Slideshow Widget

My Cozy Day Must-haves

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I live in Southern California, and while we may not have nearly as cold of weather as the rest of the country, there have been a few days recently that have been pretty chilly.  It didn't help that our entire family was sick on and off for the better part of last month.  For us, January was all about staying warm and cozy and trying to get well! That brings me to my point... I was recently asked to partner with Parachute Home to bring you my cozy day must-haves.

Parachute Home is a wonderful new brand that features high quality bedding at a more reasonable price than its competitors.  The bedding is all made in Italy, and is of the highest quality Egyptian cotton.  Who doesn't love affordable luxuries, because I do! And, when it comes to comfort and a good night's sleep, even better! These days, I will take all the help I can get in the sleep department.

A warm and cozy bed is a start, but there is much more that goes into a cozy day at home.  Take a look at my cozy day must-haves:


Ultra-soft blanket: I love blankets, and this Threshold Microplush Blanket is one of my favorites because it is huge and you can cuddle up with someone under it and still have room to spare.  I use mine every morning when I cuddle up with Henley, have my coffee, and read her favorite books to her.

Coffee:  Not just any coffee...coffee with peppermint mocha creamer and peppermint whipped cream.  My favorite way to drink coffee, complete with my Monogrammed Mug from Anthropologie.

Cute and Comfy Sweats: My absolute favorite sweatpants ever are Victoria Secret PINK Boyfriend Pants. They are so soft, baggy, and comfortable that I wear them almost every night.  As soon as Henley goes to bed, I pull these on to catch up on my T.V. shows, not to mention that I live in them during the winter.

Popcorn and a Movie: For Christmas, we got a Waring Deluxe Popcorn Maker and we use it at least once a week.  I was skeptical at first (because really, do we have room for another big appliance?) but fresh popped popcorn really is so much better (and better for you) than the microwavable kind...I love it! Add a movie or favorite show to go along with the popcorn and it's the perfect cozy day activity.

Cozy Bedding: At the end of the day, I can't wait to lay down and snuggle up in my bed.  I used to go on vacation and revel in the big, comfy beds that I would stay in, until we bought our bed and bedding.  Now, when we go away, I can't wait to get back to my own bed at home!  That's where Parachute Home comes in: their signature set, The Venice, consists of a fitted sheet, duvet, and pillowcases. It is made of 100% Egyptian cotton and stonewashed for a soft, lived-in feel.

There you have it, my cozy day must-haves!  What are your favorite ways to stay cozy in these winter months?

Valentine's Rice Krispie Treat Pops

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I cannot believe that Valentine's Day is this weekend!  This year, every holiday has been extra exciting with little Henley around.  I can't wait to share with you her Valentine's outfit; it is so stinking cute!  I know she's only ten months old, but she is my little love and since Brent works on Valentine's day, she is my little Valentine this year.

To get into the spirit, I made some Valentine's Rice Krispy Treat Pops today.  They are so easy and are sure to be a hit with the kiddos (and kids at heart).


What you need:
  •  5 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 4 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 (half a stick) of butter
  • Wax Paper
  • 9 x 13" Pan
  • Wilton's Candy Melts
  • Sprinkles
  • Cake Pop Sticks
  • Heart Cookie Cutters
Directions:
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Once melted, add in mini marshmallows and stir until well mixed and melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies.
  3. Spoon into the pan and with wax paper, press and evenly distribute the Rice Krispies treats mixture in the pan.  The wax paper keeps the treats from sticking to your fingers.
  4. Let the treats set and cool for 10 minutes, then use the cookie cutters to cut hearts out.  The treats should still be warm enough to combine scraps from the cut outs to make more heart shapes. 
  5. Let the heart cut outs set another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Heat the Candy Melts according to package directions.  Drizzle or spread onto the treats as desired.
  7. Quickly add the sprinkles before the drizzle hardens!
  8. Once the melted chocolate hardens completely, insert the cake pop stick, and there you have i, Valentine's Rice Krispie Treat Pops!



Valentine's Gift Ideas for New Moms

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. A day practically devoted to candy and flowers (oh, and love)...what woman doesn't love this holiday?!  I say woman because let's face it, it's a girly holiday.  I have never met a man who gets excited about Valentine's Day.  


As a mom with a baby celebrating their first Valentine's Day, I'm even more excited to shower my family with love this holiday and I think a lot of other moms can relate! Here are a few of my favorite gift ideas for moms...maybe one or two hubbies out there will take a look at this list and get some ideas! 


Stella and Dot Necklace: My sister-in-law gave me this beautiful necklace with Henley's initial and birthstone when she was born and it is my favorite thing to wear.  Stella and Dot has many different charms you can engrave or customize for necklaces or bracelets and they make great gifts! 



