2.09.2016

Savory Scones Two Ways for Valentine's Day

I'm a huge fan of a buttery scones, sweet or savory, I love them all. This year, instead of chocolatey sweets, I'm opting for these little heart shaped scones to win the heart of my love. I've come up with two fun flavor combinations - Blue Cheese Fig and Pesto Parmesan.


You can find both recipes and lots of how-to pictures over on CB2's blog Idea Central today. Skip dinner plans out and just serve appetizers and drinks for a fun night in.

2.05.2016

Throw a Last Minute Super Bowl Party

Ok, I've been busy thinking all about Valentine's Day and almost over looked the Super Bowl THIS weekend! Oh, my husband wouldn't have missed it, but I do love a good excuse for a party. And the Super Bowl is all about the snacks, all the ones you avoid all year long. So, even if you haven't planned a party yet, there's still time to. I'm going to share with you my last minute party plan. This is going to be easy and stress-free.


Here's my tips and tricks for throwing a last minute Super Bowl Bash:

1. Crunchy Munchies. Chips, pretzels, crackers, popcorn - they all need to be there. And the best part of serving these is there is no cooking required.

2. Messy Meats. I'm talking wings, and little hot dogs, corndogs, meat balls, all those saucey, messy meats are game day favorites. You don't have to make a whole bunch of food from scratch, check out the freezer section at your grocery store. Most of these can be simply warmed up in the oven or a crockpot. 


3. Dips and Dunks. Make sure you have all the classics like salsas and dips. Everyone loves to dip and dunk their food. 

4. Bottled Drinks. Who wants to worry about cups and ice. Stick to bottled drinks and then you can just have them all in the fridge, chilled and ready to go.

5. Real Plates and Real Napkins. Forget the paper plate situation. Yes, you'll have to run the dishwasher at the end of the evening.  But, when folks are eating off their laps and coffee tables, real plates ensure less spills and messes on you carpet and furniture. And I'm a believer in the cloth napkin. It's way more absorbent then flimsy paper napkins.

6. Half Time Entertainment. As a mom, I know there comes a point when you want all the kids out of the house. Send everyone outside to throw a football or run laps around the house. A little fresh air will do everyone some good.  

7. Crafts and Coloring. Not everyone is going to be glued to the game, especially little guys. designate an area for coloring or a simple craft to keep little hands busy and occupied. 


8. Easy Clean Up. Leave the clean up to PERSIL PROCLEAN 2in1 Power Liquid. Those cloth napkins and grass stained knees from running around outside can be cleaned up with this amazing laundry detergent. It really works you guys, it gets out all the stains, the first time! Consumer Reports rates it the top new detergent.


You've got this friends!!! Be confident and throw a great Super Bowl Bash!

This post is sponsored by PERCIL PROCLEAN, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

5 Modern DIY Bookends

If you are looking for a little project for the weekend, I've found some good ones for you. These DIY modern bookends are sure to look great in any space. Minimal and clean lined, you can display your favorite books upright and in style.  

I'm excited for the weekend! My brother and his family are coming to town for the weekend. It's going to be a FULL house. Lots of kids and the best kind of chaos possible. 





2.04.2016

Throw an Easy and Elegant Valentine's Day Party


I love prepping for a party and then getting to see how it all come together in the end.  Hosting an elegant Valentine's Day Party can be really easy.  I'm sharing with you my dinner party must haves.

1.  Flowers instantly make a table feel special.  Guests will notice this extra effort.  They don't have to cost a lot either.  I used inexpensive spray roses, that can be purchased at your grocery store or local florist for about $10.  Small, low arrangements across the table give you a lot of bang for your buck.  


2.  Set the table.  I tired of buffet lines and piles of paper plates.  Let's set the table with real dishes, real cutlery and gasp...... real cloth napkins.  As a foundation, I laid a long custom table runner down the center of the table.  I made this one-of-a-kind runner at Shutterfly to go with the plates and coasters I made. (If you'd like to make a runner for yourself, you can download my design HERE.)


3.  Start with everyone's favorite - bread and butter.  When guests can munch on bread, butter and a little cheese, you can feel ok about finishing up the finally touches on the rest of the meal. When folks are eating and drinking, they are usually happy. And don't worry, there's even some good gluten free options out there.


4.  Plan a simple homemade menu. Don't over think the meal, just make a few good dishes that everyone will enjoy.  A heavy, carb loaded meal, will leave guests feeling weighed down.  I'm serving this light menu below that features a pretty salad and grilled salmon.  Guests will also appreciate that you cooked them a meal from start to finish.

French Baguette, Butter, and Goat Cheese
Grilled Salmon


5.  Have a favor for your guests. You've gone to all this effort to make your guests feel special, give them a little memento to help them remember this event. You could give each guest one of the small flower arrangements from the table or I made little packages of bath salts for everyone to take home.



DIY Rose Petal Lavender Bath Salts

2 cups of Epsom salts
a few drops of lavender oil
1/2 cup of dried rose petals

I took a small bunch of spray roses, and once they had wilted, I pulled off all the petals and allowed them to air dry for a day or two.  But, be sure to enjoy the roses for a couple days first.

In a food processor, place the salt, lavender oil and rose petals. Pulse on and off until the petals finely chopped and the oil is incorporated. 

