BabyLit {Review}

If you have been following the Dandy for a while then you know that in our household we like to read.  Okay we don’t just like it.  We love it.  Like literary obsessed around here.  This image from our study proves it:


A few months back I ordered the most adorable books for the little Miss.  Simply perfectly dandy to put in her Easter basket:

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So after getting those marvelous beauties I just had to contact Gibbs Smith (home of BabyLit) to see if they wanted to be featured on Dandy Giveaway.  And they did.  And they sent me some more lovely reads for our kiddos.  And here they are:



Each book teaches your little one the basics of colors, counting, opposites, weather, and more!  There are so many different classics to choose from:

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New additions to the classics line (like Anna Karenina) will be released this fall, so be sure to mark your calendars!  🙂  I have a feeling that I’ll be adding more to our collection very soon.  🙂

I mean our littlest reader is already a major fan of the works of Austen:


Thank you BabyLit!

*This posting was sponsored by Gibbs Smith, but all opinions are strictly my own.

White House Inn {Review}


Over the weekend my mother and I attended a women’s conference up in Nauvoo ,Illinois.  It was a quick trip, but a marvelous event to attend!  Nauvoo is situated just above the banks of the Mississippi River.  It’s a city rich with history and has many an opportunity for sight seeing.  Too bad it was so extremely cold outside or we would have done more of it!  Regardless of the weather it was great to spend some quality time with my mom and attend a session at the Nauvoo Temple with her.

We were fortunate enough to find the most charming Nauvoo inn to stay the night.  The White House Inn welcomed us into their 150 year old home.  It’s truly a gem!




I’m a sucker for antiques and much of the inn is to period:

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I love that staircase!

The inn has 4 bedrooms with all the modern day conveniences and updates to make your stay wonderful.


Even a hot tub!

The kitchen comes equipped with everything needed for you to create your own pancake breakfast, but we were running short on time in the morning so we had to skip that part of the experience.


That just gave us the opportunity to stop in at the Nauvoo Mill & Bakery:


We had the most scrumptious breakfast sandwich complete with a delicious whole wheat cinnamon roll.  Definitely a place that we will be visiting again!

As for the White House Inn we look forward to booking some rooms with them on a family trip to Nauvoo.  It’s is after all in the heart of the city and centrally located to everything Nauvoo has to offer.  The White House Inn is just 3 blocks from the temple and another few blocks from the historic sites.  If you are planning a trip to Nauvoo in the future then you will definitely want to check out this hidden treasure.  It will not be soon forgotten.

*This posting was sponsored by the White House Inn, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Joovy Nook Highchair {Review}

How I wish this high chair had existed in 2008, because we would have bought it:



Fortunately for us my friends over at Joovy sent us our newbie in 2013!


I love how they take just such good care of me!  🙂

The high chair we purchased when Banjo was a wee babe has definitely not withstood the test of time.  If someone had told me that the plastic would turn yellow I would have listened.  Also, the seat of our first high chair wasn’t quality looking at all, so I should have known that it wouldn’t hold up.  But the Nook from Joovy?

Now it’s high quality and is quite stylish.  It’s sleek design fits perfectly in our little nook in our kitchen!

This beauty is definitely not just a highchair.  The seat is far too comfy for that!


It’s not just a place to eat either.  It’s also an entertainment chair.



Can you tell that Ruby love it, too?

My favorites about this sweet chair…

The cup holder and removable tray insert.


Also, how with just the press of a button the tray swings open making my life so much easier when getting Ruby in and out of the chair!


Plus, the leatherette seat cover comes off and can be put in the washing machine!

Yep so much to love about the new Joovy Nook Highchair.  It folds flat for travel:

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And like all the Joovy products the Nook comes in a bunch of fun colors:

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We love you, Joovy!


Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Pie Crust Cutters by HIC Brands that Cook® {Review}

I spent most of Thanksgiving morning working on a 14-layer jello and a couple pies, only to get some flu bug just as we were sitting down to eat.  I had a few bites, then spent the rest of the meal on the basement couch.  Super lame.

Especially because I spent FOREVER cutting out individual leaves for a pie crust border.  It turned out fabulous, but it took me the majority of the morning, and then I didn’t even get to eat it.  Good thing HIC asked me to review some adorable decorative pie crust cutters, so I had the opportunity to bake up another pie!  And this one took me MINUTES instead of hours.

 These cute little Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Pie Crust Cutters are perfect on pie crusts and cooler than basic cookie cutters because they have a spring action embossing part that creates details on the dough.   They were so easy to use!  Just press down on the large shape like you would a cookie cutter, then stamp it with the spring handle top.

“Rocket” got a kick out of these and spent all morning helping me!  He was happy as a bear stamping away on the scraps.  Methinks I’ll pull them out again soon to use on play-dough or cookie dough.  Clearly, these cutters are child-proof, durable, and sturdy enough to withstand “Rocket’s” vigorous pounding all morning.

