Summer Favorites

  It’s kind of hard to believe that we’re already smack dab in the middle of Summer! Well, it’s really not so hard to know that it’s summer when you live in the scorching state of Texas, but, you know what I mean. I try to be budget conscious and not buy a cartload of new products each season, but I do have a few new (and old) Summer favorites that I thought I’d share! Most of these items can be found at places like Target or Wal-Mart (click on their titles for more info about each product). What items … Continue reading Summer Favorites

Champagne Salad Frozen Dessert

This recipe was one of my great grandma’s specialties. Champagne Salad was one of the desserts that Granny always made for holidays, it was my favorite! Last Christmas I made these Tea Towels using Granny’s handwritten recipe card for this dessert. After featuring the DIY on the blog, several people asked me about the recipe and I knew that it was one that I wanted to make and share here. This frozen dessert is creamy and full of fruit, it’s perfect for summer (especially if you don’t have an ice cream maker). Make a batch of this dessert, slice it up, then … Continue reading Champagne Salad Frozen Dessert

May Highlights

Since it’s been kind of quiet here on the blog recently, I thought I’d share a little peek of what’s happened this past month. Most of these photos can also be found on my Instagram, you can keep up with what’s going on around here by following me HERE. Drew and I celebrated our second anniversary with a little weekend trip to Dallas. When non-local people hear that we live in the DFW area, they generally assume that we make it over to Dallas all of the time. In reality, we usually only take just-for-fun trips to Dallas several times … Continue reading May Highlights

No-Bake Banana Split Dessert

I’ve had my eye on these mini graham cracker crusts for a while now, waiting for the perfect occasion to use them! I finally bought them to use for these mini desserts for Mother’s Day. This Banana Split Dessert recipe has been a favorite in my family for a while now. It’s a rich and refreshing dessert that has a creamy cheesecake layer topped with fresh fruit. And this is a quick recipe, no baking required. Perfect for Summer! My one complaint about these mini crusts is their package count. They come in counts of 6 and I found that … Continue reading No-Bake Banana Split Dessert

3 Ways to Save on Groceries (without Cutting Coupons)

In my blogging absence, I have been finishing up the unpacking and organizing at our new place. I haven’t done very much cooking in the past week, but grocery shopping is something that I just can’t get away from. I’m pretty sure that I’ve actually been at the store more than usual during the past few weeks. I thought this would be a great time to share the apps that I like to use for saving money on groceries! I do regularly use old-fashioned coupons and, I have to say, I’m a little upset at all of the extreme couponers … Continue reading 3 Ways to Save on Groceries (without Cutting Coupons)

DIY Watercolor Easter Eggs

Last year I created these Patterned Easter Eggs using white paint pens on brown eggs. I really wanted to come up with another unique and artsy egg decorating idea this year. I had just purchased a set of watercolor paint (I’m currently in love with simple watercolor designs!) and was inspired to try watercolor egg decorating. I went to Pinterest (my go-to for inspiration) and I wasn’t able to find anything exactly like what I had in mind. I really wanted to create ombre watercolor designs, instead of painting brush strokes onto the eggs. I wasn’t even sure if it … Continue reading DIY Watercolor Easter Eggs

Grilled Eggplant and Squash Panini with Fresh Mozzarella

On our honeymoon, in South Beach, Miami, we stayed at a hotel that offered lots of fresh dishes created with local ingredients. This recipe was inspired by an eggplant and squash panini that I enjoyed there. The fresh mozzarella caught my eye, even though I wasn’t sure what I thought about adding grilled vegetables to a grilled cheese, I decided to give it a try. I was surprised at how tasty it was, a light but filling sandwich. I love making paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches (like my Tomato Mozzarella with Pesto Grilled Cheese and Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese sandwiches). This panini is … Continue reading Grilled Eggplant and Squash Panini with Fresh Mozzarella

