Labor Day Camping

This Labor Day weekend I will be heading up north for a weekend of camping and one of my favorite parts of camping is the food! I found this great camping recipe that is sure to please the crowd.

One of my favorite foods at home: Macaroni and Cheese!

An easy recipe that can be easily adjusted to your favorite cheeses.

Camping Macaroni and Cheese  (


2 cups macaroni (precooked and packed for trip)
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup Gooda cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. flour
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

This camper uses a cast iron pot and a small charcoal grill but I will be adjusting this to be cooked over the fire. Heat up the pot and melt the butter along with the milk. Slowly whisk in a tablespoon of flour at a time to create the cheesy sauce. Once complete add in cheese mixture and pasta, top with extra cheese and bread crumbs, then let cook for 5 minutes and your mac and cheese is ready to go!

Camping Macaroni and Cheese

Buyers’ Picks – Items We Love Quilted Travel Collection

This week our Handbags/Luggage Buyer Janet was excited to highlight a product that she and her daughter absolutely love, the Quilted Travel Collection.  Quilted purses, wallets, apparel and luggage are very popular right now and the Lakeside Collection has a number of products on this trend.  Here are Janet’s thoughts about this cute luggage set.

I recently bought the quilted travel collection for a trip to California. I was so excited to use it! It was lightweight, easy to carry, and I received a ton of compliments on the fun print design. I was able to think of endless uses for this spacious bag. The mini organizer pouch was great for keeping safe my smaller items and made everything really easy to find. My daughter wants one to take back to college with her! This is bag is a must have for anyone on the go.

                                                      -Janet, Handbags/Luggage Buyer

Loco Taco Toppings

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner so we are exploring some unique topping ideas for tacos. Everyone knows the taco staples; meat, lettuce, tomatoes, sours cream, guacamole, onions, cheese, salsa. However there are some great additional toppings that add delicious flavor. (ref.

• Shallots – these mild green onions are a great option so those who like onions can get the flavor without having to cook it into the meat
• Lime Juice – fresh or bottled, a squeeze of lime juice adds a refreshing flavor
• Garlic – Just fry up a few cloves and allow each person to add as they please. Alternately you can have garlic powder available for a quick dash of flavor.
• Cilantro – try fresh cut into small pieces and sprinkled on top
• Barbeque Sauce – BBQ sauce is a flavorful alternative to salsa for those who can’t take the heat

Set of 8 Taco Stand-Ups

Set of 8 Taco Stand-Ups

Redesign For Less

The tough economy is causing many families to put big remodeling projects on hold. Just because you cannot afford to overhaul your bathroom, does not mean you are stuck looking at the same old space. There are a few easy, (and most important) inexpensive changes you can make to transform your bathroom without the time and expense of a renovation.

Tip 1: Scrub Down – It’s amazing how a small space like a bathroom can be totally transformed with just a good scrub down. Instead of replacing dull and spotted brass fixtures, polish them up! Simply cut a lemon in half, dip it in salt, rub on the brass and wipe with a clean cloth. For those ugly soap scum spots on shower doors, just dampen a dryer sheet and wipe along your shower doors to clean unsightly film.

Tip 2: Redecorate On A Dime – Continue reading

Lakeside Madness – And Then There Were Four

We have our final 4 products left bidding for the title of “2012 Spring Fan Favorite.”  Today I will break down the finalists: Fun Dots Microfiber Sheet Set, Collapsible Insulated Basket, Glass Solar Lantern Stake and Laminator.

This year not one of the #1 ranked products made it to the final four.  Actually the field is made up of a #2 seed and three #4 seeds.  So which product will take home the title?  With so many favorites gone, it truly is anyone’s title.

The Fun Dots Microfiber Sheets has had a hard road through the stellar At Home Region.  First beating out the #1 overall Gerber Daisy Bath Collection then trumping the Metal Wine and Glass Rack.  The polka dots have delivered twice already this tournament, but the strength  and durability of the basket could end this Cinderella run.

Continue reading

Lakeside Madness: Round of 16 Winners & Analysis

Lakeside Madness is in full swing and today we are excited to announce the winners of the round of 16.  Once you read the match-ups, remember to vote in this round to advance your favorites one step closer to the title “2012 Spring Fan Favorite.”  Click here to vote now.

At Home Region

In the biggest upset of the tournament to date, Fun Dots Microfiber Sheet Set defeated overall #1 seed Gerber Daisy Bath Collection.  Despite a relatively close showing, the sheets maintained the advantage throughout all 4 days of voting.  In this same region Metal Wine and Glass Rack beat Designer Broom and Dustpan Set to advance to the round of 8.  It will be exciting to see how the sheets and wine rack match-up.  The sheets definitely have the cute/fun factor, but I think fans will continue to gravitate to the classic wine rack.

Continue reading