Things I Love : November, 2014

Take time to stop and bake mini donuts with your kids. Random things that I loved this month…

I usually work on blog stuff in the mornings. Even the weekend. So it was a really nice change of pace when my son found our mini donut baker in the garage and all but demanded we make them immediately. So we did.  And they loved them. And it was really fun to make something for breakfast and take a little more time with them instead of being on the computer. I guess sometimes you have to stop and smell the mini donuts.

The styling in Bon Appetit Magazine is the best. They get me. I die for food magazines. I rarely make anything from them, but I have to read them each month. Over the last year or so I’ve been falling in love with Bon Appetit and their styling. They just get me. It’s all I can do to wait patiently for the new issue to arrive each month. The creative direction is SO GOOD. Like, I want to rip out these pages and decoupage them on my dresser like I did with bands in high school.

Celebrating a friend who is following her dream. This didn’t happen in October but I didn’t download the photo until now so it missed last month’s ‘Things I Love.” My dear friend, Erika, was an extra on Brooklyn 99, one of my fave shows. So of course we had to have a viewing party at her house and experience it together. It was the Halloween episode. She nailed it. I love watching her explore this new path in her life and think she is awesome. See her on Cougar Town here.

My favorite Erin Wasson for RVCA shirt and vintage necklace. You guys. I’ve only been wine tasting twice now but both times I really felt like I needed to wear this vintage grape necklace that my grandma gave me. Do you really need to have a good luck charm for wine tasting? Because I think this is mine. My grandma wasn’t in to wine per se although she always ordered a Chablis when we ate at the pizzeria. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my grandparents was them making fun of pretentious wine tasters and the adjectives they use to describe the wine. I will never forget it. I love this necklace. And this shirt. I will die if anything happens to it. It’s Erin Wasson for RVCA and it is my all time fave. If we’ve hung out in person you have certainly seen me in it. And I love my new necklace from Shop Serene Sky. I won it at a blogger event and it’s totally my style! So glad I didn’t win the free month of exercise.

Fried Green Beans from The Habit. Dearest fried green bean, how did I not know about you until now? I saw someone post about these on their instagram account and later that day went to try them. I adore green beans. It’s the world’s best vegetable. And fried?! Yum. This was my first time at The Habit, although it is in the same parking lot as my Joann’s so you know I’ve passed it and smelled it like a gazillion times. The burger was also amazing! Can’t wait to go back and try out more things! I also love that they put a gummy hamburger in the kids meals! Nice touch.

Nerds against bullying! You know I love Nerds, right? They are my fave. But if Nerds and green beans got in to a fight, I’m not sure whose earrings I would hold. That’s not true. I would mean mug the green beans and back my Nerds. And then eat the green beans and then the Nerds.  So when Geeky Hostess posted this it made my heart sing. Candy against bullying. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Well done Wonka.

High waisted jeans changed my life. YOU GUYS! I’m sorry to shout at you but these pants changed my life. So I’m pretty cheap about my denim. I used to buy pricey pants, and they really did fit and wear well. But it just isn’t the right time for me to spend a lot on good denim. So I’ve been hitting the cheapy stores for my pants. These stores usually go for a younger audience so the pants are all low-rise and terrible whiskering. Well, I finally came across that was high-waisted (but not in a Jessica Simpson high-waisted pants debacle, high waist) jeans and they are awesome! The whiskering and details are still not something I would typically go for, but the fact that my muffin top is fully ensconced in these pants is amazing! I instantly felt pounds lighter. Shirts lay nicer. And I don’t constantly have to hitch them up. Because they sit above my hip bones, they don’t slip down much to create saggy butt. Life changing. So now I wear them every day. I apologize in advance.

Kids on the red carpet. This one is also from last month. My husband has a friend who is an artist and he created some custom pieces for a show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. One of the pieces is a sort of team photo from a made up sport and my husband is one of the players. So of course we had to go see my husband hanging on a museum wall.  We took the kids and they were so much fun to have there. My oldest dressed like he was going for an art heist (here he is missing the beanie and hood up). And my youngest was super in to the receptions happening outside including dancing like a spaz to the band and sucking down Sprite from the bar. And, of course, we had to get them on the red carpet. The docents only had to talk to the boys a dozen times to remind them not to touch anything.