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Treats

It’s been a busy week around here. We’ve been packing, painting and patching nail holes as we’re preparing to move in a few weeks. It’s a sad thing to paint our bold accent walls back to beige. I decided that taking a break to make these colorful treats might make me feel a little bit better! This is the quick, classic rice krispie treat recipe with a fun cereal swap! I added a little Easter twist by shaping some of the treats into an egg shape. Kind of festive! Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Treats               … Continue reading Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Treats

Smoked Salmon Philadelphia Rolls

Sushi will always hold a special place in my heart. On our very first date, Drew took me out for my first taste of sushi. I was a little apprehensive, but fell in love immediately… with both sushi and the man that would turn out to be my future husband. My first attempt at sushi making was a huge success! The taste was so good, exactly what you’d find in a sushi restaurant (and so much more economical). The process is a bit time-consuming, but quite easy. And it turned out to be very pretty, if I do say so … Continue reading Smoked Salmon Philadelphia Rolls

DIY Mint Bath Bombs

I have the perfect tutorial for you – just in time for Easter! These Easter Egg Bath Bombs make an adorable basket stuffer. This recipe cost just a few dollars for the entire batch, less than what ONE bath bomb would cost at Lush! These egg bath bombs will add a light scent and color to a bath, and they’ll leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. I created my bath bombs by slightly altering this recipe. The amount of bath bombs that you end up with will depend on the size of mold that you use. I used small Easter … Continue reading DIY Mint Bath Bombs

Toasted Cheese Ravioli

These toasted ravioli are my new favorite thing! They’re crispy, and delicious with a warm cheese filling… perfect for an appetizer or snack. We enjoyed these so much that I made them two days in a row. The second time I served these toasted ravioli with tomato soup, as a fun alternative to grilled cheese! I’ve seen a simple toasted ravioli recipe bouncing around on Pinterest for quite some time. Vague directions are written under the pin, and the pin doesn’t actually link to the recipe. I decided to wing it and try using Buitoni ravioli from the refrigerated section. … Continue reading Toasted Cheese Ravioli

Ranch Pasta with Smoked Sausage and Mini Sweet Peppers

This bright pasta dish is made with just 5 ingredients, you can have this fresh and filling dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. I created this meal by pulling together fridge and pantry ingredients that I already had on hand and then seasoned it with a packet of ranch mix! The ranch mix makes this pasta so flavorful without the addition of any heavy sauces. Do you have a favorite simple and fast dinner recipe? Feel free to share a link in the comment section below! I love these mini peppers. They’re so sweet and perfect for snacking! They’re … Continue reading Ranch Pasta with Smoked Sausage and Mini Sweet Peppers

Cheesy Pepperoni Skillet-Baked Ziti

I hope that you’ve enjoyed a good week and weekend, I’m happy to be back after a little blogging break. I’ve been busy filling orders over at my Etsy shop and, well, we ate a lot of quick meals and frozen pizza last week! I also try to take advantage of any daylight that I can get when taking food photos, so meals that come together after 6 o’clock often don’t make the cut. When I was growing up, my mom would make baked spaghetti with pepperoni and mozzarella. It was always a family favorite and this baked pizza pasta is my … Continue reading Cheesy Pepperoni Skillet-Baked Ziti

Poblano Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Did you know that homemade macaroni and cheese is really easy to make? And that real cheese can be turned into a rich and creamy cheese sauce? Homemade macaroni and cheese with chicken makes the perfect warm and filling meal for a cold winter evening. I love adding roasted peppers to homemade sauces like this one, it’s one of my favorite flavors, and it’s incredibly easy to roast fresh peppers at home (even without an open flame). This is a variation of my Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese… you can use the basics of this recipe to make macaroni & cheese with … Continue reading Poblano Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Crescent Roll Taco Pizza

