Thursday, November 30, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #139

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

We have some great giveaways currently underway - check these out and don't miss your opportunity to enter to win!

Max on Snax Fall Activity Box - ends 12/1!
A delightful children's activity box chock full of healthy food fun - just in time to find it's way under the tree.

Neocell - Winner's Choice of  ANY Product! - ends 12/4
If you've ever been curious about any of Neocell's skin and joint health products, here's your opportunity to receive whichever product you'd like!

Ugly Christmas Sweater - Winner's Choice! ends 12/9
Now that Thanksgiving's over, it's Ugly Christmas Sweater season!  Winner can choose from among 30+ designs, ranging from Star Wars and other pop culture themes to downright bawdy.

This is our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

Antique Chair & Fresh Eggs 25¢ Sign // a Vintage Green
"The antique (and repaired) child sized chair has been moved around our house for 15+ years. I love the hand work seen in this small chair..."

Peppermint Bath Salts Gift in a Jar // Crafts by Amanda
"Whip up a few batches of these and keep them on hand for unexpected guests bearing gifts."

Pot Pie Potatoes // Looney For Food
"How can you go wrong with a tender baked potato loaded with a creamy pot pie filling? Pot Pie Potatoes are the ultimate healthy comfort food. Make these classic with chicken or leave it out for a vegetarian delight."

Apple Cinnamon Bun Breakfast Casserole // Simply Stacie
"Breakfast casseroles are one of my fave types of recipes to wake up to. You can start the prep work the night before and finish the next day. They are filling and great to serve when you have company over."

Chocolate Covered Cherry Coca Cola Mocktail // Quirky Inspired
"Mocktails made with Coca-ColaⓇ are an excellent way to celebrate the holidays. I had so much fun making these Coke mocktails, they are definitely going to be a part of many, many more parties in the years to come!"

Homemade Aftershave Lotion // Little House Living
"If you find yourself struggling with razor burn after shaving and are looking for a quick-to-make solution, this homemade Aftershave Lotion is the perfect recipe for you. With just 3 ingredients this can be made in less than 5 minutes. It’s so smooth and creamy that your skin will thank you!"

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Blazing Hot Mango Habanero Hot Wing Sauce


What do parties, sporting events, bar outings, family reunions, board/video gaming sessions, barbecues, and general group hang-outs have in common? Food.

Either the host is serving all the snacks and refreshments, or we do it "pot-luck" style (everyone brings something to contribute be it food, drinks, or otherwise).

My wife, Jackie, and I have a few serious winners that we rotate at every event we attend or host,  consisting of roughly 10 different dishes.

After offering up the same things for a while, people tend to get bored. And even though every single time we make the White Chicken Chili or Taco Bites or any of our other go-to's we rarely have leftovers to deal with, we get bored of eating the same things every time.

That leads me occasionally to explore a little.

One of the foods that I have always loved, but had never attempted to make is hot wings.


But most of the sauces out there are just vinegar and heat. There's no flavor. There's no body. I needed something better. Something that would really blow people out of the water.

To hit that chicken wing-shaped baseball out of the park and straight into your face!

A few years ago, a friend of ours had made a Mango Habanero wing sauce. It was so insanely hot. I'm talking hotter than almost anything I'd ever had (I have a different kind of passion for spicy than most people do, so that really says something).

BUT! Included with that heat was a flavor that was so delicious I couldn't put it down. So there I sat, nose running, sweat dripping from my chin, destroying those wings. A few years later I decided to try to make them on my own.

The recipe that I use today is fairly different from what he made. The reason being was that he used store-bought habaneros.

I started a small garden on our tiny balcony in which I now grow some of the hottest peppers in the world.

My personal favorite at the moment is the Chocolate Habanero.

But don't let the name fool you. The only thing chocolate about this chili is it's earthy brown color.

It has a dark, almost smoky flavor and is absolutely perfect in this dish.

If you don't have chocolate habaneros don't fret! You can still make the same dish with red, yellow, or orange habaneros or even less/more hot chilies to adjust the level of heat and flavor.

If you're not sure about your heat tolerance, start with something mild and work up - you can ramp up the heat until you find your preference.

Blazing Hot Mango Habanero Hot Wing Sauce
makes approx. 2 cups sauce

3 Mangos, Cubed (2 1/2 cups of cubed mango)
2 - 6 Chocolate Habaneros, diced
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Oil
2/3 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp  Butter
2 Tbsp  Worcestershire Sauce

Add Mango, oil, and water to blender and blend until mostly smooth.

Some gritty texture is fine at this point.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.

Add salt, pepper and garlic and heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about a minute.

Pour in mango mixture, diced chilies, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Stir well.

Cover and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool.

Pour sauce into blender and blend until completely smooth.