Here’s a look you could try: pressing the cutouts all around the edge to create a border before you cook it.  I bet it would be lovely, especially if you covered the delicate edges with tin foil so they wouldn’t burn while the filling cooked.

To add a little color to our cut-outs, I mixed a drop of food coloring with an egg yolk and painted them up green.  I cooked them in the oven with the pie for maybe 20 minutes on 350°.  We’ll see if I can disguise leaves for holly 🙂

You can buy your own set of pie crust cutters on Amazon HERE for $8.00!

 Thank you HIC for these lovely pie crust cutters!  They will be a family favorite on many many pies to come!

*This posting was sponsored by HIC Brands that Cook, but all opinions are strictly my own

Paper Culture is more than just baby announcements. {Review}

Remember those super cute baby announcements I shared with you clear back when Ruby was just a wee one?  We selected to have her birth announced on this card design:

We opted to use  this image of our darling on it:

By far they are the bestest baby announcements I have ever sent out!  (Thanks again Paper Culture, by the way.)  But…  Did you know that Paper Culture doesn’t just do announcements for baby?  It’s true.  Oh so very true.  Think holiday cards.  Gorgeous holiday cards.

Holiday cards like these:


This year Paper Culture gave us these holiday cards to send out to our friends and family:

The colors of the photo come out amazing.  The quality of the paper is amazing.  The back of the card is even amazing looking!  Paper Culture thinks of everything.  Thanks again Paper Culture for adding the special touches that make our cards wonderful!


*This review and posting was sponsored by Paper Culture, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Fante’s Great Aunt Gina’s Pasta Machine By HIC Brands That Cook® {Review}

To get my Home-Ec teaching license, you can imagine the number of cooking classes I got to take.  I LOVED them!  Cooking classes were the highlight of my week!  I must admit I failed miserably on my first fondue, but one of the things I was fascinated with was making pasta in class one day!  Since then, I’ve often thought of how cool it would be to own my own pasta machine and make my own pasta again.  Happy day when HIC asked if I would review their Fante’s Great Aunt Gina’s Pasta Machine!  Yes, please!

First of all, this thing is super substantial, and weighs something hefty.  To me, that signifies quality, and no corners cut.  Though it looks tricky, it assembles in less than a minute.  Just clamp it to a counter or table, slide on the cutting piece, and pop in the crank handle.  The clamp is extra wide, so I imagine it would fit on nearly any counter width.

I was relieved and excited to find a nice booklet of recipes included with the machine.  The recipe for pasta was just perfect, and it makes a TON!  We’re talking feeding a family of 5 or 6 on one recipe—which is actually just 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs.

This pasta machine is so simple to use!  Just like it looks, you send the pasta down the conveyer belt and change the dial to get smaller and smaller as you pass the dough through several times.  Then send this flat sheet through the double cutter attachment piece and out comes your beautifully cut pasta!

I was giggling through the whole process!  Using a pasta maker is like a play-dough contraption for moms.  It was slick, easy to use, shiny, efficient, and looks like it will last a lifetime.

This pasta machine is not a one-trick pony.  Fante’s pasta machine has 9 different thickness settings, and the double-cutter attachment can make perfect fettuccine and perfect spaghetti.  For years, I’ve wanted to try out a chocolate spaghetti recipe, but alas, no pasta maker, so this year, my chocolate spaghetti dream will come true, mark my words.

Cook it up, serve it up, eat it up!  “Charlie” was quite impressed and told me that we should do this again when we have company over for dinner next week.  I can’t wait to make pasta with my kids when they’re a little older on rainy days!  These noodles would be delicious in a homemade chicken noodle soup.

Find out where you can buy Fante’s Pasta Machine and other gourmet kitchen supplies from Harold Import Co.

You can follow HIC on facebook HERE, follow on twitter HERE, and browse their YouTube videos HERE.

*This posting was sponsored by Harold Import Co., but all opinions are strictly my own.

Butterfly Gap Part 2 {Review}


Remember how Audi and I spent our 10th wedding anniversary at Butterfly Gap?  Well, I still have dreams about that place.  Probably more so now because it’s fall and I’m sure that the change of season is gorgeous in that part of the country!   Butterfly Gap is honestly this magical haven tucked away in the Smoky Mountains.  There are many things that make Butterfly Gap a unique, romantic destination.  But by far the scenic views have got to be at the top of the list.  Can you just imagine what the fall colors must look like there now?

The lookout was the perfect place to watch the sunset.

Audi and I waiting to watch the sunset.

 All of the rentals at Butterfly Gap are either hidden in the woods or at the edge of the lake:

 Our’s was in the woods with the most adorable screened in porch:


Another great view at Butterfly Gap?  The homemade ice cream that was in the freezer of rental when we checked in:


It was just as yummy as it looks!  However did they know that mint chocolate chip is my favorite???