Looking for a quick and easy meal? Try this Crescent Roll Taco Pizza! It’s a fun twist on tacos that can be made in under half an hour. The slight sweetness of the crescent rolls is a great compliment to the spiciness of the taco meat. My mom used to use these ingredients to make a crescent-topped casserole, it was always a family favorite, I thought it would be fun to try making it in pizza form! Like most of my recipes, this one can easily be altered to include whatever ingredients you like… try it with ground turkey or shredded … Continue reading Crescent Roll Taco Pizza

Easy Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

Pretzel buns are so trendy right now. After enjoying a hot dog on a pretzel bun, I started wondering just how difficult it would be to make them at home. After looking up a few pretzel buns recipes I realized that, while it’s a bit time-consuming, they’re pretty simple to make from scratch! These pretzel buns also have the husband’s seal of approval. We liked them so much that we easily could’ve enjoyed the pretzel buns all by themselves. I can’t wait to use this recipe to make buns for hamburgers or sandwiches next! Try topping your hot dog or … Continue reading Easy Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

Speculoos Cookie Butter Smoothie Recipe

My husband and I finally made our first trip to a Trader Joe’s several weeks ago. Trader Joe’s grocery stores have found their way into North Texas, but the closest one is still 45 minutes from where we live. I was most excited to check out their snack selection (it’s obviously not very practical to go that far to buy refrigerated and frozen groceries). I picked up a handful of items to try out, including Roasted Coconut Chips (large pieces of roasted coconut, flavored lightly with sugar and salt – YUM!) and their famous Cookie Butter. Trader Joe’s cookie butter … Continue reading Speculoos Cookie Butter Smoothie Recipe

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I’ve been in a habit of pulling ingredients out of the pantry and throwing together Mexican flavored soups. I start with chicken and broth, then add Mexican spices and whatever spicy ingredients that I have on hand. Several weeks ago I pulled together the ingredients for this Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup and tossed them into the crockpot. It turned out so deliciously. I love it when a throw-together meal turns into a new favorite! I love spicy soups (especially in the winter!), if you’re a fan of milder things try halving the amount of salsa and rotel in this recipe. And … Continue reading Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Blueberry Banana Oat Smoothie

With the new year, I’ve decided to try to eat breakfast more often and also eat more fresh fruit. Why not do both at the same time? Smoothies are a great way to do just that! I’ve been noticing the trend of adding oats to smoothies, I was intrigued and had to give it a try. I really liked the addition! It gives smoothies sort of a doughy taste, in a really good way. If you know me well at all, you know that I really dislike bananas, but they give a great texture to smoothies and, when blended with … Continue reading Blueberry Banana Oat Smoothie

Sour Cream Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

This enchilada recipe is my favorite recipe ever. I love a good Mexican or Southwestern recipe and this one is so simple! The creamy salsa verde sauce is made with only 3 ingredients, it’s quick, easy, and so delicious! This is actually the very first recipe that I blogged… I wanted to share it again, for anyone who might have missed it the first time around. You seriously need to try it, it’ll change your life. You can cook the chicken for this recipe however you’d like, my personal favorite is cooking it on low in a slow cooker. The chicken … Continue reading Sour Cream Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

2013 Reader Favorites // Top 15

I decided that it would be fun to end the year with a compilation of the most popular posts of 2013! Thanks to you, these are the most viewed posts to date! Simply click on the post’s title, above each picture, to take a closer look at any of these projects and recipes! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! Reader Favorites // Top 15 Posts of 2013 15. Roasted Red Pepper Sauce 14. Hot Chocolate Spoons 13. Cilantro Lime Chicken Fajitas 12. Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels 11. Cookie Dough Sugar Scrub 10. Parmesan Crusted Potatoes 9. Chicken Avocado Lime … Continue reading 2013 Reader Favorites // Top 15

Green Chile Double Cheeseburger

Hopefully this recipe has found you just before your healthy New Year’s resolutions have taken effect. I was inspired to make this after enjoying Whataburger’s Green Chile Double. Whataburger is one of my husband’s favorites and I’ve come to love their specialty burgers! My favorite was their Avocado Bacon Burger which was retired to make way for the new limited-time only Green Chile Double. New favorite! With a little research I learned that this yummy burger is only available in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. If you don’t live in one of these states, or if you love this burger … Continue reading Green Chile Double Cheeseburger

