Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Night Lights

Posted by Devin

I love mason jars and when I recently attended a market selling homemade goods, I spotted the cutest little lit up mason jars with small items inside. I didn't inspect them closely enough to see exactly how they were made, but when I got home I decided I HAD to make some for my boys' rooms. They were just too cute!

Here is what you will need to make these super easy DIY night lights:

Stick N Click Lights (I bought mine from Bed Bath & Beyond)
Wide Mouth Mason Jars (they need to be wide mouth to fit the Stick N Clicks inside them)
AAA Batteries (3 for each light)
Small Toys
Hot Glue Gun

So really, this tutorial could not be any easier. First take your Stick N Click and remove the 3M paper which covers the sticky pad. Center the light over the lid and stick it on.

Now take your selected toy and using a little hot glue to keep it secure, glue it into place.

There are so many fun little toys you could use for this project: animals, cars, boats, dinosaurs, robots... Can you tell I have boys? Lol. Little duckies or bears would be cute for babies as well, but as for girl stuff you'll all have to figure that one out on your own. ;) 

My boys are pretty excited about their new night lights. They're so cute, maybe I'll make one for my room! ;) Happy crafting, everyone!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Fluster Buster //

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Caprese Paninis

Posted by Tara

Nothing tastes better than a warm panini off the griddle. With summer here and tomatoes in season, I felt it would be appropriate to share my Caprese Paninis. It is all the yummy ingredients of a caprese salad pressed into a sandwich. Can't get any better than that! Here is what you'll need:

French Bread
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Garlic Clove
Fresh Mozzarella

I first want to talk about the bread. I have tried lots of breads for paninis and I have found the round loaves to be the best. They are dense and crusty; perfect for a panini press. The softer the bread, the less likely it will hold it's form in the press.
I sliced my bread and drizzled olive oil on the side I laid on the press. I then sliced my mozzarella and placed it across the bread.

Next I sliced my tomatoes and drizzled them heavily in balsamic vinegar. You should probably be smarter than me (very easy to do) and just pour some balsamic vinegar and a little red onion in a bowl with the tomatoes and let them infuse all the flavor.

When the tomatoes are ready, place on top of the mozzarella and then add your basil. You can roughly chop the basil or just lay the leaves right on top.

Now place another slice of bread on top and continue to cook until golden. Once it looks done, I get my garlic clove and cut it in half. I scrape the bread with the clove to infuse the bread with the clove oils. You can do it a little or a lot. I like it to scrape it quite a bit to make sure all those clove oils seep into the crusty bread.

Then you are ready to eat! These sandwiches are great for lunch as well as dinner. I hope you enjoyed my recipe and feel free to pin to your "food" board on pinterest! :)

Linking up with: Creative Collection, LinkParty Palooza, Practically Functional, Just Us Four,, Pink When

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Touch of Cream Outfit

Posted by Tara

I am starting to love everything vintage; from home decor to now clothing. I was recently given some clothing from my Great-Grandmother and I was so excited to wear them! Today I am showing one of the pieces I received from her.

This blouse is lovely. It's sheer and has a lot of great detail. I love the color cream and adding it to an outfit because I always feel like it pops! I paired her top with my go-to boyfriend jeans and wedges. 

I decided with the pleats on the front, I wanted a simple necklace. I added my ombre necklace I got from Charming Charlie. 

I also added a clutch and sunnies. This nude clutch can go with any outfit, but I love what it added to this one. And everyone needs a good pair of aviators. I get mine from H&M. They always fit my face perfectly and are cheap!

This blouse adds the perfect amount of brightness to this outfit.

Vintage clothes are fun and also a great reminder of our ancestors or family members. Every time I wear mine I think of my Grandmother. I encourage you to wear any hand me downs you may have received or go out and hit Goodwill and find some treasures to wear! Also if you need tips on How to Make Vintage Clothes Current be sure to check out Brassy Apple today for my tips!

