Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

It is finally September, that means cooler weather and the invasion of everything pumpkin. For me, the pumpkin invasion is a welcomed sight. 

This is my first year spending late summer/early fall in the south and it seems like the cooler weather is never coming. Low 90's as the high almost everyday this week doesn't make for the perfect weather for a pumpkin spice latte. I imagine a piping warm cup of pumpkin, tall boots, sweaters, college football and the crisp wind biting at my ears but here we are still in shorts, flipflops and carrying around sunscreen in my purse, sigh....where is fall.

So to get my pumpkin craving under control, I switched it up a bit.  Honestly I have never tried a cold pumpkin drink but the outcome was wonderful. Something I could sip on while I watch  my kids play on the tramploine and in the pool dreaming of those cooler days to come.....well hopefully!

Here is what you will need:

1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin
2 cups of your favorite vanilla milkshake
3/4 teaspoon on pumpkin pie spice
nutmeg and cinnamon 

Add the pumpkin, ice cream and pumpkin pie spice into the blender. 
Blend until nice and smooth. 
Transfer the milkshake to a cup and garnish with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon on top.

You could add some whipped cream and crushed vanilla wafers to the top for an extra little garnish.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Mojito

It is that time of year, where the parking lots are filled with firework stands and your neighborhood streets are littered with firework debris. Apparently here in Louisiana fireworks are not just reserved for particular holidays, our neighbors have informed us that people shot them during all the Saints games. So basically half my year will be filled with fireworks, joy.

Since we are in a new place, we aren't going all out for our celebration but one of the first things on my list was to find a drink fitting the occasion. My children picked out these hideous blue, sugar filled jars of juice, which were not quite fitting for the adults in their lives.

So I came across this wonderful drink and I cannot wait to try it out. I am sure there will be a test run later tonight just to make sure it is just right.

Oh yea....and that is edible star glitter floating around....could you get any more patriotic?!?

4th of july mojito
Berry Mojito

4th of July Mojito

Makes 1

2 ounces white rum
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
10 mint leaves
2-3 sliced strawberries
10-15 blueberries
Silver edible glitter stars

In a glass muddle lime juice, simple syrup, mint, strawberries and blueberries.  Add rum and stir.  Fill glass with crushed ice and top off with club soda.  Garnish with a skewer of strawberries and blueberries and sprinkle edible glitter stars on top!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DIY PVC Water Sprinkler

DIY PVC Water Sprinkler

We just got finished making a pretty big move to the nice warm, humid state of Louisiana. Oh let me tell you this girl was not made for the humidity. I would be lying if I didn't say I thought I was dying my first day here. Now that we are rolling up on a week, I am starting to get used to the heat, granted I don't like it, but if I never got used to it I would be sitting in my house all summer long probably watching mind numbing reality tv.

My kids on the other hand, HA, heat shmeat, they want to be outside. After the first initial days of unpacking the u-haul and unpacking the necessities it was time to get outside. Thank goodness we found a house with a nice backyard and its fenced in. No more worrying about one of the boys pulling a Houdini and disappearing on me.

After scouring the internet on water toys etc. I remembered that my friend Kelly over at Here comes the sun, made this wonderful water sprinkler for her kids out of PVC piping. Creative yes, cheap yes and its quite durable.

I changed it up a little bit but the overall design is the same.

Here is what you are going to need:

2 10-foot pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe
2 slip on t-connectors
2 90-degree slip on elbow joints
3 end caps
a hose connector, found in the same place as the other PVC joint pieces
drill with a 1/16" drill bit
a saw or a PVC pipe cutter

First lets cut the PVC. Take one of the 10' pieces and cut into two 5' pieces. Then take the other 10' piece and cut into one 4' piece and four 18" pieces.

Now lets drill the holes into the 4' piece. Temporarily slip on the t-connectors to help stabilize the pipe as you are drilling. Using the 1/16" drill bit, put your holes every couple inches. The more holes you drill in the wetter you will get.