Vintage Recipe Tea Towels DIY

Now that Christmas has passed, I’d like to share one of my Christmas gift projects with you! These tea towels were definitely one of my favorite gifts that I gave this year, I love the fact that they are both handmade and sentimental. Did you know that you can upload any image and have it printed onto fabric? I’ve wanted to use this idea for quite some time, and decided to try making personal homemade Christmas gifts with this method. I’m so happy with the way this project turned out!  I chose to feature one of my great grandmother’s handwritten … Continue reading Vintage Recipe Tea Towels DIY

Cranberry Bliss Bars

It’s that time of the year again, time for baking and taking all kinds of sweets to Christmas gatherings! If you’re still searching for a holiday dessert recipe, try these Cranberry Bliss Bars: blondies with the addition of white chocolate chips and tart dried cranberries, iced with cream cheese frosting. I love how festive the colors in this dessert are, it’s perfect for sharing! If you hadn’t already guessed, this is a copycat recipe for Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars. Recipe was slightly altered from here. Cranberry Bliss Bars 1/2 cup butter  1 large egg 1 cup light brown sugar (packed) … Continue reading Cranberry Bliss Bars

Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments

Peppermint candies are so festive and classic, no matter what time of the year it is, the sight and smell of peppermints always reminds me of the holidays. Peppermint Candy Ornaments are thrifty and quick to make, they’re a handmade project that is perfect for this time of the year, when we’re all running a little lower on money and time! You could make a dozen of these edible ornaments at just a dollar per bag of peppermints! These melted candies aren’t just for the tree either! Use this method to create cute little edible toppers for cupcakes or brownies … Continue reading Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments

Wood Slice Ink Transfer Art DIY & GIVEAWAY

I was recently given the honor of creating a DIY tutorial for typography company, Fairgoods. I had so much fun coming up with this project, and Fairgoods has so many great typefaces to choose from! This project is live on their blog today and you can also enter for a chance to win this Joy Wood Slice Art! Go check it out and enter to win HERE. Facebook // Etsy // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter Continue reading Wood Slice Ink Transfer Art DIY & GIVEAWAY

Chalkboard Gift Wrap with DIY Clay Button Stars

Every year I look forward to deciding what type of packaging I’m going to use for Christmas gifts. I love the personalized feel of homemade gift wrap. With a few simple supplies, and just a little bit of extra time, you can create gift wrapping that is all your own. In past years I’ve packaged gifts with brown kraft paper, twine, and my homemade cinnamon ornaments. This year I decided to go with “chalkboard” wrapping paper, an idea that I picked up from Pinterest. To create this look you’ll need a roll of black kraft paper. I ordered this kind and it’s … Continue reading Chalkboard Gift Wrap with DIY Clay Button Stars

Shimmer Cinnamon Ornaments

I love making these cinnamon ornaments every year, they’re easy to create and they make the house smell so festive! The classic cinnamon ornament recipe is so simple, just two ingredients. This year I decided to change it up a little bit by adding glitter. I used very fine, colorless, shimmer glitter to give these ornaments some sparkle. I had a bit of hard time getting the shimmer to show up in my photos, but they’re really so pretty! String these ornaments together to create a festive holiday garland, or use them as spicy scented tags for Christmas gift packaging. … Continue reading Shimmer Cinnamon Ornaments

Favorite Things Giveaway :: CLOSED

Thanks to all who entered… Suzanne D. is the winner of this giveaway! Stay tuned for more giveaways to come! Today we’re having a cozy, stay-inside-with-a-mug-of-hot-chocolate, snow day in Texas. I’ve been working on putting together a “My Favorite Things” Giveaway and I decided that today was the perfect day to launch it! I’ve gathered some of my favorite treats for this holiday giveaway. Enter for a chance to win these goodies for yourself or for someone you love! This Giveaway includes: Capri Blue Mercury Glass Volcano Candle EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm Lindt Caramel Brownie Candy Bar Archer Farms Vanilla Bean Creme … Continue reading Favorite Things Giveaway :: CLOSED

