Luck and Merry Christmas from me and Swiss Colony...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Swiss Colony Makes Holiday Entertaining Easy

Disclaimer:  I received the following product from Swiss Colony to facilitate my review.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks to the #sponsor for providing this package. 

It's that special time of year when celebrating abounds, and Swiss Colony just made my life a whole lot less hectic.
I haven't even gotten to Christmas and I'm pooped out.  The kitchen should have a closed sign on it, but that's no where near happening.  I know y'all know what I'm talking about. That means we have to find short cuts where we can.  Well, I'm all for short cuts but I'm not going to sacrifice taste. Thanks to Swiss Colony I won't have to do that.

Just take a look at the HUGANTIC box of goodies that was waiting for me at my door!! The package even makes a pretty holiday presentation to ship to a friend or loved one as a gift.
I have to admit, I was excited to open this bad boy!  I mean really, it took up most of my dining room table.
Here's a little background info on Swiss Colony I bet you didn't know:
Even though I was familiar with them, I had no idea that Swiss Colony has been around for 86 years! That's right they started their company in 1926.   No wonder they're so good at what they do.  Swiss Colony is the WORLDS LARGEST handcrafting bakery.  That's no small feat and takes dedication to customer satisfaction to stay in business for that many years.

Swiss Colony is no longer a company that just provides edible products, they also have all sorts of personal and home gift assortments.  In-other-words, there is something for everyone on your shopping list.  Who wouldn't be happy to have this arrive at their door.

Look at this feast for the eyes.  Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about.

This assortment has 65 different treats in it.  I have to tell you it not only made a beautiful display but there wasn't one thing in the box that wasn't absolutely delicious.

The petits fours are tempting little cakes that beg you to eat one.  With sweet aromas and creamy taste, they are just the right tidbit of yumminess.  With assorted flavors of almond, orange, lemon, strawberry and vanilla flavors, you find more than one that you'll love.  Swiss Colony's Master Bakers, create these delicate little cakes with the richest butter creams and a exclusive blend of chocolate and Swiss creme.
My gift box came with 6 incredible spreads, but they actually have 14 different spreads you can enjoy.  The Cheddar, Swiss and Cream Cheese are blended with seasonings and vegetables, or meats to create these mouth-watering spreads. They're so creamy and easy to spread you'll be wishing you had a whole crock full.  By adding crackers, pretzels, bagels and vegetables to a tray with these spreads you'll have a platter of appetizers to enjoy.  Easy-peasy!
I added mine to a cutting board with the meats, cheeses and crackers.  Ummm...so good.  *Tip - dress the cups of spread up by sitting them in paper cupcake liner.
Pull out all your holidays trays and add the cheese blocks and wedges for pretty displays.  Once again - pure deliciousness. I didn't even put everything in the box on the table. This box is loaded!!
There was more spreadable goodness with the cheese wedges and links.
I love the pretty tortes and cakes in the flavors of the season.
The seasoned nuts are addictive.  You can't just eat one.  I used mini cup cake papers for individual servings.
A wheel of spreadable wedges even makes a pretty sight.
Of course they added coffee samplers to wash it all down with.  I received the Holiday Blend and the Morning Blend. Both are rich and pleasant.  They have other delectable flavors that I weren't a part of this gift pack but I can't wait to order, like Chocolate Raspberry, I'm wanting that one so much!!  Doesn't Cinnamon Streusel sounds wonderful too?  I can almost smell it.
I used to believe this was a luxury that I could only enjoy if someone was considerate enough to send one to me.  Now, I'm thinking that I deserve a little help during the busy holidays and it's much more affordable than you think, saving you time, money and a lot of work.

There were also goodies like the Santa and Christmas tree shaped mello cream candies - which are so good, jelly candies and strawberry hard candies. Oh' and I can't forget the cookies covered in dark and white chocolate with holiday swirls.  So pretty!
Why didn't I think of this years before?  I didn't even have to leave the house.  It's like a party in a box.  I saved all that time and stress of shopping, not to mention gas!!  I love that with just a simple click of the button, I can be done and just wait for it to show up.  Swiss Colony will be showing up at my house for many holidays to come.
This is only the first part of the Swiss Colony fun.  You know I don't like to be selfish, so come back tomorrow to see how you can win one for yourself or for someone special.  Until then, why not stop by Swiss Colony and check out all the unique and delicious items they have.  Like these adorable Santa Melties here: Swiss Colony Santa Melties
If you'd like to hear more about Swiss Colony's great foods, stop by Julie's over at Mamawj's Moment Away.  She wrote a great review back in October.

Hugs Y'all...
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
                                                           ~ James 1:17