My favorite wines from @lorimarwinery/.I have new favorite wines! I fell in love with Trio from Lorimar Winery on my first visit (a red with notes of coconut, yum). But this last visit I was lucky enough to get to taste even more of their wines. Their sparkling wine is my fave sparkling! SO delicious!  And the Grenache Blanc is where it’s at. I can’t wait to crack that baby open! Looks like I’ve got my holiday drinking game plan set.

Tillamook Chef event with Haven Gastro Pub at Provisions Market in Orange. I was invited to attend a Tillamook cheese event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Tillamook partners with chefs from all over the country and has them create sensational dishes using Tillamook product. This event was in conjunction with the Chef’s of Haven Gastro Pub and Provisions Market in Orange. The servers strolled around with platters of beer and cheese beignets and other delightful cheesey dishes. There was a fantastic cheese tasting spread set out complete with beer pairings and then there was this Mac and Cheese. Best. Ever. For this recipe they used the Extra Sharp White Cheddar and added bacon and other yummy goodness.  The event was awesome but my favorite part is that they are sharing all the recipes! I want to make everything!  Here is the White Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese.  I fell in love with the Black Pepper White Cheddar and can’t wait to find that again in a grocery store. Mmmmmm.

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Things I Love : October, 2014

Dying over the colors on this Good Housekeeping magazine. Crap. October is over. That means that the holidays are right around the corner. Life is just moving way too fast. I’m going to make every effort to slow it down a little bit and actually enjoy the holidays this year. But for now, here is what I loved during the month of October:

Good Housekeeping NAILED it with their November cover. I never pick up this magazine but the colors really spoke to me. I’m not even a huge fan of Eva Longoria but I really loved the graphic design and so I bought it to check it out. I enjoyed the magazine and look forward to seeing what next month’s cover looks like. Maybe they are trying to young it up a bit? I love me some Erin Phraner and I know she works at the mag so…I’m going to just give her all the credit since it has a crisp clean look like her site :)

Ghostbusters Krispy Kreme donuts! When your oldest son loves Ghostbusters and Krispy Kreme puts out Ghostbusters themed donuts, you drive way far out of your way to pick up a few dozen. Not sure when they will stop selling these but I am guessing Halloween so RUN to your nearest store and buy some! They were so much fun. They also had ones that looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

I can't stop wearing this House Dress from Henry Mack. I can’t quit wearing this House Dress by Henry Mack! It’s super comfy, can be dressed up or dressed down and I love the pattern! I wore this dress 3 times in one week to all kinds of events. One to a nice dinner out sponsored by a local magazine, a fashion show and a blogger event where I paired it with comfy flats. So versatile. I’m hoping they get more prints in soon! This is def a staple in my wardrobe.  Do your kids live for a photo bomb opportunity?

He is finally out of a car seat! Look how happy that makes him! Look at that face!!! It’s pure joy because this was the day we realized that it was legal for him to ride without a car seat. He felt like a million bucks. I still have him ride with the bottom booster most of the time to ensure that he is the safest. But I now know that he can ride without one. They are growing up WAY too fast!

Just the Wine drops for neutralizing sulfites in wine which I have an intolerance to. YOU GUYS. A few years ago my doctor told me that with my allergies and history of headaches that I should probably not drink wine. My nose gets all stuffed up. I get headaches pretty much immediately and the next day can be pretty unbearable. And that can be after just one glass. I pretty much stopped drinking champagne or sparkling wine completely because of the instant headaches. But stop drinking wine altogether? Absurd. Recently, I’ve been feeling exceptionally miserable after drinking wine. So much so that one morning I woke up and decided I couldn’t drink it anymore. Luckily, a mere 5 minutes later, I was reading OC Metro and came across a story on Just the Wine. The symptoms listed in the story were pretty different from mine, but I decided to try them out anyway. I am still trying them out to see if they really help me with my wine consumption. And so far I think the answer is yes! My nose still gets stuffed up, but I’m not getting the headaches like I had been. I tried these drops in a mimosa the other day and had no headache at all! These do not prevent headaches the next day due to over consumption. You put 3 drops in your 6 ounce glass of wine and give it a stir for 20 seconds. This is basically food grade hydrogen peroxide and it neutralizes the sulfites. I even take them with me when I go out now. My husband says it looks pretty shady when I put them in my wine but I don’t care. You can read more about them here.

Self-serve Iced Coffee at Whole Foods.Somewhere along the way I started upping my daily coffee intake. But as the day goes on, I’m less inclined towards a hot cup of coffee, and turn instead to iced.  So I was super excited to see this Cold Brew set up at my local Whole Foods! I pretty much have no understanding about what the different brews are, but love that you can serve yourself. And it was delicious too! I feel like this might be the next big thing. They took out their juice bar. And while this doesn’t exactly replace that, it seems like this is where the focus has shifted. And I quite like it.

