School Milestone and Chocolate Soy Nut Butter Shake

Soy Butter and Chocolate Shake Recipe #StreamTeamMmmmm.  How yummy does that look? This is a chocolate soy nut butter shake. It may sound a little odd to you if you’ve never had soy nut butter (one of our fave pb alternatives). But for those of you who have tried it, you know that it is a great substitute when you are trying to get a peanut butter like taste or texture without it having any devil nuts. And I’m about to tell you why I made it.

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So I am happy to announce that I just became a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam! What that means is that, monthly,  I will be posting about my favorite movies and shows that can be found on Netflix. Let me give you a quick background on myself. I’m pretty obsessed with television. I graduated with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in TV and Film. It is my happy place. When I’m watching my favorite shows, it is my absolute escape and all is right with the world. I prefer sitcoms but also love reality, well written one hour shows (like Nashville and Revenge) and made for TV movies.

Netflix will be sending me prompts to help me round-up the shows and movies on their site that I want share with you. This month, they wanted us to talk about “firsts”. And there is one first that instantly jumped out at me and is totally relevant in my world right now. You guys, I joined the PTA. First time ever. Now, I don’t mean I joined by paying my $10 and getting a membership card. No. I mean, I joined and I’m involved. I’m making sh*t happen. I am the Recording Secretary and chairperson to two events as well as serving on several other committees. So far, it has been a bit crazy. A lot of us are new and learning as we go. But I am realizing just how important PTA can be to the students. That is not to say there hasn’t been any drama. Because there has. From what I am hearing though, that is par for the course. I’m excited to be part of this great group of parents, trying to give the kids the best school year ever.

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That is not to say that there aren’t times when I feel like I am in an episode of Parks and Recreation. With the red tape Leslie faces to get anything done and the running of a city department full of big personalities, there are some parallels to what one may find in a PTA experience. But that kind of stuff makes me happy. I love people watching and schools are kind of one of the best places to do that. Not in an I’m totally making fun of these people and judging them kind of way. But schools are their own little communities with mini mayors like my youngest son who like to know and say hi to each and every kid we pass to the “graders” as my oldest calls the upper graders, who are trying to figure out their sense of style and where they fit in. And, of course, the parents are pretty fun to watch too. From an observation stand point, schools are ripe with story lines.

As close as you can get to a peanut butter chocolate shake without nuts. #StreamTeamAnd since I’m focused on school, I decided to make a treat that my nut allergic son could eat. You guys, some of the best gossip I hear from my oldest son comes straight from the nut free lunch table. And while he won’t be eating this shake at school, I thought it would be the perfect treat for eating while watching some movies about school. All you need is some vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and soy nut butter (or Sunbutter which is made with sunflower seeds and is super yummy) and some milk. I need to pause her for a moment and tell you that this Midnight Moo syrup from Trader Joe’s is crazy good. It is much thicker than normal chocolate syrup and more rich. It was perfect for this shake. And also perfect for squeezing straight in to your mouth hole.

Soy Nut Butter and Chocolate Shake Recipe. #StreamTeamI just made a single serving so to my small blender cup I added two scoops of vanilla ice cream and soy nut butter.

Nut free soy butter and chocolate shake. #StreamTeamThen I added the chocolate syrup and milk and blended away.

Soy nut butter and chocolate shake. #StreamTeamSo yum! I added some mini chocolate chips to the top to give it a little more visual interest and a little bit of crunch when you sip. The straw is really just for show. Straws are just a way to make you drink your shake slower and make your head feel like it is going to explode from all the work you are putting in just to get to the shake. My son loved it. And so did I. I’m hoping next month’s prompt is something about losing weight though…

Netflix picks for school themed movies. #StreamTeamThese first four movies are for the adults and older kids, if you think they are ready for them. I am probably going to hold off with Ferris Bueller’s Day off for a while because my kids would get too many ideas. But School of Rock would be awesome for them. While these don’t focus on the parliamentary process they are school focused and awesome. And you can totally celebrate some “firsts” with these movies as your guide.

School of Rock : First time on stage, first band, first time you really find what you are passionate about

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off : First time calling in sick to school while not really being sick (but having to deal with consequences, of course…)

The Breakfast Club : First detention, first time realizing that people sometimes aren’t what they appear

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School : Lots of firsts in this one, should only be shown to age 14 and older and probably with a parent to explain and talk about most of it…but it has the Ramones.  So thumbs up.

School picks for kids on Netflix. #StreamTeamFor the kids, there are awesome school movies for them too.

High School Musical : First love, first major life decision about where to go to college, lots of talking points in this one.

Spy School : First lesson in trust and telling tall tales and the consequences that come with it.