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies : Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I’m so excited to be sharing my favorite sugar cookie recipe with you today, on the second day of Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies, an online cookie swap hosted by Dominique of Gusto and Grace! Go check out her Salted Chocolate Pretzel Bark from yesterday, and follow along with us as we share Twelve Days of Cookies! 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Schedule:  December 10- Gusto and Grace December 11- Hello Homebody December 12- Healthy Isn’t Hard December 13- Unconventional Adventures December 16- Blaine Arin December 17- The Well Styled Child December 18- Debbie Allen December 19- Thirty One Ministries Blog December 20- Enjoying the Journey December 23- Simple Pleasures December 24- Styled By … Continue reading Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies : Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Hot Apple Cider with Cranberries and Pears

Hot apple cider is a new favorite of mine, after being introduced to it at my husband’s family’s holiday celebrations. It’s a fun, festive drink to enjoy on cold evenings! I really wanted to try something different than the usual citrus infused cider, so I flavored some store-bought apple cider with Bosc pears, fresh cranberries, and a couple of cinnamon sticks. It’s as easy as washing the fruit, placing all ingredients into a pot, and simmering on the stovetop over low heat. Or warm cider in a crockpot. So simple! After posting a photo to Instagram, someone suggested adding tropical … Continue reading Hot Apple Cider with Cranberries and Pears

Best Ever Cheesecake

This cheesecake is perfectly rich and creamy, with a smooth and sweet sour cream topping. This is the cheesecake recipe that my mom has always made, it really is the best! I made this cheesecake in jars for my wedding and they were a great hit. We popped the leftover cheesecakes-in-a-jar straight into the freezer and they still tasted delicious. This year I made these mini cheesecakes for two Thanksgiving celebrations. Single serving cheesecakes are perfect for holiday dinners. I’ve included both mini and regular cheesecake baking instructions below. Look at that delicious layer of sour cream topping on top … Continue reading Best Ever Cheesecake

Malted Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite drinks in the wintertime! It’s so easy to make a batch of homemade hot chocolate mix. Just add this mix to hot water, milk, or coffee! You can easily turn your homemade mix into a pretty party favor or stocking stuffer… This mix goes perfectly with the Hot Chocolate Spoons that were on the blog a few days ago! Malted milk powder can be a little tricky to find, this recipe is good with or without! Malted Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe 3 cups powdered sugar 2 1/2 cups powdered milk 1/2 cup malted … Continue reading Malted Hot Chocolate Mix

Gorilla Bread

Gorilla Bread is pretty similar to monkey bread, but each pull-apart piece is filled with a special ingredient… cream cheese! This delicious pastry has a caramelized cinnamon/sugar outside with a soft cream cheese center. It’s a simple recipe that takes only about 10 minutes to put together, making it a great Christmas morning breakfast (or after-dinner treat)! Note: I made half of this recipe and placed it into a large loaf pan. Use two loaf pans or a bundt pan if making the whole recipe. This is an adaption of Paula Deen’s recipe. Gorilla Bread             … Continue reading Gorilla Bread

Hot Chocolate Spoons

Hot Chocolate Spoons are perfect for stirring up a mug of hot chocolate or coffee! Try making them with any variety of chocolate and candy. My favorite is definitely the salted caramel! Create these spoons for a hot chocolate bar, give them as favors at your next Christmas party, use them as stocking stuffers, or enjoy them yourself! Try serving them with my homemade Malted Hot Chocolate Mix! I used these wooden spoons for this DIY, and created these flavor combinations: Salted Caramel // melted caramel squares topped with coarse sea salt Dark Chocolate Toffee // melted semi-sweet chocolate chips topped with toffee bits … Continue reading Hot Chocolate Spoons