Finger Limes! I finally got to try finger limes. The inside is not like a normal lime but are like tiny little balls that are tart and crunchy and awesome. While at Whole Foods, I came across a package of Finger Limes! I had seen them in a food magazine last year and almost went so far as to order them online. I’m a lime fanatic and these sounded super interesting. But I thought it might be a little obsessive to buy limes online. When I came across the package, I FOR SURE had to try them! They smell just like a normal lime, but the insides are totally different. I took the tip of my knife and sort of scraped at the flesh and these little orbs came out. They are crunchy and tart with a limey flavor. These would be so awesome as a garnish for a cocktail or appetizer. I made my whole family try them because who knows when the next time I’m going to have finger limes again! The kids thought they were hysterical. LOVED them! If you see them, pick them up!

The first time he was able to dip his cookies in Cow's Milk! He's outgrown that allergy! This kid has had food allergies since he was one year old. This right here is the first time he has ever dipped Oreo‘s in to cow’s milk. We are so grateful that he has outgrown that allergy. He seems to be fine with eggs as well, but he still resists the foods that were harmful to him for so long. This was such a great moment for me to see him acting like a normal kid and not being afraid to try the milk. I know that over time he will learn to like eggs as well. So cool! And we’re keeping our fingers crossed about the nuts as well. Because Butterfinger.

*I’ve been making some changes to the back end of my blog and as a result I have lost my spell check! I read through this post to the best of my ability but there could very well be some errors…I don’t need to know about them. And I guess I shouldn’t rely so heavily on the spell checker, but I do! Fingers crossed I can figure out where it went!

How to Make Iced Tea with Lipton K Cups

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Lipton, but all my opinions are my own. #bemoretea #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

The perfect way to relax in summer: iced tea, magazines and music in the shade #PMedia #BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThere are just two days of school left until my kids are out for the summer.  Isn’t that crazy late?!  I sure think so.  And they are moving up when school starts in the fall so this year we have a fairly short summer break.  That just means that we have to pack in as much fun and relaxing as possible.  For my kids that means swimming, playing with friends and lots of ice cream.  For me though, it means finding some “me” time to chill outside in the late afternoon.  My favorite thing to do is grab some music, some magazines and a nice tall glass of iced tea.  Ahhh, can you feel that?  That’s what Mom Oasis feels like.

The best iced tea now comes in three varieties for the Keurig!  #PMedia @BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comGrowing up, we drank milk every night with dinner.  I didn’t love it.  So I loved when summer rolled around.  On the weekends, we got to drink Lipton iced tea instead.  I would get so excited when I would see my mom preparing to make sun tea on Saturday mornings.  She’d fill the glass jar, with a bright yellow summery design, with water, and then add about 9 tea bags and screw on the top.  The sun tea would sit outside in the hot sun until the early afternoon when it had finally finished steeping.  And at dinner I would get a glass of perfect iced tea, no sugar.  Fast forward to now, I’m pretty much an iced tea addict.  There is nothing more refreshing to me.  And Lipton is the standard to which I hold all other teas.  How do you make iced tea that is perfect for summer?  With Lipton K-Cups?!  The Lipton K-Cups come in 3 varieties including Iced Tea Lemonade, Refresh Iced Sweet Tea and my personal favorite, the Classic Unsweetened Iced Tea (some things never change) and can be found at your local grocery store or other larger retailers and also online.  So pick some up and get to relaxing. 

Classic Lipton Unsweetened Iced Tea for the Keurig  #PMedia #BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com

How to Make Iced Tea

I am beyond grateful to whoever invented the Keurig!  It is the easiest way to make a perfect glass of iced tea in no time at all.  We’re going to ignore all those coffee grounds that I forgot to clean off before I took this picture and just focus on the fact that all you have to do is grab a 16 oz non-glass cup, fill it with ice and then brew the tea over it.  And when you think about it, making sun tea is kind of gross.  I know we didn’t get sick from it growing up but it makes me think of bacteria baking in the sun and growing in to super germs.  

