Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Mornings

I've been a little MIA lately, and I apologize! I'm hoping to get back into regular posting next week with a hello + catch up post to start, but first: Saturday mornings. Aren't they the best?! Work has been a little more stressful the last couple of weeks, so I've been savoring my weekends and soaking them up. Today I poured myself a bowl of cereal and couldn't help but smile at the vintage cover of the cereal box. Honey Nut Cheerios (and Cocoa Puffs!) were my go-to cereals as a kid. My favorite part was drinking the milk when the cereal was gone. Something about the way the cereal left that honey taste in the milk made it so. good. For a limited time you can find the below Retro cereal boxes at Target to give you your own moment of breakfast nostalgia :)

Disclosure: The information and free cereal have been provided to me by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick

Do you wear lipstick? I have always been more of a lip balm + lip gloss girl, so receiving this Rimmel London Moisture Renew lipstick to try out was a bit of a stretch for me. I don't like wearing lipstick because I hate that caked-on, sticky feeling, and I always feel like a bit of a clown with lipstick on. I tried this lipstick and it solved one of my two problems: there was no caked-on, sticky feeling whatsoever! This lipstick is incredibly moisturizing. Apparently they updated their formula to make this new version even more moisturizing than before, and I really loved that aspect of it. I still felt like a clown (see below), but that was more of a function of 1) not being used to wearing lipstick and 2) the color did not suit my skin coloring. This shade is not going to be making a regular appearance on my face, but I am interested in checking out the other 17 shades they have available to find something a little more tame :) 

Disclosure: I received the Rimmel London Moisture Renew lipstick in "As You Want Victoria" complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

I've never been a huge fan of Greek yogurt, but the new Yoplait Greek blended yogurts are something I can get behind! I used their Greek vanilla blended yogurt in this coffee cake, and it was so delicious! The coffee cake was super moist, and I loved the extra vanilla-y flavor. The other blended flavors would be delicious in smoothies, especially the pineapple or coconut! Happy Monday :)

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping:
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Add in the flour mixture. Add the greek yogurt and mix until just combined.

To make the topping, stir together all the ingredients until well combined.

In a lightly buttered loaf pan, pour in the batter. Spoon the topping mixture over the top of the batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. You'll notice that a lot of the topping will end up at the bottom of the coffee cake. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

source: recipe from a beautiful mess, originally from here

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided to me by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rosemary Peach Lemonade

I'm so happy that spring is finally here! Yesterday was the perfect first day of spring, too. There was no need for a jacket, I drove home from work with the windows down, Caleb and I went for a nice long walk before dinner, we ate dinner outside, and I sipped on this delicious lemonade. I ordered this lemonade at Tupelo Honey Cafe about six weeks ago, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about it since then. I found the recipe and made a pitcher earlier this week. It is so delicious and full of the promise of sweet summertime. Happy spring and happy weekend!

Rosemary Peach Lemonade
1 1/2 cups peach nectar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the peach nectar, water, rosemary simple syrup, and lemon juice. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup
4 (5-inch) fresh rosemary stalks

Combine the water, sugar and rosemary in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup through a wire mesh sieve into a container to remove the rosemary stalks and store in an airtight containter in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

source: recipe from tupelo honey cafe

Monday, March 17, 2014

Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip

Some of my favorite snacks are those that include dipping: veggies + dip, chips + salsa, cookie dough dip + graham crackers, etc. I also love a fruit dip. For summertime I love making this piƱa colada dip, but my other favorite is this creamy caramel fruit dip. I would say this as more of a dessert, but it's delicious and quite addicting. Happy Monday! :)

Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1 (4 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sour cream, milk, pudding mix, vanilla, and lemon juice, beating well after each addition. Chill, covered, until ready to serve. Serve with assorted fresh fruits. Makes approximately 4 cups.

source: recipe from family friend Giesel N.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

House Tour: New Front Door

I have been quite remiss in sharing a house tour, but I promise I have a few rooms on the way! There's a couple of things I want to finish up in several rooms, so once they're all the way done I will share them! In the mean time I realized I never posted about our front door transformation! A couple years ago I wrote a blog post about how much I loved brightly colored front doors, and at the end of last summer we finally painted ours! I chose red because I like the pop against the white front porch and black shutters. It makes me happy to see our bright front door every day when I drive home :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Breakfast Biscuits

About halfway through my morning at work, I step into the kitchen for a little snack. Sometimes it's a granola bar, sometimes it's a fruit and yogurt parfait, and lately it's been these Nature Valley breakfast biscuits. They contain a ton of whole grains but aren't quite as crunchy as granola bars. I guess they're kind of like breakfast cookies, which is something I can totally get on board with! The blueberry ones are my favorite, and right now they're on sale at Publix (get extra savings with this coupon). Let me know what you think if you decide to try them!

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.