Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pretty Pink Print

About 2 years ago I won the cutest print from TP Design.  I was so excited when the package arrived because I knew it would go perfect in my daughter's room, all I had to do was find a frame for it.  Well 2 years later and that cute print was still sitting in our office closet.  Talk about procrastinating.  So I finally forced myself to find a frame for it.  The only one I could find that wasn't over $50 (frames can get pretty pricey, can't they?) was at Target.  It was a poster frame and it was black.  Not exactly what I was hoping for but I knew a couple coats of white spray paint could totally transform it.

Here's a before shot of the picture frame...


And here's a before shot of my daughter's room where she decided it was time to retire the butterflies.  As cute as they are she's had them as decorations in her room since she was about 2 and now that she is 9 (going on 13) she's kind of over the pink and purple butterflies. My baby girl is growing up.


And here's the after!



Cute, isn't it?  I think it's just perfect for a 'tween' girls room.


Of course that one little update has sparked my daughter to start suggesting she wants to completely change her room.  Now she's wanting a new chair for her desk (right now she uses a storage ottoman as a chair) as well as some new bedding.  Go figure huh?  



I love her cute pink room so who knows what style she'll want to go for now. Why do kids have to grow up so fast anyway?  It's just not fair I tell you!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Baking Gluten Free {Giveaway}

About 7 years ago my daughter (who at the time was only 3 years old) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Back then hardly anyone knew of the words "gluten free" so trips to restaurants, grocery stores, and even invites to friends houses for dinner were filled with weird looks, blank stares, and sometimes even rude comments. I could go on and on about how hard those 1st couple of years were but at the end of the day I am so thankful that my daughter was diagnosed as early as she was.  Especially since all she knows now is what foods she can or can't have.  I'm am also thankful that as the years have gone by the selection for gluten free and dairy free foods have increased.  No more making multiple trips to multiple stores to buy our groceries.  We also LOVE that Betty Crocker came out with a line of Gluten Free baking products.  We've been making their super easy cookies and brownies for a while now. In fact, when I was contacted by MyBlogSpark about doing a blog post on Betty Crocker's Gluten Free baking mixes we already had a box of their chocolate chip cookies in our pantry!



So it was a no brainer to say YES when they asked if I would be interested in trying out the Gluten Free Baking Gift Set.  Which amazingly enough included a non-stick 8x8 cake pan, an adjustable rolling pin, an elevated pastry brush, an elevated small spatula, and a 60 minute kitchen timer.


I am absolutely in love with this gift set!  The brush and spatula feature an innovative handle design that keeps the tool head off of counters and work surfaces, improving hygiene and reducing mess.  Yay for not having to worry about cross contamination! The rolling pin is awesome in that it's adjustable (2mm, 6mm, 10mm) and it includes a measuring guide right on the rolling pin. The battery free kitchen timer is pretty sweet too.


Another reason I was so excited to do this post?  I'm able to offer this incredible baking gift set to one lucky reader!


Prize Pack Includes:
*Baking Tool Set (adjustable rolling pin, kitchen timer, spatula, and pastry brush)
*8x8 Non-Stick Cake Pan
retail value $60

For your chance to win just enter in the widget below.  Good luck!

Disclosure* This is a sponsored post. The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills/Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Homemade Cofffee Creamers

I LOVE coffee, no doubt about.  So when I happened upon this hip video on how to make your very own coffee creamer I was all over it! I couldn't wait to whip up our very own batch because let's face it, we go through creamer pretty darn fast in this house.


When it comes to the creamer there are just 2 basic ingredients.  Milk and sweetened condensed milk.



Since the possibilities are endless when it comes to ways to flavor your own creamers I decided to make Peppermint Mocha and Vanilla Almond.  Below is the recipe I used to make ours but feel free to change them up however you see fit. 

Peppermint Mocha
14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
14 oz Milk (any kind at all, whole milk, skim milk, even soy milk)
1 tsp Peppermint (or Mint) Extract
2 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Whisk together milk and the sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl until blended.  Add peppermint extract and cocoa powder.  Whisk until dissolved.  Then simply pour into storage containers (like a mason jar).  Seal tightly and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.  Be sure to shake creamer before adding to coffee since the sweetened condensed milk may settle to the bottom.

Vanilla Almond
14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
14 oz Milk (I used Almond Breeze Vanilla milk for this one)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Almond flavored Coffee Syrup

Just like above whisk together the milk and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl until blended.  Add vanilla extract and almond syrup (usually found at the grocery store but have seen some at Ross and Home Goods too).  Stir until dissolved.  Pour into storage containers and seal tightly.  Be sure to shake creamer before adding to coffee since the sweetened condensed milk may settle to the bottom.

Can you believe how easy that is? I love that when you make your very own coffee creamer you know exactly what's going into it and it's actually pretty cost effective too. 

