Monday, March 31, 2014

Darling Daughter Spring Picks

This past week has been a blur of busyness.  Since my 93 year old grandmother passed away we had been trying to purchase last minute plane tickets to Florida during spring break season.  BTW that was no easy task.  We also were juggling husby's work and the boys school schedules so we could sneak away.  We figured it all out and made it happen-a girls trip for Caroline and I.  We left the boys home for a few days and jetted off to Florida and stayed with my mom for the services.  So nice to spend time with my only girl!!  Now, our spring break falls over Easter every year so we are still a few weeks away from a real vacation but we got a little taste of warm weather and tropical breezes-Just what we both needed after a long, cold winter.  It's time to think spring even though mother nature does not want to cooperate at home.  We are tired of the cold weather and want to brighten up our days with color. It's time for a closet overhaul for my daughter and  thoughts of warmer weather are the inspiration!  We must think spring and in a few weeks spring BREAK!! :)

Click on the numbers below for more information:
Happy Shopping!!!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Perfect Crepes Every Time

My wonderful 93 year old grandmother (we called her Noni) passed away peacefully over the weekend.  She was elegant and glamorous and loved to entertain.  One of her recipes that she made for my brother and I when we were kids were perfect crepes.  She would make them for breakfast and we always called them "Noni's omelets."  Her recipe is simple and you can fill them with all kinds of wonderful things.  Our favorite was plain maple syrup but my kids love strawberries and whipped cream.  So this weekend we made her specialty, remembering at the same time what a wonderful grandmother she was.

Perfect Crepes
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Blend everything at high speed in blender.  Let stand 2 hours or overnight for best results.  If your like me and fail to plan ahead it's OK to skip the standing part.  
Heat nonstick skillet and pour batter to thinly cover the bottom.  When the edges begin to brown flip crepe and cook other side for about 30 seconds more. 
Fill crepes with strawberries, blue berries, chocolate syrup, maple syrup or anything else that sounds wonderful to you.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Puppy Love

For the last week we have been watching our good friends' black lab puppy, Hunter while they are off skiing in Montana.  It's been a long time since we've had a puppy in the house. Our Golden Retriever, Carlton is going to be 12 this summer.  Ohhh how I love a puppy!!!  I love the energy, playfulness, puppy groans and above all else, how almost overnight it has made our old man dog-young again. These two pups play and wrestle all day long and at night crash out on the floor-exhausted.  All that puppy play calls for some major dog treats!!!  And today we are making some.
Peanut Butter Dog Treats
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well until combined.  Knead the dough into a large ball and roll out onto wax paper.  Use cookie cutters or in my case a silicon baking mold.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Store in an air tight container or gallon zip lock bag.  

Sweet Hunter

Exhausted Pups

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lucky Leprechaun

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  Every year in our house the leprechaun visits and makes a real mess.  He scatters glittery shamrocks all over the kitchen and leaves us gold coins.  We feast on green bagels, and lucky charms-The Breakfast of Irish Champions, I'm sure!!!  Tonight, we'll go out to our neighborhood Irish Pub and listen to some Irish music and feast on gourmet Irish cuisine:)  This year I'm making Lucky Leprechauns to celebrate St. Paddy's.

This drink is not for the wee one's, rather for all the mommies off duty when the kids are tucked in their beds!! Simple and festive!

Lucky Leprechaun
1 bottle of your favorite champagne
several drops of kelly green food coloring

In our house green champagne is a hard sell for the hubsy so he celebrates the traditional way.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
"May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours, that stay with you all the year long."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Fever

As we are enduring our gazillionth snow storm I am dreaming of a beach vacation.  Warm and tropical and far away from our wintry city.  Our spring break is still weeks away but that doesn't stop me from doing some online swimsuit shopping.  It can be really hard finding a great swim suit but now there are so many wonderful options and online retailers that offer free shipping and free returns so you can try on a bunch at home and send back the ones that just aren't right.  No problem.  And if you're like me and don't look like the supermodel Candice in a bikini than I have some great options for you.

photo from celebuzz

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Here are some other great options as well.  