Casper’s Scare School : And since Halloween is next week, it just makes sense to go to scare school.

Which of these have you seen?

*I was provided compensation for being a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Cozy Textures for Fall

I'm craving a fall jacket with lots of texture. There is finally a hint of cool in our So Cal air! I can’t see fall in the not so distant future and it is making me excited to be able to wear pants again. We had these crazy heat spells, during September, that basically made it impossible to wear jean of any kind. And even thinking of taking a jacket with you was laughable. Fall clothes have been in stores for a few months already but I am finally ready to start acknowledging them. And what is catching my eye, big time, are cozy textures found in outer wear right now. I just want to snuggle up in one of these great jackets! And I love how they are able to still be fashionable instead of just making you shlumpy like some jackets do. The furry number in the bottom right is really a scarf, but I love how it adds a little something special to a leather jacket. What are you excited to wear this fall?

From top left, clockwise: nubby sweater, black furry jacket, shaggy black and white stripe jacket, black fur scarf, tiered white fringey coat

Need even more cozy? Check out these similar items:

*This post may contain affiliate links. See the full editorial policy here

Easy Halloween Decor Ideas

Bright and white Halloween decor. #sponThis post is sponsored by King’s Hawaiian. Head to their site to learn about “The Legend of Hallowaiian.”

My kids are so excited about Halloween this year. They have been wanting to decorate for the last few weeks. But since Halloween is my least favorite holiday I have been stalling. Then we found this awesome neon green skeleton. He reminded me that the decorations don’t need to be so gory and dark.  And because the decorations are only kept up for a short period of time I like easy Halloween decor ideas. And if they are inexpensive, that’s even better. When I saw these colorful, cheap, plastic vampire teeth it just made sense to do something with them. This super easy Vampire Teeth Garland couldn’t be easier.

Bright colored plastic fangs for an easy Halloween garland. #sponAll you need is some string and a pack of plastic vampire teeth. The teeth come in all kinds of colors depending on where you buy them. They even have a glow in the dark version which would work great if you had darker walls.

Yarn and plastic teeth are all you need for quick and easy Halloween decorating. #sponInstead of tying a knot, I did a simple loop around each side of the fangs with the yarn.

Black, white and bright Halloween decor. #sponAnd then I simply tied the other ends to my backdrop poles. This set up would work really great as a photo backdrop for your Halloween party. And of course you should set out extra teeth to use as props in the photos. Just make sure each person takes their teeth with them after they’ve used them. Because, ew. You can easy just keep these as garlands on the wall by adhering them with some washi or masking tape. How adorable would a black and white striped tape be with these?!  When taping your garlands, just make it look intentional. Create a small “x” with two pieces of tape on each end. Not only will this help to hold the string a little better, but no make it look like you designed it that way and didn’t just stick it up on the wall with tape.

Easy Halloween Decor with plastic fangs #sponThese teeth are always a favorite in my household. The persona my youngest son takes on when he has these in his mouth is hilarious. What do I not enjoy? The slobber.

Vampire teeth garland for cheap and easy Halloween decorating. #sponNeed some other quick and easy Halloween ideas? Here are some of my past posts:

Fang Mobile

Easy Wire “Boo” Sign

Clove and Orange “Pumpkins”

Neon green skeleton for fun Halloween decor. #sponI don’t know if you have seen it yet, but King’s Hawaiian launched “The Legend of Hallowaiian” at the beginning of October. It is fantastic! From the moment I saw their pineapple carved like a Jack-o-lantern, I fell in love! Their Hallowaiian.com site features TONS of fantastic Halloween party ideas for everything from the food (because, duh, it’s King’s Hawaiian and you want to eat at much of that as possible) to party decor ideas. They have created such a fun campaign with these aloha-inspired concepts. It’s so clever and full of fun – a true representation of the Taira family.

Vampwich sandwich idea from King's Hawaiian's "Legend of Hallowaiian"I mean, how cute are these vampwiches?!  And what is even better? You could win a trip for 2 to Hawaii just by sharing your own Halloween party! Just upload a few photos from your big bash and you might just win a glorious trip to the beautiful island of Lanai!  See full contest rules here.

For serious, this campaign makes my heart so happy and I’m glad to share it with you. Thank you for supporting the brands, like King’s Hawaiian, that let me do what I do.