Pour 1/2 cup in clear bags and tie with simple twine.  



Now you are set to host your on dinner party or luncheon. If you are a host or hostess with the mostest, what are your tips and tricks for throwing a party? I'd love to hear from you.

Be sure to check out Shutterfly's Design Studio for inspiration and lots of great DIYs and downloadables. This coffee table and this living wall are pretty cool. 

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly.  Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.

2.03.2016

DIY Date Night Dice


Don't just take your sweetheart out for Valentine's Day, but plan a whole year of fun dates.  These DIY Date Night Dice are sure to make some memorable date combinations. We've been making an effort to spend more intentional time together as a couple, but often coming up with a plan is the hardest part. Roll the dice and let lady luck decide for you. One die selects a fun meal destination and the other chooses an activity for the evening.  These dice will be sure to get you out of rut and having some fun date adventures together.  



Here's what you'll need:

2" wooden blocks
sponge brush
Mod Podge (in matte finish)
1 copy of each of the dice printables printed on Zazzle Postcards.
scissors
black craft paint or spray paint

Download the dinner and activity files. Print them on Zazzle Postcards.


Cut apart the sides of the dice.


Paint the wooden blacks black.  Allow them to dry completely.


Paint on a generous amount of Mod Podge to one side of the die. 


Adhere one of the squares to the die. Lay a book or something heavy on top of the block and allow this side of the die to dry for about 5 minutes.  Repeat on all sides of the die. When wooden block is completely dry, paint on one last layer of Mod Podge over all the sides of the dice.  Allow to dry completely.  


This post is sponsored by Zazzle. All my opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

2.02.2016

Rose Quartz Paint for the Home

I love strong blacks + white's and I'm still a fan of a good neutral grey, so I wasn't super excited about this year's Pantone Color of the Year selections.  Serenity and Rose Quartz felt washed out and pale. But, I have to say, I might be coming around with the rose quartz at least.  I found some great examples of this pretty pale pink used beautifully.  

This first image of just two shelves of a bookcase painted pink, is brilliant. It feels modern and fresh and not overly feminine at all. And if you pair pink with emerald green, I'm always happy. I'd also be very tempted to paint my front door pink, if my husband would like me.  If I ever finish my laundry room, I think I may need to put in black cabinets and paint the walls pink like the adorable kitchen seen below.







How do you feel about Pantone's 2016 colors of the year? Could you see yourself add splashes of these colors to your home or wardrobe?  I recently bought a blush sweater, and I'm in love with it.  I wasn't sure if a redhead could wear that color, but it's my new favorite. 

2.01.2016

Winter Pomegranate Salad and DIY XO Salad Spoons

February is here, whether we are ready of not. This short month always seems to fly by, but one thing I love to do is plan a Valentine's Dinner for my family. This year I have a light, but really colorful salad on the menu. If you add cheese, fruit and nuts to a salad, it's guaranteed to be a winner.  This Winter Pomegranate Salad is loaded with all the yummy things.  And to give this salad a little extra love, I made some fun DIY XO Salad Spoons to serve it with. Keep reading for the recipe and DIY instructions below. 


Winter Pomegranate Salad

6 - 8 cups spring greens mix or baby spinach
2 oranges
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup cinnamon sugared pecans (see instructions below)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
pomegranate poppy seed dressing (see recipe below)

To candy the pecans, pour 1/4 sugar in a not stick frying pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cinnamon. Put on high heat and heat until the sugar just starts to turn to a liquid.  Add the pecans and toss to coat all of them.  Remove from the heat and pour the pecans onto a piece of parchment paper to cool. Break apart any nuts that are stuck together. 

Pomegranate Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
zest of one orange
3 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a large mason jar or in a bowl with a whisk. Add the olive oil and whisk or shake vigorously. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.  Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving, if the olive oil is too cold it will become a solid.  


What's a dinner party without pretty dishes? Just like the adorable coasters I made with Shutterfly, I took some of my favorite Valentine's designs and had them printed on plates. These are going to be fun plates to pull out every Valentine's Day.  



Shutterfly is so much more then just prints and photobooks. You can add your favorite pictures or illustrations to their plates for a one of a kind look. Or maybe you just like these plates I designed, if so, you can download the images HERE and make a set for yourself.  


DIY XO Salad Spoons

Here's what you'll need:

2 wooden spoons with round handles
2 2' wood balls with flat bottoms (found at the craft store)
E6000 Glue
drill and drill bit the size of the spoon handles
white and black craft paint
paint brush


Start with a drill bit the same size as the handle of the wooden spoons. on the flat side of the wooden ball drill in about 1/2" deep.


Using the E6000 glue, attach the spoons to the wooden balls.  Allow to dry for at least 1 hour.


Paint the wooden ball and part way down the handle with the white paint.  You may need to give them 2 coats of paint.  


When they are completely dry, you can paint on the X and the O with a small paint brush and black paint.  I practiced on a piece of paper first to get an idea of the shape and size of the letters I wanted to paint.  And then, just go for it! 


Be sure to check out Shutterfly's Design Studio for inspiration and lots of great DIYs and downloadables. This coffee table and this living wall are pretty cool. 

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly.  Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.
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