Linking up with: Plane Pretty, Manic Monday, Mix It Monday, Trend Spin, Stylelixir, The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So,  Fashion Informant, Tres Chic Thursday, Three-fer Thursday,

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Homemade Caramel Corn

Posted by Tara

A few years ago my best friend Brittany made some caramel corn for me. I had never been a huge fan of caramel corn. I loved popcorn, but not covered in caramel. That all changed after I tasted this recipe. It's so good and so very addicting! It's hard not to eat the entire batch! It's really easy, so let's get started! Here is what you'll need:

Baking Soda
Light Corn Syrup
Brown Sugar

I start by popping the bag of popcorn. This recipe calls for 7-8 cups and that's about what one bag will pop. I used 2 bags because I didn't want to use the pieces from the bottom of the bag. The less unpopped kernels for this recipe, the better. I place the pre-popped popcorn in a pan and keep it warm in the oven at 300 degrees. 

Next I begin making my caramel mixture. I combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. 

Once it starts to boil, I don't stir it and let it continue for 5 minutes. After it boils, I remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda and stir really well. Then I pour over popcorn. 

Stir lightly with caramel mixture on popcorn. You will want to try and get all of the popcorn completely coated without crushing it. Then place back in oven for another 15 minutes at 300 degrees. When done, place popcorn on a cookie sheet to cool and it is ready to eat! 

7-8 cups of popped popcorn
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Remove all unpopped kernels from the popped popcorn. Put popcorn into a baking or roasting pan. Keep popcorn warm in a 300 degree oven while making caramel mixture. 
2. For caramel mixture: in a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes. 
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn; stir gently to coat. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir mixture; bake 5 minutes more. Spread caramel corn on a large piece of buttered foil to cool. Store tightly covered for 1 week.
Recipe adapted from friend's Cook Book. 

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Printable 4th of July Banner

Posted by Devin

Isn't Independence Day the funnest holiday? Fireworks and picnics and games and patriotic songs... does it get any better? And if you're lucky, you may even get to be in a parade!  If you're really lucky, you may get to ride in a classic little red wagon in that parade! And if you're really, REALLY lucky, you may get to ride with CHICKENS in that parade! Seriously, it does NOT get any better than THAT! ;)

OK, so maybe our parade was just through our yard and only consisted of Cash, but he sure enjoyed himself! And little red wagon or no, I made the cutest printable banner to share with all of you today! You can use it for whatever patriotic decor your heart desires. ;) The whole banner fits on one standard sheet of paper so you simply have to click and print the image below. Easy-peasy!

Whether or not your holiday includes wagons or chickens this year (even if it happens to be fried chicken), I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Independence Day! Let freedom ring!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Just Us Four // Practically Functional // Pink When //

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Monday, June 16, 2014

No Bake Cookies

Posted by Devin

This recipe comes from my Grandmother Diane. She gave it to me at one of my bridal showers oh so many years ago and told me that she had spent quite a lot of time getting it just right. When a Grandma gives you their special "just right" recipe, you make sure you use it and don't lose it!

Grandma Diane 

When my Grandma was a young mom like me, she and my Grandfather moved their family of five to Australia to try their hand at farming in the Outback. It was during this time in her life that she made a lot of her special No Bake Cookies. Here are a few pictures from their time there.

Grandpa on the farm.

My Dad ready to go for a swim.

Their Aussie home.

 My uncle Kevin (little guy crouched down) with some friends and a wallaby.

My Grandma told me that while they were living there she avoided using the oven as much as possible since it would get so warm in the house. Because of this, she made No Bake Cookies quite often and had lots of opportunities to perfect her recipe. As an Arizonian, I love having this recipe on hand! It is quick and easy and also keeps my desert kitchen cool in the summer. This recipe is not all that different from many No Bake Cookie recipes you'll find on the internet, but I have made it many times and I know it's a winner! I think Grandma got the ingredient amounts just right.

2 c. sugar
2 T. cocoa
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
3 c. quick cooking oats

Step 1 - Put your oats, peanut butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl and set aside.

Step 2 - Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a saucepan and heat until boiling on the stove. Keep stirring to prevent burning while the mixture heats up.

Step 3 - Pour the heated mixture into the large bowl containing the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Step 4 - Drop the cookie mixture by the spoonful onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets and shape to your desired size. At this point you can simply let your cookies cool on the counter and then eat, but we like to put ours right into the freezer and keep them frozen until we are ready to enjoy them. Yum!