Babies Have Great Parties : BabyShower.com

Use plastic animal cocktail charms as decor for food at a baby shower. I feel bad for babies. They get great parties and they aren’t even really there. I mean, they are there, in belly, but they don’t get to eat the yummy food or see how great the decor is. Baby showers are awesome. I contribute to Babyshower.com and while I won’t be having any more baby showers thrown for me (I have two wonderful boys but this bakery is closed) there is nothing more fun to plan than a baby shower. Next time you have to plan one you should definitely check out the site. You’ll find awesome content on there, and yeah, some of it is mine. ;) Some of the stuff pertains to non-baby entertaining as well. Like the cabbage salad recipe I shared. How stinking cute are those cocktail charms? While the mermaid might not be appropriate, these cute little animals could certainly enhance a baby shower theme.

DIY twist ties for party favors.And these DIY fabric twist ties are super simple and really great looking. I’m a big fan of candy or food as favors and simple packaging. You can find fabric to match any color scheme. And people love candy. Babyshower.com just released some great printable sheets to help you in your planning, so be sure to check them out! They include everything from budget worksheets to one to organizing invitation information. It’s a great resource!

And since it is that time of year, check out my inspiration for a Halloween themed baby shower.

OC Bloggers Networking Event

Pink, orange, black and white decor for our blogger party. #bloggersunpluggedI had been talking about doing it for a while and finally got a chance to throw an Orange County Blogger Networking event.  I teamed up with the fantastic, Naadine of Great Over Good, to host it in her great space. We called it Bloggers Unplugged because we wanted everyone to just come and meet up, mingle and really get to know each other. So often at events, you are tied to your phones and your obligations and it is hard to connect with your local blogging friends. So this was a way to do that. We didn’t get any sponsors so that we could focus only on each other. It was super fun!

We hosted a networking event for Orange County bloggers. #bloggersunpluggedWe invited all kinds of bloggers and had a really great turn out. It was a really great mix of fashion, mom, travel and lifestyle bloggers and I met tons of people I had never met before. There were bloggers in all stages of their careers and it was cool to be able to chat with them about what they were going through at the moment. If you are interested in being put on the info list for any future events, you can add your info here.

Love this chalkboard wall at @greatovergood  #bloggersunpluggedThe Great Over Good space is awesome and didn’t need hardly any decor. The lobby area has tons of great artwork and this great chalkboard wall. If you don’t know Great Over Good, you need to keep it in mind if you need a space to hold a meeting, set up a photo shoot or hold a workshop. This is the place for you!  It’s my favorite. There is a kitchen, a nice large room for larger gatherings and a great meeting space, with a long table in the back.

Andy Warhol soup cans were balloon weights. #bloggersunpluggedI had forgotten to get weights for the balloons but Naadine had these great Andy Warhol soup cans on hand that worked perfect. She has great little vignettes of cool items all throughout the space. This girl’s style is SO good!

DIY pink, orange, black and white yarn pom poms added color to our blogger event. #bloggersunpluggedSince the space is big and white, I wanted to find a simple way to add lots of color. I made a bunch of colorful pom poms for it and just hung them around the room. Some of the fashion bloggers decided they made better accessories. I don’t disagree.

Simple, graphic blogging quotes were the only decor added to the white walls. #bloggersunpluggedI searched online and found a bunch of quotes on blogging that I made in to simple, graphic posters. It added a nice touch to the all white room and didn’t take a ton of time to do.

Easy DIY yarn pom poms for decor added lots of color to the all white space. #bloggersunpluggedNaadine and I split food duty and served simple things like fruit, veggies, cookies, cheese and crackers.  And plopped some yarn poms on the buffet to add some color. You guys, yarn poms will never get old for me. I love them!

Rad balloons from The Flair Exchange. #bloggersunpluggedThe color scheme was inspired by these balloons from The Flair Exchange. These balloons were a total hit at the party. Everyone loved them and I highly recommend you get some for your next party.

The Flair Exchange balloons were a great favor for the local bloggers who attended our networking event. #bloggersupluggedWe set out some goodies for the bloggers to take home with them, including little packs of the balloons.

Adorable pencils from @melissacreates for our attending bloggers. #bloggersunpluggedAnd my friend Melissa of Melissa Creates, sent pencils with fun sayings on them. You can check them out in her shop! I met so many new people and was grateful for the support of some other gals that I already knew. And in keeping with the name, I didn’t do any social media-ing during the event. Luckily, some people did so you can see more images of the attendees:

Feast Fashion Faves

Living In Style OC – She calls me Shannon but whatevs, there were a lot of people there that night. :)

And the stinking cutest couple ever was there, who I incidentally, didn’t get a chance to chat with. Turns out they are competing on The Amazing Race and they have, what might be my favorite fashion blog ever, My Boyfriend’s Clothes.

Great Over Good is holding another fun event in a few weeks! Blogger Brunch! You should go!

HUGE thank you to Naadine for helping me to throw a great event. I hope you all get to meet her at some point. She’s awesome and I can’t wait to plan something with her again!