Rave, Review, and Giveaway! Chel’s Pretty Little Things

It was a slow week for giveaway comments! That meant better odds for those who did enter! 

This weeks winner is Abbie! Congratulations!

Please send us a PM on our FB page with your address to mail these out!

Even in the craziness of raising two little girls, I try and find a way to celebrate ME. One of those ways is that I love necklaces and bracelets. Beaded necklaces and bracelets are just so pretty and fun and can be worn for ANY occasion. Enters, Chel’s Pretty Little Things.

I recently commissioned an anklet for Ella Grace for Christmas from Michele at Chel’s Pretty Little Things.  She was wonderful to work with, the product is perfect, and the price was not a slam to my bank account.

Ella’s new anklet!

Michele creates all of her pieces from her own beautiful mind and they results are simply stunning! She and I were chatting about the need for more options in mommy/nursing necklaces, and within twenty-four hours she had several finished pieces that she was experimenting with!

Two of Chel’s Pretty Little Things nursing/mommy necklaces.

Michele’s work and craftman ship are top notch and she is great at customizing to your needs and color preferences which is great if you are looking for that perfect piece to complement your favorite outfit or color pallet.

You can find more of Chel’s Pretty Little Things on Facebook and Etsy!

Michele has generously sponsored this weeks giveaway and the winner will be getting TWO pairs of earrings!

Thank you so much Chel’s Pretty Little Things!

The Prize!!!

To enter this week:

1. Make sure you follow this blog! (It’s easy, really! If you blog on wordpress.com, just follow there, OR you can follow by email using that easy little button on the right that says “follow by email”)

2. Like both We Don’t Need Sleep (There is a button on the right for this as well!) and Chel’s Pretty Little Things on Facebook. Make sure you leave a comment on Chel’s Pretty Little Things letting her know we sent you to see her beautiful work!

3. Comment on this post to let us know you want to win! Let us about your favorite piece of jewelry.

You must do ALL of these things to win. They are not hard, you can do it!

For 2 extra entries, have a friend enter and in their comment on here make sure they put your name as a reference!

Good luck!



Over the last two weeks, my anxiety and stress levels are absolutely through the roof because of returning to teaching after a year-long maternity leave. As a result, my milk supply is dropping big time and my belly has been one big sour knot. So, Chris and I decided that a nice freshly harvested garden dinner was in order to get some healthy stuff in me and alleviate some of my problems.

Our garden has grown bigger and bigger each year. We now grow our own: tomatoes, carrots, eggplants, peppers, red and white onions, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, lettuce, and an assortment of sad pathetic herbs (currently only basil, oregano and fennel have survived).

So last night we opted for a delish steak taco meal. We started with fresh tomato and mozzarella topped with drizzled olive oil and our own basil and oregano. Then we toasted some corn tortillas (trying to avoid the gluten in the flour tortillas) and filled them with home grown lettuce, diced tomatoes, onion and cucumber. Chris cut up some leftover steak pieces from the night before and freshened them up with a little garlic and olive oil in a skillet for a seconds just to warm them up. With a side of long grain rice it was just right- light yet filling, and satisfying knowing it came almost entirely from my backyard.

For dessert, an assortment of berries from the garden (Chris topped his with whipped cream… I’m not a fan) hit the sweet spot without sitting heavily in my stomach like the cake and cookies I’ve been gorging myself on.

So it’s not a very innovative meal, but it goes to show you what you can create with your own crops (and how little you have to buy if most of it is in your


Dinner In a Hurry: Chicken Fried Rice

We all have those nights when, despite best laid plans, it dinner time or even after dinner time and you still haven’t even started dinner. That’s when this recipe comes in handy!

A House Of Illness.

Two weeks ago my big girl, Ella, started running a fever and coughing. We went to the pediatrician and they said it was a virus that should run its course in three days time….


Rave, Review and Giveaway! With a Twist Gourmet Pretzels

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The winner of this delicious prize is hbandrewsfamilyAndrea! 

Congratulations! Send us a PM on the facebook page with your address so we can get these out to you!

I grew up with one set of my grandparents living in my home, so a lot of my childhood memories involve doing things with them. One fond memory is of making holiday chocolates with my grandmother. We’d get a large 10lb bag of chocolate melts at the speciality candy store and all sorts of fun things to coat- pretzels, marshmallows, nuts, raisins, etc… Nan taught me how to heat the chocolate- slowly and on a low boil in a double boiler, being careful not to get the chocolate wet or else it would taste bitter. When it was nice and smooth, we’d pour spoonfuls into holiday molds and add lollypop sticks or sprinkles. For other batches, we’d toss handfuls of the treats right into the chocolate, stir them around to give them a good coating, and then fish them out with a spoon and set them on wax paper to “dry”. Sometimes we’d go to the dollar store and buy some holiday tins and doilies and fill them with chocolates and deliver them to all of the neighbors for Chanukah. Nan’s favorite chocolate creation was a brittle made with peanuts, raisins and mini marshmallows. After mixing them into the chocolate we’d pour the entire pot into a cake pan, wait for it to firm up and then chop it with a butcher’s knife into squares.