The sauce can be used immediately or can be placed in the fridge or freezer for later use.

When serving re-heat the sauce and pour over cooked wings (wings can be baked or deep fried as you prefer).

Mix to coat the cooked wings well.

Serve with carrot sticks, celery, blue cheese and ranch dressings.

Keep a drink close by - and remember, milk not water if you're trying to dilute the heat! 😉

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Party in Your PJs #185

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

Teresa @ Aging Like a Fine Wine

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

MunchPak Subscription Box: Review


Back in the early days of RCH, one of our former contributors reviewed MunchPak and wrote a short review. I've had my eye on the company ever since!

I was so pleased to have the chance to write an updated review on the company. As I haven't tried them before, I'm not certain what all has changed since that 2014 review, except unfortunately, their prices. They are quite a bit more expensive than they were a few years ago. So, without comparison, I'm here to let you know how they are now!

MunchPak is a weekly/bi-monthly/monthly subscription box filled with a number of treats depending on the size of your box choice. 

They offer a MunchPak Mini box that includes at least 5 full size snacks. The MunchPak Original contains at least 10 full size snacks, and finally the FamilyPak is filled with 20+ snacks!

Their prices vary greatly based on your customization. While each size box has a monthly price, that changes based on how many months you pay for in advance, asking specifics of things to be added OR left out of your box ($1 per request), as well as adding a drink to your box ($5 each).

To keep things simple I will tell you what one single box of each size will cost you without any customization:

  • MunchPak Mini- $12.95
  • MunchPak Original - $22.95
  • FamilyPak - $42.95

For review, I received the midlevel size, the MunchPak Original – with a drink included! 

I had no idea what to expect from this box and was so excited to see some cool surprises. I was most especially looking forward to anything international. The box did not let me down! 

The first thing I noticed, though, was the lack of an info sheet. I'm so used to that being standard with a subscription box. As many of the packages weren't in English, I was even more confused that they wouldn't have one. 

It took me longer than I'd like to admit to notice the writing on the inside lid about their Snack Scanner app! 

By scanning any of the barcodes on the packages you can find out what it is, where its from, how much it costs, leave a review, and even purchase more through MunchPak store.  

Once I figured out that this feature existed, I thought that was pretty cool!

So here is what came in my box:

TEN JANG PREPARED FISH BBQ Flavor- Malaysia -$3.00

First Impression: Um... what. No thanks. Fish? I did not expect this. I was fairly certain these a were BBQ fish skins and handed them to my husband to test. 

Taste Test: Chewy. Not nearly as salty as I expected, just ..chewy. But husband (..and dog) actually loved them. I think my one bite for review purposes was enough. It is fish meat, not skins after all.

CHEETOS PALOMITAS – Mexico - $3.00

First Impression: Yesss! Crazy cheese popcorn. Can't go wrong with that. I love the flavor of Cheetos and expected awesomeness.

Taste Test: super let down. They are legit the exact same as bland cheesy popcorn you'd find in a Christmas tri-flavor tin.


First Impression: I love pizza flavored chips but have never seen them in a corn chip. Again, expected greatness.

Taste Test: Not terrible chips. Not at all pizza flavored. They tasted like lime Doritos.


First Impression: Couldn't read the package and assumed these were some kind of coated peanut or corn kernel.

Taste Test: I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was quite surprised by the easily bitten through crunch, and the small gush of yogurt. Extremely flavorful with delicious orange flavor, and as far as candy goes, these are enjoyable. Whole family liked these.


First Impression: I didn't rush to taste these as I have had stroopwaffles numerous times and don't love them. Generally they are sweet, kinda crunchy but almost always taste stale to me.

Taste Test: As it turns out, Russian stroopwaffles blow German ones out of the water. These were incredible! They had a nice sugar like glaze giving it a crunch, and are filled with a caramel syrup in the center making them chewy and delicious. I'm so glad this was a big package! It suggests trying them heated up in the microwave which I plan to do with the rest...likely topped with vanilla ice cream. Mmm!


First Impression: these will basically be Sour Patch Kids.

Taste Test: way more sour than other similar candies. I didn't even eat a whole one, as sour is not something I enjoy, but husband and kids happily ate the whole package.


First Impression: Is this gum? Appears to be a cup of soda on the package, so cola flavored was assumed.

Taste Test: These are very fragrant, very flavorful cola soft chews. I actually thoroughly enjoyed these.


First Impression: It was very hard.

Taste Test: smelled like a cheese danish. Split it between the four of us. My husband's piece had a lot of crunchy sugar bits, but no other pieces did. The outer edges were great, but the center was so dense and dry, it was painful to eat without something to drink. They were described as chewy, but I didn't get that at all.


First Impression: Pretty standard looking hard candies.

