Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day






Thank you to all who have served so that we can be free.  Today as you gather with your family and friends please take a minute to remember all those who have served and their families as well. 

Have a great day!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Flamingo Fever and Fun Float Finds



Good morning! Are you ready for a nice long weekend? Today I woke up and the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, a welcome change from all of the rain.



Image via Pinterest Print for sale on Etsy

I think a change a plans is in order and I will be heading to the beach for a walk instead of puttering around the house.

I know a lot of people do not like pink but I do and I especially like it when it comes in the form of a flamingo, apparently I am the last know know about " flamingos fever" because everywhere I look there they are. Here are a few flamingo finds I spotted this week, I think the pjs and the flamingo cake toppers are my favorite.










Perhaps you will be floating in your pool and soaking up the sun this weekend instead of heading to the beach? One or more of these flats would add a little fun and a touch of whimsy to your pool party.









Or maybe these floats are more your style?



Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites from The Simply Luxurious Life, The Baking Chocolatess, Simply Recipes, How Sweet it Is, The Small Things and More



Good morning and a very happy weekend to you! Do you have big plans for the Memorial Day weekend? It will be raining here for most of the weekend but we are going to make the best of it as we have friends coming to town for the weekend. 



Spring Cheese Board with Beet Whipped Feta


We do have plans for a barbecue on either Sunday or Monday but tonight we will be having this beautiful Spring Cheese Board with Whipped Beet Feta from How Sweet It Is blog with wine and cocktails before we go out for dinner.


Image Simply Recipes via Pinterest


I am a huge fan of brownies and I think they are the perfect dessert for a holiday party. This recipe for Fudgy Chocolate Brownies from Simply Recipes looks like an easy and delicious treat to make over the weekend, you may have to double or triple it though because this recipe only makes an 8" pan. 



The Baking Chocolatess Image


If you do not feel like baking and would still like to serve something sweet and somewhat healthy(fruit is healthy) than you could make these Patriotic Explosion Cheesecake Desserts from The Baking Chocolatess


Last week I told you about the the summer reading list by The Modern Mrs. Darcy this week I want to tell you about The Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club with video discussions, a forum and a Facebook page. The cost is $10.00  month but if you love reading and discussing books with like mixed individuals this might be the book club for you. (P.S. I do not receive any compensation for mentioning this, I simply love The Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and her books lists). 


Speaking of wellness, this post 10 Things That You Will Be Thankful That You Never Did, by The Simply Luxurious Life is filled with excellent advice.

My sister sent me 7 Ways to Support the Women Around You and I think it has excellent advice.

Have you read or watched the USC Will Ferrell commencement speech? If not watch this. 


Image Here


If you are a foodie than you are familiar with James Beard. Now you can watch and learn everything about him by watching Jame Beard: Americas First Foodie!

This week 22 people lost their lives and 90 were injured after enjoying a concert in Manchester.  This post by Tania of The Small Thing  is written from the heart and says what I think many are feeling. 

I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend. Enjoy your family and friends. 




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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Just Curious...What are Your Favorite Memorial Day Food and Drinks?


Good morning! Summer is just around the corner and to me summer is all about family fun, long days at the ocean, getting out on my paddle board, lazy days in the sun reading and lots of food at barbecues, parties, and family dinners. 


 Pepper Crusted Bacon Cheeseburger
Pepper Crusted Bacon Cheeseburger

This weekend is Memorial Day and although it is a day set aside to celebrated the men 
and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces it is also a day about family and friends. More often than not families get together to celebrate and remember with a barbecue, my personal favorite way to spend a beautiful sunny day. 



Image from Delish


The perfect barbecue has to have a few staples and one of them is a burger, this year I will be trying a Pepper Crusted Bacon Cheeceburger. I also think potato salad is a must, although I love traditional potato salad and make it often, sometimes I like a chage so this year maybe I will try a little Bacon Ranch Potato Salad



Image from Real Food Girl


I also love to have a big pot of baked beans and this recipe for Brown Sugar Maple Baked Beans with Bacon from Real Food Girl.