Have you tried making your own coffee creamer before?  If so what flavor did you create?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prayers for Oklahoma



I had a post planned for earlier today however, out of respect for those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma I will be publishing that post at a later date.  Instead I would like to send out my heartfelt condolences to all those who have been impacted by this terrible tornado.  My parents live just outside of Oklahoma City and are thankfully alive and well.  Sadly my sister lives in Moore.  She was able to send a quick text after the tornado hit letting my parents know she was alive.  But sadly due to down cell phone towers and zero power we haven't heard from her since.  Also because the roads are closed no one has been allowed in or out of the area so we're hoping by Friday she can be reached.  Please continue to keep everyone in Oklahoma in your thoughts and prayers.

Here's a link on how to help those affected by this horrible tragedy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I finally gave in...

So I've been reading about the wonders of Essie nail polish for, oh I don't know, YEARS now.  But I've never been able to convince myself to buy a bottle, cause $8 for a bottle of nail polish is pretty pricey for this thrifty gal.  So I finally gave in and bought my 1st bottle.  I decided to go for a fun, Spring inspired color and chose Tart Deco.



Wow, that stuff is really incredible!  Usually after day 2 1/2 of wear my normal nail polish has at least a couple chips.  Not this stuff.  No chips in sight after 3 days (which included at least 2 showers, some gardening, and who knows what else).


It's safe to say I am now obsessed with this nail polish!  I just can't believe it took me so long to finally give in and try it out.  Now I totally get what all the hub-bub is about.


Since I still do my own mani's and pedi's I figure splurging on an $8 bottle of nail polish isn't so bad.  What about you?  Have you tried Essie before?  If so what color is your fave?


Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day Wonderfulness

This mom is a HUGE fan of hiking.  So when the forecast for last Sunday was suppose to be sunny and in the 70's I knew what I wanted to do for Mother's Day.  Luckily, my family was up for a good hike too so we headed to Cheyenne Mountain State Park which is literally just across the street from one of the main gates on Fort Carson. 

The scenery is just gorgeous and the weather couldn't have been better.


Here I am after climbing up on one of the big rocks.  Yay, I made it!


Some of the beautiful scenery.





And some of the adorable wildlife.



After our nearly 3 mile hike we were in desperate need of something yummy and cold so we went to I Top It where we ate some enormous bowls of frozen yogurt.  We love that place because they offer some delicious Dairy Free fro yo which is perfect for our daughter who is allergic to dairy (and has to eat Gluten Free thanks to having Celiac's Disease).  Gotta love a place where the whole family can eat and not have to worry about food allergies and cross contamination.

So over all our Mother's Day was fantastic! How did you spend yours?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Garden On!

If you've been reading this little ol' blog for a few weeks now then you're pretty caught up on my love of gardening.  My husband built me this super cute raised garden bed that I'm still waiting to plant stuff in (just 3 more weeks, eek).  However, I've been growing a small garden in our basement! That's right as of right now I have strawberries, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, and chives just growing away in our rec room.  I'm waiting on my mint and jalapeno peppers to start sprouting too, any day now.

And because I didn't want to jinx myself I grabbed several seeds (in case some didn't take) and I also used different variations of containers.  So far so good!



My cilantro seedlings started growing like crazy.  I'm hoping once they are transplanted outside they keep growing like they are now, I had a hard time trying to get them to thrive outside 2 summers ago.





My parsley and basil.


I also couldn't pass up these mini green houses.  Like I mentioned earlier I'm still waiting on the mint and jalapeno seedlings to sprout. I'm hoping they will make their debut in the next few days.  If not I'll probably give in and buy a couple jalapeno pepper plants and transplant them in the raised garden bed.



So that's where my garden is standing as of right now.  Our weather is suppose to be gorgeous next week so I'm planning on hardening off some of my herbs during that time so they can finally meet their new home outside.


My Style {Lately}

Do you have a "signature" look?  You know like a certain lip stick or nail polish that you always go to?  Lately my signature look is all about comfort.  Not necessarily two sizes too big t-shirt and sweats type comfort but more like slightly over sized shirt and leggings comfort.


3/4 Sleeve Shirt: Target
Tank Top: Gap

Since the weather is finally starting to warm up I've been doing more work in our yard and garden.  I've also been walking to pick my daughter up from school and since I hate to have to change clothes several times a day I try and pick something that's comfortable, functional, but still presentable.

Come summer time I'm sure I'll be living 24/7 in sun dresses and flip flops.  Speaking of, I saw some super cute summer dresses last time I was at Target. Hmm, looks like I need to plan another shopping trip soon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Baby Lips

Here in Colorado it's pretty dry and windy which unfortunately makes the perfect recipe for easily chapped lips.  Before I'd have to exfoliate my lips to remove all the dry areas then follow with gobs and gobs of lip conditioner.  Well not any more! I have finally found the perfect product to not only treat my dry lips but prevent them from getting chapped.  Hello Maybelline Baby Lips.


These bad boys have been around for a while and I'd heard nothing but good things about them so why I didn't snag one earlier is beyond me.  There's a few different varieties but I chose the Sunscreen SPF 20 one, cause you know our lips need sunscreen too y'all!

I have a feeling this one will last a while too.  So far I've been applying it in the morning (at the same time I do my makeup routine) then I apply it again at night.  I'm telling you my lips have never been softer!