Now lets assemble! Remove the t-connectors and replace them with the elbow joints. Attach the two 5' pieces to your drilled piece of PVC to make a large U-shape. Put the t-connectors at the ends of the 5' pieces and attach the 18" sections to form a base. Now place the end caps on three of the open 18" pieces. On the final opening, attache your hose connector.

Hook up your hose and start having some fun!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Strawberry Frozen Lemonade, 2 ways

Living at the beach has is good points...being able to enjoy the desolate beaches during the spring and early fall, the warm water most of the year and the wonderful coastal weather, until you start thinking about hurricane season.

Now that it is June and school is out, college is out and our town is being swarmed by out-of-state tourist, I tend to stay away from the beaches and the boardwalks and enjoy time out at the pool or sitting outside on my porch with a cold drink, watching the boys play in the sprinklers. If we go to the beach, it is usually really early in the morning or late at night when most of the tourist are scouting out the shops or trying the local cuisine. It is nice not having to fight the crowds.

A few months ago I hopped on a plane and flew out to Texas to visit my husband sans kids. It was one of the funnest things I have done in a long time. We stayed at a beautiful lake front hotel, in a large suite which was fit for fancy people...let me tell you, I sure did feel fancy that weekend. We stopped at a restaurant on the water and ordered way too many of these wonderful, and pretty, frozen lemonade drinks. I think the scenery and the company made the drinks even better.

So now that its warm outside and we are spending more time outside, the hot drinks are being replaced with the cold ones and this one was first on my list to recreate.

Granted I just couldn't get those pretty swirls in mine... it sure did taste good!

2 cups frozen (or fresh) strawberries (about 24 strawberries)
1/2 cup crushed ice (or smallest cubes possible)
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 Tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
3/4 cup water
If you want to make these the Adult version, just add in some Vodka to your own taste
1/4 lemon, sliced, for garnish
1 Tablespoon of ginger, fresh or dried (finely chopped)
A few mint leaves
  1. Allow frozen strawberries to thaw slightly.
  2. Before placing ice cubes in blender, crush large chunks by sealing securely inside a plastic zip bag and rolling over the bag firmly with a rolling pin.
  3. Combine lemon juice, strawberries, sugar substitute or sugar, crushed ice and water in blender jar. If blades get stuck, add more water.
  4. Blend on high with lid tightly secured until smooth and thick.
  5. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Garnish with a slice of lemon & sugar the glass rim, if desired.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY Make-up setting spray

It's that time of year where the weather is getting warmer, the humidity levels are rising and I hate what the combination of those two things do to my makeup. I don't know about you but the melting makeup is not my favorite look to rock during the warmer months. 

There are a few makeup items that I swear by that are made by high end makeup companies...MAC setting spray is a must have, but I do hate the price tag. 

You can use setting sprays to moisturize your skin, set your make up, and add some shine to your hair. If you look cakey with too much face powder you can use this product to make it melt into your skin. It is great in the summer months because it prevents your make up from moving or if you are one of those girls who wears makeup to the gym. If your foundation dries before you buff into your skin all the way, you can spray it on your brush and then finish applying the make up.

Here's how to make it:

  • 1 part pure glycerin (You can find it in the facial care, pharmacy, cooking, or even craft stores) 
  • 3 parts filtered water 
  • Something to put it in, I used an empty MAC bottle

All you do is mix 1/4 glycerin to 3/4 water inside a spray bottle and use. That would be if you have combination skin. If you have oily skin try 1/5 glycerin to 4/5 water and if you have dry skin try using 1/3 part glycerin to 2/3 parts water.
    If you have redness in your skin you can add 1 part rose water, that will also give it a nice rose smell. I like to put one part witch hazel in mine personally because it makes it feel less sticky. If the stickiness is still a problem for you, try just a little rubbing alcohol.  

Give it a try. I hope you like it!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Make your own Chia drinks

I don't know if you have heard about the new "it" drink in the health food stores. First it was Kombucha, which I am not a huge fan of, and now its Chia Seeds. 