Image Hungry for More

Of course you could always make a little Blue Cheese Coleslaw




or an easy this Strawberry, Pineapple, Mint salad with Lime dressing. 


Do you serve beer and wine or are you more of a cocktail person?





If I am going to have a summer cocktail I like it to be slushy and fruity and this Frozen Sangaria Margarita looks perfect.




Outrageous Chocolate Cookies


One of my all time favorite foods at any party is the desserts and for barbecues I think that the simpler they are to make the better. You could make these scrumptious Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake Bars or


Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake Bars


You could also make a huge pan of Magic Bars, or one of your favorite cereal treats! 




Now that I have told you all about my favorite barbecue food let me ask you, what are you favorite things to make, serve and to eat? Of course it you have a favorite recipe that you frequently make I would love to hear about it. 

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Ultimate Banana Bread from Cooks Illustrated






Good evening! I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. Here it was wild with weird weather, we started the weekend in the 80's, then we had a lot of wind, rain and the temps dropped to the low 60's on Saturday where it has stayed until today.

While the weather was cool I did make a few things, one of which was The Ultimate Banana Bread from Cooking Light. Although it may seem as if it has more steps than your usual banana bread recipe they are worth it. The bread is moist and it has a wonderful banana flavor unlike most breads.





Recipe from Cooking Light

13/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large very ripe bananas
8 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped(optional)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and move the oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 81/2 x 41/2 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together. 

Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in the top. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes until the bananas are soft and have released liquid. Transfer the bananas to a fine-mesh stainer and place over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally. In 15 minutes you should have 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid. Pour bananas into a bowl. 

Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour the reduced liquid into the bananas, mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. 

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combines with some streaks of flour still visible. Gently fold in the walnuts, if using. Scrape into prepared pan then sprinkle with sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-75 minutes. Then removed from oven and let bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. 






I hope that you try this recipe and I hope that you have a wonderful week. 



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday Favorites from Joy the Baker, Add a Pinch, Decor8, Fiona Lewis, The Modern Mrs. Darcy and More


Good morning and a very happy Friday to you! Did you have a good week? I had a busy but great one that had me counting the days until Friday which is funny because I have a list a page long to get done this weekend because we have guests next weekend.





In addition to cleaning and putting the two baths that we had remodeled to rights I am searching for new recipes to try on my guests. Of course I will make a few of my favorites but I love to experiment with new recipes. 


Summer Tomato Cobbler from Joy the Baker

One of the recipes I think I am going to make, which my sister actually found for me, is  an interesting Summer Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese from Joy the Baker.



The Best Chocolate Cake Ever


When I see a recipe that is called The Best Chocolate Cake Ever I have to bake it. This recipe from Add a Pinch is definitely on my list to make next week not only because I love chocolate cake but because my friends that are visiting do as well. 


I will also be making a batch or two of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treats treats for the kids, you can find the recipe HERE.


Image from Marla Meridith


And I think I will whip of a batch of these Champagne Lemonade Margaritas as well. 

Want to be happier? Be more Selfish. Great article for everybody to read. 

Holly, the incredibly talented blogger and writer of Decor8 has been an inspiration and teacher to many. This recent post, Am I Enough? made me realize that no matter how successful, intelligent, beautiful, funny you are we all ask ourselves the same questions and put our pants on one leg at a time. 

I discovered a fun new blog called Fiona Lewis Guilty Pleasures and a French Chateau, Fiona an artist and writer who has lived a fabulous life of adventure woke up in her late 50's and asked herself "is this it?" and then bought herself a chateau. 