Teething Jewelry: Babies chew on everything.  These teething necklaces and bracelets come in handy while out and about, and are a thoughtful and trendy gift for a new mom! I bought one of mine from an Etsy shop named Little Miss Fairytale, and my favorites are bracelet and necklace set by Itzy Ritzy.


Personalized travel mug: COFFEE, a mommy must have!  This gift is especially great for moms who go back to work...they can enjoy their caffeine while looking at their little ones all day!  It's also great for moms who are breastfeeding because it leaves you parched!  I have water bottles everywhere and always have a travel mug with me in the car and on walks.  I made one for Brent for Father's Day this past year, and it turned out great!  I bought a personalizable Starbucks mug and printed an 8x10" photo collage (from Walmart) of Henley to insert in it...took all of five minutes to put together and it's one of his favorite gifts ever! I know I would love one, too.  If you don't have the time to put one together yourself, you can also make and order one on Shutterfly

Book for Mommy and Baby to read together: I never used to cry, but I do now.  At everything.  Thanks hormones!  There are a few books that I read to Henley that I love and leave me teary-eyed.  A sentimental gift like these books are great: Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman, God Gave Us You by Lisa T. Bergren, and of course Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. 


Personalized Pillow: I love pillows.  My husband thinks I'm crazy and we have too many pillows everywhere, but I know I'm not alone.  I've been eyeing these from Shutterfly and I'm sure other ladies out there are too. 

Massage/Pedicure/Spa Day: Whatever type of pampering your mom or wife likes best, gift it to her! I like going to get a pedicure every once in a while, and love when my hubby watches Henley so I can have a little break to get one! 

Date Night: It isn't often that moms (especially stay-at-home moms) get out of the house with their kiddos in tow, so a date night out is a great gift!  Arrange for a sitter and take your wife out for dinner and a movie.  If your baby is still nursing before bed, like ours, you could always go out a little later for a drink and dessert, something we do every once in a while.  My own mom gave my husband and I movie tickets last week and sat with Henley so we could see our first movie since before she was born and it was wonderful!!!


*Note, this post contains affiliate links. 

A Great New Way to Shop Vintage

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A few weeks ago, I discovered Chairish, a new site that brings you eclectic, curator-approved vintage and used furniture and art, when I was approached with the idea of designing a room around one of their amazing vintage rugs.  I was quickly impressed by Chairish's easy to navigate, streamlined site, and spent hours looking through their extensive collection of furniture, rugs, art, and accessories.

It was so hard to pick just one rug from Chairish's fabulous rug collecton, but I chose this Modern Graphic Mustard & Grey Rug.  Grey and yellow are two of my favorite colors together, and the print is to-die-for. Take a look at my style board; it's my first ever!



Ellyson Sofa : Crate and Barrel

Modern Graphic Mustard & Grey Print Rug : Chairish

Kyra Side Table : Crate and Barrel

Kyra Coffee Table : Crate and Barrel

Vintage Mercury Glass Bowl Lamp : Chairish

Mid-Century Modern Badelli Owl Bank : Chairish

Fortuny Turquoise Floral Pillow : Chairish

Silk Velvet Yellow Ikat Pillow : Chairish

This was such a fun opportunity!  I loved browsing through all Chairish has to offer, which is a TON!  You seriously need to check them out; especially if you love unique pieces and great vintage finds!

Art for Everyone on Minted

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recently, while browsing for birthday invitations on Minted, I came across some fun new products that I had no idea they carried! I was familiar with Minted's stationery and invitations, but now they have a line of art prints, gift items, and even party decor.

The Art Collection is ah-may-zing, with a wide variety of prints to fit nearly every taste.  I found one that would fit perfectly in my living room:


Twisted Horizon 
Entitled Twisted Horizon, this gorgeous print reminds me of a morning at the beach, when the water is still glassy and the sun is just breaking through the fog...I love it!

How adorable is this Je m'appelle print for a little girl's nursery?!

Je m'appelle 
Seriously considering getting it for Henley's room.  I already have one, but just look at it...adorable!  There are so many great nursery and children's prints that I spent nearly a half hour looking through them.

Another print I found, Alone, is a sunset photograph focusing on a rock at a beach in Malibu, CA.  With my love for photography and the beach, this one stood out to me as well and would look lovely in our bedroom.


Alone
Aside from the prints themselves, Minted really goes above and beyond when it comes to choosing and customizing your piece.  For starters, on other sites, they list the sizes for your print, but its always hard to picture how 8x10", 11x14", 18x24", etc. will look when you get it home and on your wall.  Minted takes care of that; they have photos of a model holding the print in each size, so that you can get an idea of just how big the print will be.