Mom oasis.  A little spot to relax that my husband made me for Mother's Day. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis is “mooooom oooooaaaaaaassiiiisssssssssss” and it was gifted to me this M0ther’s Day (and that is how my husband and two boys said it in unison once they had it set up that morning).  I had been asking for a comfortable place to hang out in the back yard and my husband listened.  My husband made the chair and ottoman, picked out the rug and got an umbrella to create this little sanctuary for me to retreat to with my iced tea and magazines.  I LOVE it!  For some reason when I sit out here, they really do leave me alone!  It’s magical! 

magazines and iced tea.  the perfect way to relax in summer.  #PMedia #BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakes and cutlery.comI sip my iced tea (often with fresh herbs muddled or even just as a garnish – the scent gets me to an extra tranquil place) and read leisurely as though there aren’t 4 loads of laundry that need folding or lunches to make.  And since it is summer, that means that I can usually get my husband to grill dinner leaving much less dinner prep for me than usual.  Amen. 

Relaxing with iced tea   // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI try really hard to have everything I could possibly need with me, in Mom Oasis, when I first sit down.  Because if I get up, someone steals my spot.  Both of my kids like iced tea which kind of surprises me especially since I don’t drink it with sugar and a lot of people find that to be too bitter.  They are the apples and I am the tree. 

Fresh fruit snack. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comEven the snacks aren’t safe.  He’ll come out under the guise of making sure I’m enjoying myself.  But really I think he’s trying to see if maybe he can get a turn in Mom Oasis. 

New Lipton Iced Tea K-Cups.  #PMedia #BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comPretty soon, my tea is empty.  The empty glass is sort of like my timer letting me know that the relaxing is over and it’s time to get back to reality.  So I gather up my things and head back to momming. All week long I think about my time in Mom Oasis and what I will read next.  Thank goodness I can drink the Classic Iced Tea all week long.  

K-Cups with Lipton Iced Tea!  Summer can happen now.  #PMedia #BeMoreTea #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThank you to Lipton for bringing a little bit of my childhood to my summer and for making my favorite Iced Tea.  Follow Lipton on Twitter and Facebook.  (You have to go to their Facebook page to check out these really great videos featuring Carl and Stu and Lipton’s really great summer promotion where they are giving people more Sun in their Day!)

*Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Cupcakes and Cutlery able to do what I love to do!  I heart Lipton and I’m literally drinking a glass right now while I type this.

Things I Love – May

skateboarding oranges are the cutest //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhere the heck did May go?  For real.  How can it almost be summer?  Nothing says summer like little skateboarding oranges, right? 

Voluspa candles make my nose happy.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLauren got me totally addicted to these Voluspa candles.  This Ambre Lumiere flavor is SO good!  I want these all over my house. [Read more…]

Eat the Ball Basketball Rolls

Sports themed bread!  How cool is this! How freaking insane are these basketball shaped rolls?!  I can’t get over them!  My husband brought these home because he thought the boys would get a kick out of them.  And they did.  But so did I.  I mean, how perfect are these for March Madness?!  They are by a company called Eat the Ball and they actually come in several other ball shapes as well.  So fun!

So perfect for any sport themed party! I have never heard of them before and am so excited to share them with you!  As a mom to two little boys, it just makes sense that they eat sandwiches on ball-shaped bread.

The coolest bread ever! How perfect would these be for a team party at the end of a season?  I’m pretty sure the kid’s heads would explode.  But be warned.  You totally want to throw these around.  This little guy and I couldn’t help but play a quick game of catch with the ball.

Look at these ingredients.  I know what all of them are.  That is awesome.  And the bread is cute too. These rolls can be found in the freezer section.  And just look at those ingredients?!  I know what all of those are!  Once you defrost the bread, you need to consume it within 24 hours.  I kind of love that.  This is some fresh stuff!  The ball rolls feel heavy and while they are a bit dense, they are not too bready.  They also have this really nice sweetness to them.  So not only are they adorable but the flavor is great too.

You guys!  It is basketball shaped bread! How fun for March Madness?! He shoots, he scores!!

You can't watch pro basketball without a sandwich made on baskeball shaped bread. Cutest sandwich ever, am I right?  Take a look at their website to find out if they are found in your area.  They seem to be at most Bristol Farms and some other smaller farmer’s market type places.  I’m telling you, if you have little boys, you HAVE to get these!  They will think you are the coolest ever.

The coolest!! Eat the Ball makes sport ball shaped bread.  Which make the cutest, sportiest sandwiches ever. I just know all you party planning moms are going to freak out about these like I did.  These just took your sport’s themed parties to the next level.  You’re welcome.