Image from The Modern Mrs. Darcy

Summer to me means books. Each summer I would walk to library with my siblings and sign up for the summer reading contest and I would leave the library with a stack of books bigger than me. All these years later I still think of summer as a time to read and I get stacks of books to keep me busy while at the beach, or on vacation. This week I found two summer book lists, one from Goop and another list from The Modern Mrs. Darcy! If you are a voracious reader I think between the two lists you will start the summer off right. 

Did you read anything interesting this week, or watch a new movie? Did you make anything tasty and sweet? Or did you have an amazing adventure? Please share if you did! 

Have a great weekend. 





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Just Curious...What is Your Favorite Perfume?


Good afternoon! Only one more day until the weekend, not that I am counting or anything. It seems like it has been a long week and I feel like being a bum and sitting at the beach.
I am not really a makeup person, I typically use eyeliner, mascara and that is it, occasionally I will wear lipstick or gloss. But I love perfume and I wear it everyday. I have my favorite brands and scents but I am always open to something new.

I can remember as a young girl my mom always wore Opium and that spicy scent always reminded me of adventures. I was drawn to YSL Paris and Loves Baby Soft and once I took my first trip to Europe the scent world was my oyster. Every summer I would return from Paris with a suitcase of new fragrances after spending hours at the Galeries Lafayette and other perfume stores.


Perfume Print from Etsy


I am drawn to fruity, floral, scents with hints of vanilla and sugar and my favorites are anything by Lollia, especially the Relax scent with honey, lavender, vanilla and more. I also have every scent created by Issey Miyake and find the lilies and rose scents perfect for summer. You can never go wrong with Jo Malone one of my favorites is the Star Magnolia. I could go on and on but I am curious what are your favorite scents and perfumes?





Sources: Chanel Chance Eau Vive//Jo Malone London(TM) 'Peony & Blush Suede'//Dior Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming //Valentino Valentina //Miller Harris - Perfumer's Library Jasmine & Sicilian Lemon,//Diptyque Rose //Vera Wang Princess of Hearts //Versace Woman //Very Irresistible by Givenchy//Lolita Lempicka Women's Perfume//Givenchy Ange ou Demon Le Secret Elixir //Nina by Nina Ricci //Bottega Veneta Knot Eau Florale//Miller Harris - Perfumer's Library Tuberosa Eau De Parfum - Indian Tuberose & Jasmine//Christian Louboutin Beauty - //tornade Blonde Perfume Oil, 30ml - one size//Agonist Floralust Perfume Spray//Acqua Di Parma 'Peonia Nobile' Perfume//Namaka  by Hi Wildflower Botanica //Night Blossom  by Hi Wildflower Botanica Byredo - Angelica Seeds & Sicilian Lemon//Issey Miyake 'L'Eau D'Issey Florale' 



Are you drawn to florals, fruity scents, or are you drawn to spicy, woodsy, exotic scents? Please share your favorite scents and perfumes. And perhaps even a memory associated with it. 


Have a great day!


Linking to:
A Stroll Thru Life

Summer Cocktail Napkins and Drinks


Memorial day is just a couple of week away and it is considered the "official" start to summer. For many that means lazy days at the beach, or sitting on the porch with a glass of sweet tea or lemonade and a stack of books, it also means barbecues and parties.


Blush Lily



I found some fun cocktail napkins that I think would be great to use this summer whether you are entertaining a bunch or just yourself. 








Strawberry Limeade


Do you have a favorite summer drink? I love limeade and drink it all the time. As for cocktails I like Blush Lily's and cold crisp champagne.

I hope that you have a fabulous day~



NOTE: If you like the item you can click on the item photo to be taken to the webpage. These are affiliated links so I may make a few cents if you click on it.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Cake


Good morning! How was your weekend? Did you have a nice Mother's day? I hope that whatever you did it was relaxing. My weekend was great. Sunday, after  4 days of rain the sun came out, it was 75 and we were able to spend a little time outside. 