Next, if you wish to frame your print, Minted offers eleven different frames to choose from.  You can see your print displayed in each frame, making it easy to choose the perfect one to go with your print and your decor.


Another thing that impressed me about Minted's Art Marketpalce, is that they have examples of each piece, in varying sizes and configurations with other prints and frames.  You can browse their samples to determine what size you might want or to get ideas to create your own gallery wall or photo display at home.



Finally, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Minted is partnered with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to a safe pregnancy and childbirth for all women.  Minted donates a portion of all art sales to this cause, which is one that is near and dear to my heart as a mom myself.  You can find out more here.

I cannot wait to see what their art prints and other new products look like in person!  I have a wish list of things I want from Minted and can't wait to order them!

*While I was offered compensation for my review, the opinions of Minted and their products are completely my own.

Hershey Kiss Powder Puffs

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Another rainy day today...fortunately, my hubby was home today to make the gloomy day much brighter.  We scoped out the ads in the Sunday paper, then Henley made confetti out of them, we went out to lunch, and then I made cookies...finally!

At the beginning of December, I received a bag of Hershey's Kisses via Influenster and was asked to share a favorite recipe using Hershey's Kisses.




Well, my go-to peanut butter blossom is a little too generic, so I browsed Pinterest for a new and easy recipe to try.  I came upon these Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies from Averie Cooks and instantly wanted to give them a shot.

These cookies are so easy to make.  I threw them together in about ten minutes and had them for a yummy snack within thirty.  There is no measuring, mixing, or tons of cleanup involved...perfect for me (or anyone short on time, for that matter).  Here is how to make them:



Hershey Kiss Powder Puff Cookies
(Adapted from Averie Cooks)

Ingredients:
  • Package of ready-made pie crust (I used Pillsbury Pie Crusts)
  • Hershey's Kisses (28, unwrapped)
  • Powdered Sugar

Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (I prefer Pam's Baking cooking spray).
  2. Roll out your pie crusts on a cutting board.  Slice each pie crust into 16 pieces (4 rows x 4 rows).  The four corners will be smaller than the rest of the squares, so combine two corners together.  Each pie crust will yield 14 cookies/squares. 
  3. Place a Hershey Kiss in the middle of each square.  Fold the pie crust up around the Kiss, roll    into a ball, and smooth out the creases. 
  4. Put the cookies on a cookie sheet and bake 14-16 minutes.  Mine were done in 15 minutes.
  5. Let the cookies cool about ten minutes, then roll in powdered sugar and enjoy!


These cookies are so yummy, and I have to admit, I think its pretty fun cutting them in half and seeing the Hershey Kiss' shape! I only used one of the pie crusts included in the package today, so the next rainy day (or in-need-of-dessert emergency) I can pop more these in the oven!

Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble and a Review of Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to learn that in a monthly pool for Birchbox Book Club, I won the December Book of the Month to review!  While I do enjoy reading, and would have loved the chance to review any book, it was even more perfect that this month's book was a dessert cookbook.  You know how much I love dessert (and if you didn't, you do now)!


Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson (Joy the Baker) is one of the cutest cookbooks I have ever seen.  From the second I opened the package and saw the cover, with its gorgeous Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Layer Cake, I was in love.  Beyond the cover, the book is full of other incredible recipes: Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough Balls, Buttered Popcorn Crispy Treats, Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie, Maple Apple Upside Down Cake, and Strawberry Rosé Sangria Granita (to name a few).  All of the recipes look relatively simple and have clear, easy to follow directions.  The pictures are gorgeous and through Joy's introduction and preface to each recipe, you can really tell that she put her heart into this book.  The best part about Homemade Decadence is that there aren't just a handful of recipes that look yummy, they ALL do!  It was so hard to pick a recipe to try first, but the Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble was calling my name.


Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble
(Adapted from Joy Wilson, Homemade Decadence)

Ingredients 

Filling

  • 4 ripe but still firm pears, preferably d'Anjou
  • 1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Topping
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or spray with Pam baking oil.

2.  For the filling, chop pears into chunks and remove the top stem, fibrous inner stem, and seeds.  Place the pears in the prepared dish, then add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and toss.


3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Add the chunks of butter, and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are crumbles that are roughly the size of peas.  Add in the pecans.  If you want to forgo nuts, add an extra 1/2 cup of oats instead.



4.  Add a third of the oat mixture to the pears/cranberries and mix well.  Add the rest of the oat mixture on top.


5.  Bake until brown and bubbling, about 45 minutes (mine was ready in about 50 minutes).  Let cool about 20 minutes and serve warm, with ice cream if desired.



6.  The crumble will last about 3 days in the fridge...if you don't eat it all first!




This Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble is absolutely delicious!  It is definitely a keeper in our house.  I had it for breakfast and dessert for three days straight! Henley loved the pears from it, too :).