I hope you enjoy this classic summertime treat! Thanks for stopping by!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Fluster Buster // Simple Supper // Moonlight and Mason Jars // Just Us Four // Practically Functional // Pink When //

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

eShakti Fifties Style Shirtdress

Posted by Devin

Ok, now it's my turn to review an eShakti dress! Tara and I were both asked to do clothing reviews for eShakti and we were super excited to give it a try. If you missed Tara's review you can check it out here.

First of all, I have to say what a hard time I had selecting a dress to review. eShakti has so many beautiful dresses, it was really really hard for me to choose! But after a lot of internal anguish over my decision, I finally settled on this red Fifties Style Poplin Shirtdress. I have been loving vintage looks lately and in the end I couldn't pass up this vintage-inspired dress.

eShakti has an amazing ordering process where you can customize every dress to your specifications. On most dresses you get to select your neckline, sleeve length, dress length, and whether or not you would like pockets (but seriously, who wouldn't want pockets?!!). On top of this, you give them your measurements so you know your dress is going to be custom tailored to your body type. My dress fits like a glove.

This fifties style dress is such a classic. I am in love with the cut, the collared neck, the full skirt, the banded waist... it's a winner! And the red is fantastic. My closet was seriously lacking any red and I always like to have a red dress as a wardrobe staple. Now that I have this one, I am back in business!

As you can probably tell, I am super happy with my dress and highly recommend eShakti if you are looking for a fabulous dress of your own. My only problem is that I still want the runner-up in my dress selection process! I may have to order it soon...

What I Wore:
Fifties Style Poplin Shirtdress - eShakti
Striped Wedges - Target
Clutch - Thrifted

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Friday, June 13, 2014

8 Summer Drinks

Posted by Tara

One thing I get excited about in the summer is all of the fruity drinks! I am always down for trying out new punch or drink recipes and today I thought I would share some favorites! You will see a trend of lemonades and fruity drinks, plus some mouth-watering shakes! I'm already getting thirsty just talking about these... let me get started!

When I think of summer I think of coconuts and pineapples. Pina Coladas are one of my favorite drinks! It's tropical and makes you feel like you should be sipping it on a beach somewhere. Six Sisters' Stuff shares this great, easy recipe on a Pina Colada Smoothie. I seriously drool looking at this!

You can't go wrong in the summer with slushies! Kate from Our Best Bites shares this Banana Slush Punch. This cool, sweet, summer treat is easy to make with minimal ingredients. Slushies are a must, so why not make it at home? You have got to try this one this summer!

You simply must have lemonade at least once during the summer, am I right? At least in my house you do... Lately when I go to the grocery store I am overcome with the scent of the fresh peaches! This Peach Lemonade from Jillian at Food Folks and Fun is refreshing and sweet. You can't go wrong combining peaches and lemons. :) This yummy drink is a definite crowd pleaser!

Well, I am going to step off the path of "fruity" drinks for a minute to introduce you to my other love.... CHOCOLATE. In the summer, chocolate shakes are perfect. It's an "after the kids go to bed" drink for me! This Chocolate Shake from Have a Yummy Day is fast and easy to make. Is it bed time yet? I'm ready for one now!

Rebecca from The Crafted Sparrow shares her recipe for Lemon Coconut Italian Soda. Now, if you haven't tried Italian sodas, they are delicious. My husband and I used to frequent a restaurant where they served them and I would always fill up on the soda before the food. lol This drink will definitely keep you satisfied this summer!

Next is a drink I shared last summer. It's my Cucumber Limeade. A lot of people hear cucumber and get put off by it, but it works really well in this drink. This drink is something you would want to sip on while relaxing in the spa, but since there is no spa around here I make it when I'm hot and need a refreshing drink!

During the summer I feel like I hit the mall more often than usual. Every time I am there, I have to get an Orange Julius. This Orange Julius Copycat recipe from The Recipe Critic will be much needed this summer for those cravings after my mall trips. If you like Orange Julius, this recipe tastes as close as you can get to the real thing!

Watermelon. Need I say more? Any drink that is mixed with watermelon has me SOLD. This Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade from Gourmande in the Kitchen looks delicious! This simple recipe is also healthy. EVEN better! Got to give this a try!

Thanks for much for checking out some of my picks for refreshing drinks this summer! Be sure to pin this and check out all of those featured! 

Linking up with: Practically Functional, Just Us Four,

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