Chia seeds themselves have many excellent properties in them. It is marketed as an endurance enhancing super-food  which is popular with a lot of athletes. Chia seeds also have more omega-3's than salmon, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk and are loaded with antioxidants. 

The only bad thing about these yummy drink...they run about $4 a bottle at the local health food store. I don't know about you, but $4 could get me a gallon of gas!

So why not make your own. If you haven't tried them, I would recommend for you to buy one and try it. It has a very interesting texture because when the seeds are added to water they become gelatinous. I believe a lot of people have a texture issue with the drinks. I did at first and now I love them

All you will need is:

1 cup of your choice of juice
I choose lemonade for this demonstration because I am trying to find something that my children will like
1 cup of water
3 Tbsp of Chia seeds

Warm your water up, put it in a cup and add your chia seeds. Stir well until the chia seeds are evenly dispersed and start to swell. Cover the cup and put in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, grab the cup out of the fridge. The seeds should be plump and the water gelatinous.

Mix 1 cup of your chia seed gel with 1 cup of the juice and mix well!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Cheesecake in a Mug


Everyone loves dessert. Sometimes you just don't feel like spending hours slaving in the kitchen making something or you go to make a batch of cookies and easily eat 10, been there done that! 

Some have asked me if there was something other than cake that you could make in a mug. It took me sometime but I think I have found it! This will have to definitely be added to the list of "splurge" items waiting for me on a Friday night.

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sour cream
1 egg
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla
2-4 tbsp sugar (taste as you go)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.
Here are a few options: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream or nut meal.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

I know, I know...when a lot of people see the word vegan they tend to shun away from a recipe. I personally like to try out vegan recipes because 1) most of them are healthier and 2) I run out of milk and eggs A LOT! Those are staples in my children's diet and we go through them crazy fast.

For teacher appreciation day I wanted to send something in for my oldest sons teachers for breakfast. Now a days you never know what people are allergic too, wont or cant eat or if they are just picky eaters. I chose a simple recipe that I knew couldn't go wrong, blueberry muffins.

My son and I made a big batch of them, placed them in a cute little box with a ribbon and off to school he went. They loved them and said it was a nice break from the normal breakfast of coffee and more coffee. If I was a first grade teacher with 24 kids...I would have a pot plugged in sitting on my desk.


1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp backing powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp of coconut oil
2/3 cup of milk, I used almond milk
1 tbsp of lemon juice
and of course blueberries, whoever many you like

Preheat our over to 375.
In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients.
In smaller bowl, mix the milk and vinegar. Let it set for about 5 minutes.
Add the milk/vinegar mixture and the oil to the dry ingredients.
Mix lightly until everything comes together.
Add your blueberries. 
My muffins turned a little blue from the juice of the berries!

Scoop into your muffin tin
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nutella Cake in a Mug

Nutella Mug Cake recipe pictures
Who doesn't love Nutella. To me its one of those wholly grail food items. We eat it on toast  apples, name it I am sure we have tried it.

Recently I did a whole food in-a-mug series and I recently stumbled upon this gem. It takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. Who said you can't have a little dessert tonight!


4 tablespoons self-rising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Whipped Cream Topping (if desired)

½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1½– 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave; mine took 1½ minutes.)
Add heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until almost stiff. Add sugar and beat until heavy cream forms stiff peaks. Top Mug Cakes with whipped cream and a little chocolate sauce, if desired.
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Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY Custom Shade Tinted Moisturizer

It is springtime. Well it is a really screwed up version of springtime. I don't know about where you live but here in North Carolina its 80 degrees, sunny, laying out at the beach weather and the next day its 45 degrees, raining and you are looking for your winter coat.

The warm days are on the way though to stay, hopefully, very soon. When the heat starts to rise and we ungratefully welcome the wonderful humidity, it is time to change from full face makeup to tinted moisturizer. Personally, I don't like the 'my face is melting off' look. The only problem I have is making sure I have the right color. Not only that, living at the beach, I tan very fast. Granted I have more than my fair share of makeup, I really don't want to have to buy a whole range of colors to match my tan and then my fading tan once September gets here.