So that's my latest makeup must-have.  What's yours?

Friday, May 10, 2013

H54F

Looks like it's been a while since I did a High Five for Friday post so I figured I'd better get on that.  Here's what life has been looking like lately...


1.  I'm kind of obsessed with home decor and gardening lately...oh who am I kidding, I've always been obsessed! I've just been giving in and buying the magazines so I can ooh and ahh over all things pretty.  Sunset mag is one of my absolute faves though!


2.  Our son turned 13! 13 people, that's HUGE! I don't know what's scarier, that we have a teenage son or that I'm old enough to be the mother of a teenager.  Eeeeek!


3.  The weather was so amazing that the kids and I decided to go hiking while daddy was stuck with Brigade Staff Duty (army stuff). While hiking we saw horses, 5 deer, ducks, geese, cranes, turtles, and squirrels.  Over all it was a great day!

4.  Which makes it kind of crazy that just a few days earlier we had snow on the ground! That's right snow in May.  What's up with that?



5.  And last but not least I whipped up some homemade coffee creamer.  It turned out pretty yummy and not only was it cheap to make but it was pretty comforting knowing what ingredients were going into our coffee creamer.  Have you read the ingredients on some of the creamers out there?  I can't even pronounce half of the names listed on the label which in turns probably doesn't make them very healthy.  So yay for homemade coffee creamer (I might have to share the recipe on here later, it's that good!).

As always I'll be liking up my High Five for Friday post here.  Happy Friday y'all!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Little Social Media Makeover

A couple of my social media outlets have gotten a bit of a makeover.  My favorite "face lifts" were the ones made to my Etsy shop and my business Facebook page.  Now they both share the same pretty, polka dot style header.



I even used this tutorial to create the custom Facebook buttons and apps.  Got to love the power of Photoshop!

So that's what's been going on within my social media world.  How about yours? Have you incorporated any kind of Spring Cleaning with your social media?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Spring Edition

Wahoo! It's Pinterest Challenge Spring Edition time!


For this season's project I wanted to tackle something that's been on my To-Do list for a while.  If you remember last week's post then you know it had something to do with sprucing up our office bookcases.  Well here was one of my inspirational pins:


I just love that grey background! Since grey is one of those lovely neutral colors I was hoping I could duplicate the look with our black bookcases.  So here's the before:



Pretty safe and pretty boring eh? I didn't like how the picture frames just blended in with the back of the bookcases and some of our green vases are practically invisible. 

The fun part about this project is I found a coupon for free sample paint at Lowe's in last month's ( or maybe it was this month's) BHG magazine. Score! I used it to pick up some Valspar Paint and Primer paint in Soft Silk to try it out.  Turns out I loved the color so I drove back to Lowe's (which is luckily just right up the street) and bought a quart size.  Many hours later our bookcases looked like this...TA DA! 





I gotta admit I wasn't so sure how it was going to turn out and my husband was starting to think I was crazy but after the paint dried I couldn't be happier with how it turned out (luckily my husband is loving it too).  We also got rid of the dark rug and swapped it with a smaller much cheerier (is that a word) throw rug that we put on the other end of the office.  I'll have to snap some pics later on, it's super cute.  

So that's my Spring Pinterest Challenge.  As always I'll be linking up here.  Be sure to stop by and check out all the other amazing projects (I know I will)! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Hard Out There...

For a Gardener.  Okay, so that was totally cheesy but it makes sense because my little, indoor seedlings are going through the hardening off stage! 



Since it's finally starting to warm up I've been putting them outside, a little longer each day, and more and more into direct sunlight.  So far so good and I'm crossing my fingers they do well once I transplant them into the garden.  Some will get placed into our new raised garden bed and others will get moved to our existing mini vertical garden. 

I can't wait till the weather cooperates and I can move all these bad boys outside.  Once our grass starts to come back to life I'll have to snap some pictures because right now it's pretty embarrassing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Best Lipstick Ever

Let's talk lipstick! Like, change your life amazing lipstick.  Okay, maybe that's being a little too dramatic but this stuff is pretty incredible.


What I love about this Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick is it's gel based.  It goes on so silky and smooth, not like some of the other more waxy lipsticks out there.  My absolute favorite color from the Color Whisper line is Lust for Blush.  It's the perfect pink shade.


See, not too dark but not too light. It's darn right amazing. Seriously, I'm so smitten with this lip stick. 

What about you? Have you tried the Color Whisper line?  If so which shade is your favorite?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pinterest Challenge...It's on!

Pinterest Challenge Spring Edition is here and it's going to be fabulous!



This season I'm thinking bookcase makeover.  Here's what our office bookcases are looking like.


Pretty basic and pretty boring.  Here's some ideas I have in mind.





I love the idea of a patterned background like the one on top but I also like the simplicity of a neutral colored background similar to the one in the photo directly above.  Either choice is sure to bring a pop of color and lighten up our other wise dark office.  So be sure to check back next Wednesday to see which pick I ended up with.

Are you going to take part in the upcoming Pinterest Challenge?  If so care to spill some details?


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