Celebrate National Sandwich Day with an Izzy's Giveaway! #IzzysCincy

Izzy's provided me a gift card in exchange for this post - but all opinions are my own. I've eaten more potato pancakes than you can shake a stick at! 

So go mark your calendar right now to join me at Izzy's this coming Tuesday November 3! Why? It's National Sandwich Day!! 

Reuben & Potato Pancakes

I'm a sucker for a good Reuben and Izzy's is one of my favorites. And then those pickles - seriously - don't get me started on those pickles. I love meeting friends there - I get there 5 minutes early just to pickle nosh before they come! Oh man...and then potato pancakes?! Seriously! That pic is just about perfection to me! 

 Joe Walter - Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Walter enjoys Izzy’s oven roasted turkey breast, Choice Black Angus roast beef and American cheese with lettuce and tomato piled high on whole wheat bread.

Izzy's is more than just Reubens though - here's a Joe Walter - my friend Dawn always goes for this one.  The bread is so soft and the meat is freshly sliced...and yeah - MORE PICKLES! 

 Izzy Mex - Ay, caramba! Irresistible taste! Izzy’s famous corned beef, slice of sweet yellow onion, jalapeƱo peppers, melted imported Swiss cheese, and Izzy’s own chipotle sauce on rye toast. Try it Amy's Way! Select Amy's Way below,and we substitute turkey on whole wheat toast.

 Feel like living on the edge? Try the Izzy Mex! Melty & spicy - how can you go wrong?! 

So mark November 3 on your calendar for National Sandwich Day and meet me at Izzy's! Between now and then - enter my giveaway for a $25 gift card so your next Reuben is on me! 

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Recipe: Super Simple Fruit Dip with Rubbermaid's Party Platter!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Rubbermaid. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I love tailgating - it's so much fun to get together with friends and watch my FAVORITE sport! I don't care if its high school, college or pro - football can be on any time and I'm watching it! 

Now I know that tailgate food is typically fattening, fried and far from healthy - so I decided to bring something a little more refreshing and light to the party! 

Even though summer is in the rear view mirror - there are still plenty of fruits that are ripe and juicy and delicious - plus they'll be a great cool down to those spicy wings my friend is always bringing!

I got this new Rubbermaid Party Platter which makes it so much easier because it's got all the compartments separated and a removable dip container and lid built right in! It's pretty slick and no wonder that it's made well - it's Rubbermaid!

I started with grapes - thank goodness all I had to do was wash those off - the dip container comes out and has a screw on lid - so you know your dip isn't going to leak out onto your fruit before the game gets going! These guys have thought of everything - super simple and super helpful!

I also found these awesome coconut covered marshmallows - I hadn't seen these before. They're really tasty and add another layer of fun to a fruit tray. Nobody ever eats that weird green melon anyway - right?!

And of course - some ripe strawberries! I also got this great Rubbermaid set of bowls and easy find lids so I prepped everything the night before and stored them separately so the juices weren't mingling. I love this set because the same size lid fits different size containers - so I'm not stressing out trying to match everything up.

And finally it was Tailgate Time! Everybody has their favorites - but at least we can all watch together and enjoy some good eats - whether our teams win or lose.

Here's those easy find lids - this was an accidental shot - I picked up the container of strawberries and didn't realize it was locked onto the pineapple container! So the lids lock to each other and to the containers! No more spilling! Love this! And they won't be falling all over my cabinet because they're hooked together - oh Rubbermaid where have you been all my life?

The Bengals are having a pretty awesome season - so it's fun to watch them with our last of summer fruit tray ad some super simple fruit dip! Isn't that party platter handy? And it's 100% BPA free so it's dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe.

The fruit dip was amazingly simple - I mixed strawberry yogurt with whipped topping - stir stir stir and you're done! I let mine set up the night before so the flavors could meld together.

Thankfully my teams won (yeah I have a few teams - sue me!) and there was a bit of fruit left for me to take home. The Party Platter was great since it has a lid - I just popped it on and headed out the door. Fruit for the hubby - poor guy had to work - so I gotta have something for him! :-)

Be sure to check out Rubbermaid on social media as well:


And now - that recipe! 

Super Simple Fruit Dip!

  • 1/2 container whipped topping
  • 8 oz strawberry yogurt
Cooking Directions
  1. Stir the yogurt into the whipped topping and refrigerate!

(I told you it was simple!)

Restaurant Review: Wagyu + Wine at Capital Grille

Capital Grille invited me to come try their Wagyu + Wine special - and when there's a delicious burger being offered up - you don't say no! 

Capital Grille is a steakhouse in Rookwood next to Seasons 52 - they're pretty fancy! Capital Grille is owned by the Darden Restaurant Group which also owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Yardhouse, Seasons 52 and others.  

Wagyu + Wine is $25 per person and available through November 22. You can choose from two pairings -  a Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Gorgonzola & Black Truffle Wagyu Burger or a Pinot Noir with a Wagyu Cheeseburger with Fried Egg & Crisp Onions.