To make your own custom shade all you will need is a little pot/pan/container, your favorite foundation and moisturizer.

Mix, Mix, Mix

There you have it. Your very own custom shade of tinted moisturizer  You can make a lot of just a little but now you will always have the right shade on hand!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Copy Cat Starbucks Frappuccino

Are you surprised that I found an amazing copy cat recipe for a Starbucks drink, yea me neither. I don't drink these very often but when I am on a road trip and need a pick me up or when I am out running errands on a warm summer day, something about this just hits the spot. Granted I could go for the super caffeinated version of this drink on most days. 

I ran across this recipe not because I was particularly looking for a Starbucks recipe, I just wanted a good iced coffee recipe that I could make that didn't require lots of things that I normally do not keep stocked in my pantry. Plus every now and then its nice to have a cold drink that isn't water.  With summer around the corner, this is something that I will keep on hand for a nice treat and mid-day pick me up.

First lets brew some coffee. Now let me tell you, I actually added 20oz of coffee because with just the 10oz it was too sweet for me. Start with the 10oz first, if its too sweet, add some more coffee. 

To your pitcher add Vanilla coffee creamer.

Then sugar

and a little more sugar.  Pour the hot coffee on top of the sugar mixture in the pitcher. Stir it up and refrigerate for a couple hours, overnight is better though. 

Now when you need a pick me up, something a little cold while you are playing with the kids, just head on over and get a tall glass. 

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Our First Giveaway!!

I started this blog a few months ago to share, trade and learn new things that I could incorporate into my everyday life. Just because I am married and have children does not mean that the only things I am interested are about 'how to get stains out of my mattress' and 'a new way to get your children to eat vegetables'. I am still a girl at heart who loves all things pink, dresses, a nice pair of heels, my collection of makeup, crafting and exploring new spots with my favorite ladies....and the hubby. 

I wanted to thank all of the people who have inspired me and helped me along this journey. I do  hope this becomes something I can do for a very long time. I simply enjoy it! Next to God, my husband and is definitely my 4th favorite thing.

So for that, I am doing a giveaway on my Facebook page. The giveaway is for a Starbucks gift card. My secret place I like to escape to when I have no children...or at least only having one child who is sleeping in the stroller.  Everyone needs a little coffee break once in a while. 

Go on over and like our page and when we reach the specified number of followers, I will randomly choose one lucky person for the card. So get on over there for your chance to win!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coconut Honey DIY Lip Scrub

Even though we are leaving behind the cold winter months, I still like to give my lips a little TLC during the warmer months.

 Lip balm and chapstick will not be able to do there job if they don't have a good foundation to work with. With the summer time rapidly approaching and the countless hours we are going to be spending soaking up the sun, make sure to love on your lips at least once a week just like you would do for your body.

Here is a simple and easy DIY. Once it is made make sure to remember it only has a shelf life of about 2 weeks. So if you make a big batch, give it out to your girlfriends!

Coconut Honey Lip Scrub
1 tbs honey
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs coconut oil

Mix all ingredients to combine. Apply a pea size portion to your lips and rub gently with your index finger. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizing chapstick.

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Images from style within

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberry and Blueberry Compote

I am so excited that it is finally the time of year where all of our local produce stands are opening up. I love the sweet taste of the freshly harvested berries and melons and the crisp crunch of the veggies. This is one of my favorite places to visit, The Veggie Wagon. Its along the beach and you can always find something for a little midday snack as you are lounging in the sand. 

One of my favorite berry recipes to make are compotes. You can make them with so many varieties of berries but strawberries and blueberries have to be my favorite combination. 

Serve them warm over some vanilla ice cream or whip up some homemade whipped cream and dollop it on top of the cooled compote. Whatever you choose, you wont be sorry that you tried it. 

In a small pan place 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of honey, 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1 cup of chopped strawberries. Let it come to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. Use a nonstick pan so the compote does not stick to the pan. 

That is it. Eat it hot or eat it cold, it is your choice!

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