Over the years I’ve come up with my own fun things to coat and cover in chocolate so that I could continue this holiday tradition in my own home. I send my husband to work with tins of chocolates for the secretaries and custodians who sometimes get overlooked when all of the kids bring gifts for their teachers. I leave a small package for each of our immediate neighbors on Christmas Eve, and take some with us to any holiday parties we attend. My husband loves my homemade peanut butter cups (probably because I make it with his favorite brand of all natural peanut butter and am very generous with my spoonfuls). My all-time favorite, though, are chocolate covered pretzels. You really can’t go wrong with a good chocolate covered pretzel. They are salty and sweet, crunchy and melty all at once. There are so many ways to make them, too! Dark chocolate is my favorite, but white chocolate is pretty good, too.

You can make pretty much anything chocolate covered without any specialty ingredients or equipment Hershey’s pieces and a microwave will do, but I assure you it’s not the same as a good brand of chocolate melts in a double boiler. Even if you’re an amateur like me and have your own double boiler and a specialty shop nearby for the good chocolates, there’s still no comparison to a professionally made chocolate covered pretzel. If you’re not up for the DIY chocolate making just yet, and I have you craving some chocolate-y salty goodness right about now, you should check out With a Twist on Etsy. I found these ladies while checking out the ‘edibles’ section on (where else?) Etsy, and I am SO GLAD I did!

My sample box of chocolate covered pretzels arrived and were gone in almost the same day. They were wrapped nicely in a clear cello bag with a lovely brown natural looking tag. My husband and I each tried one as soon as we opened the package. From my rave about chocolate covered pretzels above, I’m probably already a bit biased, so instead let me tell you what Chris said (who, mind you, isn’t a big dessert OR chocolate person):
C: WOW. These are probably the best chocolate covered pretzels I’ve ever had.
Me: Really? (raising my eyebrow incredulously). You know, I’ve made you a lot of chocolate covered pretzels. Are you sure?
C: Yeah, those were good. But these are GREAT. I mean this pretzel is like PERFECT. Do they make the pretzels, too? It doesn’t taste like a crappy bag of store pretzels.
me: I don’t know, I’ll ask. What about the banana flavor? Did you like that one, since you’ve moved on to eating those too?
C: (spitting crumbs at me through his mouthful) These are freakin great. Order more.

I think that says it all! The chocolate peanut butter pretzel was the winner for both of us, and I’m not even really a big peanut butter person. The chocolate covered banana flavor had just the right amount of sweet to compliment the chocolate without overpowering it, too. As my husband also said, the pretzel itself was fantastic, too. Look at these adorable creations that they’ve made:

So, even though we’re approaching the busy season for With a Twist because of fall festivals and holidays (seriously!!), they’ve generously offered to donate a prize to our readers for your enjoyment: A beautifully packaged medium gift basket with two bags of covered pretzels (Chocolate Covered Orange and Dark Chocolate Espresso). Perfect for giving or enjoying yourself! As usual, first make sure you are following our blog to be eligible to win! With a Twist is still working on their Facebook page, but you can find them over on Etsy and add them to your circle if you’re set up with an account already (or add some of their yummy treats to your favorites). Once you’re following us here, just leave a comment on this post:

What is the most amazing chocolate covered thing you’ve ever had/dreamed up/can’t wait to try?


We’ll draw later in the week so check back to see if you’ve won!


Kristin and Callie

One Of Those Run On Lists

Callie Mommy’s Wednesday To-Do List

  • Wash bed linens to get rid of sicky germs
  • Clean bathrooms (THIS CAN NOT BE PUT OFF ANY LONGER)
  • Mix up a batch of vinegar based toy sanitizer and spray EVERYTHING
  • Clean the carpet in the living room with the AWESOME Kirby attachment
  • Complete design for Hazel’s 1st b-day onesie
  • Order invites for H’s bday
  • Gather addresses for invites
  • Fold and sort and put away the laundry that has piled up while the girls have been sick
  • …………..

I need to try and get all of this done by the time the girls have lunch. Because I have ANOTHER list that I haven’t even really looked at of stuff I need to do to prep for the yard sale I want to have in a few weeks.


UPDATE: Well, as you can see, I didn’t get around to everything. BUT… I did get a good deal done, and with a sick baby in the house, I’m happy with things as today winds down. Tomorrow is a new day!

Fire-less S’mores from the kitchen of Callie Mommy

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