It's time to think spring and try on some great suits!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perfect Popovers

You can call me a bread lover-crazy for carbs.  I love to be healthy but I also can't give up the bread.  Everything in moderation right!??  Occasionally I will indulge in an all carb breakfast and my kids, forget about it, they can't get enough carbs in the morning.  To give the pancakes and waffles a break I have the perfect popover recipe that one of my former teacher friends gave me long ago with a popover pan.  These popovers contain no yeast or active rising ingredient but they turn out to be wonderful bites of fluffy air and when you coat them with cinnamon and sugar they make the most delicious morning treat.     

Perfect Popovers
3 Eggs
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 Cups milk
1 1/2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup saugar and 1Tablespoon cinnamon for topping
Vegetable oil for coating popover pan
Popover pan, muffin tin, or individual ramekins for baking

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend the eggs and milk together in a blender until combined. Add flour, melted butter, and vanilla until smooth and bubbly, about one minute. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes.
2. While the batter is resting, it’s time to heat up the muffin pan. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil into each popover cup. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and make sure there’s not a rack directly above—remember your popovers are going to rise and you don’t want another oven rack to squish them. After the batter has rested 20 minutes, place pan in oven to heat the oil. You want the pan to have a good 10 minutes in the oven to heat.
3. After batter has rested, remove pan from the oven and, working quickly, divide batter among the cups. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes (don’t open the oven door). Then lower heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until popovers are golden brown, about 15 minutes more. After removing from the oven, gently flip them out onto a wire rack. I used a butter knife here–sometimes they take a little shimmying.
4. If you choose to make cinnamon sugar popovers mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Thoroughly brush each popover all over with the 1/4 cup of melted butter, then dredge each puff generously in the sugar mixture. Enjoy warm.

Give this recipe a try-you won't be disappointed!
What are some of your favorite go-to breakfasts???

Thursday, March 6, 2014

DIY Shamrock Shakes

Love this time of year when shamrock shakes are all the rage.  We decided to make our own for an after school treat!  Save your trip to the drive thru.  These DIYers are super easy and so yum!

DIY Shamrock Shake
3 cups vanilla ice cream
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring until minty green

Combine in blender and top with whipped cream!  A super perfect treat for St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My First BirchBox Is Here

I got my first Birchbox!!!  I was so excited to open my first one.  I love trying new products and this little baby is only $10/month.  I am sure I would be spending way more searching for the very best. And here it is….the anticipation is too much I'm sure!!!

The editors at US Weekly teamed up with Birchbox to give us celebrity favorites this month.

This Wish body cream smells incredible-a hint of raspberry but clean and fresh and not at all overpowering.  It is very thick but goes on light and doesn't leave a greasy residue.  Great for an after shower moisturizer.

Dr. Brandt is a lightly tinted cream that you would apply under your regular make up as a primer. It's a pore minimizer-not really sure if it actually shrinks your pores or helps to conceal.

I really like this Skin Transformer by Sarah McNamara.  It lightens and brightens your skin just a bit and it is especially nice to use under the eyes for a bright eye look that you know I love.

This perfume has a hint of musk but not overwhelming.  

Haven't tried the teas yet but am looking forward to tearing one open this afternoon especially on this snowy day and yes it's March 5th and still snowing!-ugh

What do you think about my first Birchbox???
I'm already looking forward to what April brings!

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's Time For A Bit Of King Cake

Nothing says Mardi Gras like a yummy king cake!  Each year we run out and get one to celebrate Fat Tuesday.  The kids love to eat it piece by piece until one of them finds the little plastic baby!  This year I had every plan to make one from scratch but we've been so busy that making one will have to wait another year.  I found some great recipes if you want to give it a try, or like me hit the bakery and save them til net year!

Skinny Mom has this great recipe if you are watching your waistline.

Loved the look of this one from Lemon Sugar.

Betty Crocker  has this version.

Pillsbury  gives us the recipe for these easy mini-king cakes.

Looking forward to Fat Tuesday and the excuse for a little over indulgence.
The boys are trying to figure out where the baby is hiding.

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