We miss you Butterfly Gap!

This posting was sponsored by Butterfly Gap, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

Costume Express {Review}

We had our very first trick or treater on Thursday.  My little niece.  A little early, but she likes to be prompt.  You know to make sure she doesn’t miss a single house.  She arrived wearing the most adorable Little Red Riding Hood costume that I ever did see!

Isn’t she just the cutest???

Costume Express sent the costume over to my house and I knew that it was just perfect for this little reviewer.  She’s darling, so everyone is going to want to bail on their previous costume idea and go with this one.  Am I right?  It’s super cute, super great quality, and super unique design.  You can’t beat that!  Well, now…  What day is it already???  You better hurry, because the 31st is almost here!  Halloween is in T-3 days!  Have you got your Little Red Riding Hood costume yet???  There’s still time to get your costume if you order right now through Costume Express!  You have until October 29th at 2:59pm CDT to be exact.

At Costume Express all the members of your family can get in on the action with the other characters:


Or isn’t this a cute family theme?

 All can be found at Costume Express, so you better get ordering!  🙂


*This posting was sponsored by Costume Express, but all views and opinions are strictly my own.

Mobile Baby! {Review}

Ruby is practically on the move.  She is still doing this very unique stance thing instead of crawling.  I must honestly admit that I’ve never seen anything quite like it:

Tonight she came very close to doing a somersault!  This could be getting to be just a little bit dangerous…  Ruby will be 9 months on the 27th and we are expecting her to start crawling any day now.  Right now she can scoot backwards and roll to anything that she wants to get her hands on!  So she is considered to be a mobile baby.  🙂

Her mobility has been an interesting adjustment for us all to say the least.  Especially for me.  Like 2 weeks ago when I had my little mishap.  Or misstep really.  I was not, I repeat WAS NOT, going to share this experience on the blog.  It’s one of those embarrassing moments that you never want to relive EVER.  But we are all friends, right?  So here we go…  Don’t judge…  😉

Two weeks ago I took Banjo to a friend’s house to play.  As I headed back out to my car I full on missed the curb, rolled my ankle, and landed flat out in the street.  Picture arms flailing before I hit the pavement.  Yeah it was that pretty.  Ugh.  My elbows and knees spared my face of the road rash, so that was a good thing.  Everything I was carrying flew in all directions.  It was quite the humbling experience dragging myself (across the pavement) to my cell phone so I could call my friend.  Even more humbling when I had to tell her to look out her front window, because I was lying in the street in front of her house.  Fortunately friend is an ER nurse, so she was able to access the situation.  I was a little banged up, but able to limp around the rest of the day on the rolled ankle.  In fact I felt just a tad bit smug that my ankle was doing so well.  That smugness…  It disappeared later that evening when my ankle doubled in size and the pain began.  Apparently I had forgotten just how bad sprains can hurt.  Also, that swelling brings on major hurt!  So for the next few days I had to elevate the offended ankle and stay off of it as much as possible.  Oh and I may have been a tad bit of a baby about it.  Hey now.  That sprain felt awful and I’ve had sprains before.  I played softball in high school for crying out loud, so an ankle sprain was nothing new to me.  Alright, so maybe I’ve become just a little weak and whiny in my old age…  But it was pretty uncomfortable!  And a mobile baby to take care of… I didn’t have to do that in high school!

How does that type of situation work out with a mobile Ruby at my house you might ask???  Well, blessings come in mysterious ways.  🙂   Just days prior to my incident I had received a present in the mail from Joovy.  🙂     This Spoon walker to be exact:

Wow.  Perfect timing.  This walker is amazing!  In no time Ruby was cruising around in it, contained, and entertained!

Banjo even enjoys playing with her while she “walks” around.  He keeps wanting to push her around the house like she’s in a race car.  It’s really cute the way they are bonding!  Plus, Ruby loves it.  Can’t you tell just how much from that smile on her face?

The Spoon is the cadillac of walkers.  Seriously.  It folds down super easily and is compact:

It’s sturdy and has the perfect tray for holding onto the toys:

It also comes in the coolest colors.  Yep I’m a major fan of this walker and so is Ruby.

Thanks again Joovy!  You are truly a life saver!  And friends?  We will never, ever discuss the curb incident again.  😉


This posting was sponsored by Joovy, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Butterfly Gap {Review}

Remember reading about where Audi and I went for our 10 year anniversary???  It’s time for me to gush about just how amazing this bed and breakfast is.  The 10 year anniversary is the diamond one and we found a real gem in the Butterfly Gap.  Everything about the Butterfly Gap is perfect.  The surroundings…


The guest houses…





The breakfasts…




Even the drive back to the retreat is picturesque:

 Pictures don’t even begin to show just how breathtaking this place is.  Neither can words, so that’s why this is a one of two parts posting.  🙂   Stay tuned…

This posting was sponsored by Butterfly Gap, but all opinions are strictly my own.