Luckily I was with Larry - who's allergic to eggs - so guess which burger I'm getting?! W00t!

The Cab is a 2012 and was a darker red with notes of black cherry, vanilla, cinnamon and licorce. While the Pinot was a medium bodied wine with notes of currant, orange and chocolate! (yes!)

They started us with a fresh bread basket and a plate for rich creamy butter coated in chunky sea salt. So yummy. I think I ate one roll and half the butter.

We also had an amuse bouche of cauliflower soup with a little truffle oil. I'm not a fan of truffle oil - but it was pretty good. Larry LOVED it and he's so not the type to try new things - let alone like them - but he LOVED it! It was very creamy - shocking that it was cauliflower and not cream.

Whenever we go - we always sit in the indoor patio area. It's surrounded with windows and has great light. It's just refreshing. The servers at Capital Grille are also excellent - every time. They're definitely a step above the regular.

Here's my Wagyu with fried egg - it was a hearty and tasty burger. The buns also had egg in them (they were just trying Larry left and right!). They typically are served with Truffle Fries but again - me no like Truffle Oil - so they subbed out AuGratin Potatoes for me - DELICIOUS! So freakin delicious! Cheesy, creamy and crunchy on top - just perfect.

Larry loved the Truffle fries! The Gorgonzola burger - not so much. He took one bite and said, "What IS this?!" I chuckled - I knew he wouldn't like it. He's just not a fan of bleu cheese - so he scraped it off and enjoyed the burger.

The burger though is a high quality beef - Wagyu is a type of cow - if you breed a Japanese Wagyu with an American Angus - that produces the American Kobe. The beef at Capital Grille is pure bred Wagyu though. The reason it's so good is that it's predisposed to marbling and has a high percentage of unsaturated fat.

Lastly they offered us dessert - we were both far too stuffed to eat it then but um - we could take it home!!! They mentioned coconut cream pie and I was in! it was amazing too - it was a small individual tart-sized pie and the coconut cream filling was decadent but not too rich and had real coconut flaked on top of the whipped cream. So delicious. I would definitely appreciate a piece of that right now!

Wagyu + Wine is available through November 22 - so don't miss out. It's just $25 per person for an amazing glass of wine paired specifically with their delicious burgers.

Thanks to Capital Grille for having us!

Capital Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Road Trip: Craft Day at Craftologies in Amelia

I'm a sucker for a craft day - as you probably know because of my DIY section - but sometimes I just don't even know what I want to do - just that I want to do something! Or I might know what I want but not have half the things I need to do it! Well - now - there's a place for me to go: 

Craftologies in Amelia! (Thanks to Beth for inviting us to try it out.)

It's right on Ohio Pike but look closely - you can see the sign from the road but not the building - it's sort of behind another building. Inside - it's got a cozy little nook and lots of crafts around for you to peruse and choose from.

While I love to craft - I thought it would be fun to bring a kid with me - so my friend Leah and her daughter Amelie came with us for a girls day. Beth (the shop owner) is prepared for anything and has smock shirts for you and the kids so nobody gets messy.

That's another thing I really like about Craftologies is that if you have an idea of a craft you want to do - Beth probably has the supplies for it. If you just want to do something but not sure of what - then just walking around the shop will give you tons of ideas!

Beth had a new project she was wanting to try so we were her guinea pigs - making pendants with an epoxy type material. She had STACKS of magazine, maps and books for us to choose from as well as a load of pendant sizes and shapes. I chose a small circle and found a map of Iowa and had my inspiration! I decided to show some love to my home town of West Liberty. I really loved how they turned out. 

While our projects were drying - we took a look around and saw some really fun things like these crazy paper flowers...

this super cute Washi birdhouse...

and don't even get me started on the jewelry! I loved this bracelet - I was going to make something with the metal but didn't have time that day.

 Here's another metal-worked pendant - she has all sorts of things you can stamp into the metal.

Besides maps - there was really cool craft paper we could use and then I added some metal flowers into it for a 3d effect. It's definitely a statement piece!

Amelie & Leah made some pendants for Amelie & her brother's backpacks. Beth has thousands of beads too and added some bling that way as well.

We had a really fun time and liked the projects we made. I think Beth's strong suit is working with kids - there was a youngster about Amelie's age coming in to plan her birthday and it was super cute! She really worked with her to pick out the project of what she wanted to make at her party. It's a very interactive experience.

I will say that there is a spirit of "winging it" when you're there - but Beth has a heart of gold and goes out of her way to make sure you have fun and love what you create. She's very flexible and will adjust to what you want to do. I just want to throw that in to be fair - if you're a perfectionist - you might have a little anxiety.

I also want to add that I was at an event with Beth where she was "running" a craft provided by a brand. The craft didn't turn out to work so well. She rescued the craft table with extra supplies that she had and pretty much saved the day. If you can go with the flow and have fun - you'll love it!