Taste Test: I chose a strawberry flavor and upon opening it, it was completely coated in a white powder. I put it in my mouth and hastily spit it out within seconds. I never even got to the fruity flavor because the powder tasted like laundry detergent. It was such a strong chemical taste I questioned contamination. 

For the sake of review, I checked a second piece. The second piece, also strawberry, had a few white specs but nothing like the first. A minutes or so in my mouth, I started tasting it again, and noticed there was now a hollow tunnel through the center of the candy, indicating the powder starts in there—I spit this one out as well. 

Reading up on the candy, I guess this powder is suppose to have some sort of fizzing properties but I just found it awful. Much to my surprise, my husband said they reminded him of a childhood candy and has eaten many of them.


I actually have not eaten this product, yet, because I live in Germany and have had this amazing treat many times! It is crunchy with a creamy Nutella like spread in the center and it totally delicious.


First Impression: What the hell. Haha! These appear to be long lollipop like strips with a small stick on the bottom. Based on the pictures on the back, you are meant to fold or roll the sheet around the stick however you want to create a unique lollipop. Look like fun... looks like a mess.

Taste Test: These were actually a lot of fun to do with the kids. They are a sour apple flavor. I'm sure someone with more artistic ability could do something amazing with these.


First Impression: Yes, this is definitely going to my husband. The can was humorous.

Taste Test: I did take one sip and actually enjoyed the black cherry flavor, as I hadn't seen that in an energy drink before. My husband enjoyed it and said it was similar to RockStar.

I would definitely purchase MunchPak in the future. Although I didn't personally like a few of the items, I loved the mystery and discovery of it, and almost every item was enjoyed by someone in the family! 

While the numerous upcharges seem steep, I can understand why they are put in place. Having to customize each box must be a lot of work!

If you'd like to try Munchpak for yourself, or give a subscription as a gift to someone else, now is a great time to do it! Head over to their website and look for the discount coupons currently available.

Happy snacking!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater (Review/Giveaway)


Christmas is coming!! Christmas is coming!! I could scream this at the top of my lungs. Christmas is probably one of my favorite holidays aside from Thanksgiving of course!

When Christmas rolls around, it is time for family dinners, holiday parties and just plain all out festivities. There are so many things to do and see around this time of year.

No doubt you have heard of the trend toward Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. Pretty much, you search for the most creative, "ugliest" (something you would never wear out in public) sweater and go to this party to show off and compete for the best one of the group.

It is a ton of fun and the options are endless whether you are making the thing yourself, hitting up a thrift store, or buying one like they offer on This site is your GO-TO if you want to have the Ugliest, most awesome sweater at the party!

For review, I was given the opportunity to pick ANY sweater on their site and boy did I have my work cut out for me trying to narrow it down to just one.  The designs on the sweaters range from inappropriate for children's eyes (lol), to Star Wars, to Novelty Movie quotes, and so on.

There are well over 30 options to choose from and they also offer leggings, jackets, costumes and accessories.

It took me a while to choose and I also had to ask my husband for his advice. We finally settled on one we both liked, and man was I excited to get it!

I chose a Green, White and Red sweater with a Giant Storm Trooper (Please don't make me explain, but I will just in case - STAR WARS bad guys) with Antlers on it. Really? How could I not.

I received my sweater in the mail seriously the day after I ordered it. They must have overnighted that bad boy to me! I tried it on and it was a perfect fit. So unlike a lot of online clothing companies, it seems that the sizing is true to actual size! So awesome.

The sweater is so comfy that I actually have been using it as my go to sweatshirt when I get cold around the house. It is lightweight. yet still heavy enough to keep you warm, if that makes any sense!

It is a very soft feeling sweater too, sort of like those comfy blankets they sell at the store around Christmas time.

I washed it in a normal load like I always do, and dried it as well in the dryer, and it did not stretch, shrink or lose its shape! Yay again!

I actually was invited to a Ugly Sweater Party, but unfortunately was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts - - but I bet with this ugly Christmas sweater on, I would have rocked the show!

I will definitely be wearing this out to my next camping trip and probably through the rest of the winter season because, well... Storm Troopers haha! Star Wars for life baby!

One really notable thing about this company is that they offer a few sweaters that you can buy where they donate 30-50% of the proceeds to major charities! Toys for Tots, Alex's Lemonade and Big Cat Rescue, as examples. How cool is that?

Get over to their website and check out what they have to offer for the holiday season. You will not be sorry that you did! is letting us host a Giveaway!  One of our US winners will be able to select the Ugly Christmas Sweater of their choice (value up to $79.99) - keep reading to see how you can enter to win!

One winner in the US will receive the Ugly Christmas Sweater of their choice, up to $79.99 in value!

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 12/9. 

The winner(s) will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!