I also found a little time on Saturday to make this scrumptious cake. Spring means fresh strawberries at the farmers market and this weekend was no exception. The berries were fresh, sweet, ripe and juicy. This cake is the perfect showcase for fresh berries and it is so easy. If you do not have strawberries than try blueberries or raspberries. 





Fresh Strawberry Cake 

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
11/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/3 cup all purpose flour
11/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
16 oz. fresh strawberries, steamed and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Then add the eggs, one and a time and beat well after each egg is added. Add the vanilla and beat well. 

In a medium mixing bowlwhisk together the flour, baking powder and the salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the sour cream. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat only until the mixture is just combined. Do not over mix. 

Fold the fresh strawberries into the batter and then spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar evenly over the top. 

Bake cake 30-40 minutes or until ta toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cook completely on a wire rack. 






This cake is prefect for breakfast or dessert. It is so easy to make that you could whip it up on a weekend morning and then have it for brunch with the family. I think it would make a great addition to your summer barbecue or picnic. I am making it again this week with raspberries which are my favorite berry and I think I may add a little almond extract as well. 






Did you make anything delicious this weekend? Maybe a family recipe  to celebrate your mom? If you would like to share please do. I love to hear and learn about family recipes and to try new ones out as well. 

Have a great week. 


Linking to:
Metamorphisis Monday
Savvy Southern Style
A Stroll Thru Life
Ducks in a Row

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day






Happy Mother's Day to my mom. I am so blessed to have a strong, intelligent, loving, wonderful mom. Thank you mom for making me what I am today. I love you mom and I cannot wait to see you. 

To all of the mom's, step-mom's, mother figures, mothers-in-law, and all of the ladies who follow me, Happy Mother's day to you! 

To all of my friends and followers who have lost their mom's, I hope today that the memories of your mom wrap around you and envelope you in love. 

I hope that you have a wonderful day where you are surrounded by love!




Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Friday Favorites from My Suburban Kitchen, Rasamalasia, Recipe Runner, What's Gabby Cooking and More


Good morning and a very happy Friday to you! This Sunday is Mother's day, do you have any special plans? Sadly I will not be celebrating with my mom because she will be at home, luckily she will have my sisters to celebrate with. I will be seeing her sometime soon and we will celebrate then. 



Raspberry Lemon Mimisas from Aberdeens Kitchen


Mothers day is an occasion to celebrate all of the special women in our lives, our mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunts, friends, cousins, daughters and even ourselves, all of the women who are mothers, are mother figures or sometimes just act like our mother.  It is also a time to celebrate the mothers who are gone, remember the memories and celebrate your special times. 

This Raspberry Lemon Mimosa from Aberdeen's Kitchen would be the perfect drink to raise a toast to them all and everything that they have done for us.


Breakfast Potatoes from What's Gabby Cooking

You could celebrate mom in the morning with some fluffy eggs, bacon and these breakast potatoes  from Whats Gabby Cooking.


Berry Salad from Recipe Runner


Or you could serve this Berry Salad with Feta Cheese from Recipe Runner for lunch or dinner along with a 







Garlic Lemon Pasta


For the mom's who are not seafood lovers you could serve Garlic Lemon Chicken made by My Suburban Kitchen.

I would be lying if I did not say that if my mom was here with me our day would revolve around sugar. We would start out with some Cinnamon Roll Muffins for breakfast.



Then we would have a little bowl of Creamy Rice Pudding with Summer Berries, which is one of my mom's favorite desserts for lunch.






And for dinner my mom would have a slice, or two of her favorite cake in the world, Sunshine Cake. This cake is light like angel food and the frosting is a cross between 7 minute frosting and marshmallow fluff. It stays soft and fluffy even after a day or two. 






Bring your mom a bouquet of her favorite flowers, write her a card, or  get her a little something that she might not get for herself. 







But most importantly, shower your mom and all of the women in your life(including yourself) with hugs, kisses and lots of love. 


Have a wonderful weekend. Be safe if you are in the path of the Nor'Easter.






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