Restaurant Review + Giveaway: Steak 'n Shake Fall Milkshakes!

We love Steak 'n Shake. I've been going since I was a kid - it was my special birthday lunch every year. (We didn't have a lot of money.) We would drive an hour to Davenport and go shopping and then go to Steak 'n Shake for lunch. Ah - those were the days. 

Now - Steak 'n Shake isn't quite a birthday lunch for me - but I still love going. First thing I ordered was a Vanilla Coke!

Right now they have some fun fall milkshakes - you can choose from Caramel Apple, Cookie Butter and S'mores! The milkshakes at Steak 'n Shake are so delicious - I've loved them since I was a kid and can barely resist on any visit.

Both Larry and I are pretty much purists when it comes to Steak 'n Shake - I just love a double with cheese - skinny fries and a cup of chili. The chili is my absolute favorite - they even sell it in cans at the register. I totally bought a couple cans to take home. 

We got junior shakes just because the big ones are huge - and if you'll notice they're rated #1 milkshake by Zagat! They are so delicious! I love that they're drinkable - they're super thick and yes you start with a spoon - but then you can actually drink them!

We were sittin happy and full after our lunch at Steak 'n Shake - Vanilla Cokes, Junior Shakes and Steakburgers - yums all around! Thanks to Steak 'n Shake for providing me a gift card to revisit my childhood favorite and...to let you visit too! Enter below to win your $25 gift card!

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Steak 'n Shake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Product Review: Rwanda Path to Peace Baskets from Macy's

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, 
all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

What were you doing in 1994? I was graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in Journalism and Communication Studies. Getting ready to kick off my career in radio, television and the interwebs. 

I'm guessing you weren't scared for your life - living through (if you were lucky) one of the worst genocides in human history. This is what was happening in Rwanda and there I was in Journalism school without a clue. 

Rwandan women had to become the leaders of their households after these atrocities. Their husbands, fathers and brothers were either killed or jailed. The women began weaving baskets as a trade. It now supports thousands of women!

In 2005, an American activist & entrepeneur Willa Shalit showed the baskets to executives at Macy’s who committed to sell them and to go into business with the weavers in Rwanda. Macy’s offered them a hand up, not a handout - which is awesome.

Each basket is hand-signed by the woman who made it. It's a beautiful gift that gives to someone you love as well as someone you've never met before. And it's a great gift to the women of Rwanda - these weavers make 10x the average Rwandan wage!

I also love the resilience of the women of Rwanda. Too many times - people in unfortunate situations (sometimes of their own doing) look for a handout. These women were unjustly put into a horrible situation and what they did was get up and make something happen. And not only did they make something happen - they made BEAUTY.

These baskets are truly beautiful - the colors are so vibrant! Macy's has quite a selection of them as well - different patterns and colors - so pretty!

This si the 10th Anniversary of the Macy's Rwanda Path to Peace program and they have some special 10th Anniversary baskets in stores now. The smaller one is the commemorative anniversary basket and is just $30. That's the other great thing - the baskets are beautiful and affordable.

There is a HUGE selection too - with baskets starting at $14.97 - there is something for everyone!

These baskets are part of the Rwandan culture - so when they were looking for a symbol of hope - these made perfect sense to be that beacon. With their earnings from this program, these women send their kids to school, can buy everything from soap to land and ends up rebuilding their communities. 

If you'd like to know more about Macy's outstanding commitment to Rwanda Path to Peace check out these videos: 

And this story of Dorocella:

DIY: Stenciled Fall Pillows

I love having craft day with my girlfriends - this time Rachel came up with the idea to do stenciled fall pillows. She would bring the stencils and the paint - I'll bring the pillows and Dani would provide the location and a snack. 

Rachel said she'd get pillows but I'm near Ikea and I knew that they'd have something so I drove up and they were on sale! These covers were on sale for $3 and the inserts were $2.99! Each of us picked out our favorite color and I got us hooked up.

Rachel also brought her Cricut - which is this super cool machine for cutting out letters and shapes - most people use it for scrapbooking. She also brought fabric paint for us to all use.

I decided to do a shape rather than a word so it could be up year-round. I loved this metallic pewter and gold paint she brought so I used that first and put this flower shape around the pillow cover. Then I added the black...blergh. After I did the black I wished I hadn't - but it's fine.

 Dani decided to freehand her pillow. She's always the rebel. 

Rachel's is probably my favorite - she used a cool font - it's a very Halloween-y Fall Pillow - I love it!

 But together our pillow's look great! And it was so simple! The Ikea pillow covers are also a very thick material so we didn't even need to put anything in between the layers.

So the how-to is super simple:

* Lay out your pillow covers flat
* Choose your design (stencils, freehand, etc) and draw your design in pencil on the pillow case (trust us on this one)
* Use fabric paint to fill in the design
* Let dry for 15 minutes
* Insert the pillow

And this was a $6 craft - and seriously - look at that couch - that could be in a magazine - right?! ;-)