May 24, 2016

Home Office Refresh

I've been extra busy these days but one of the projects I'm planning to tackle in the next few weeks is refreshing our home office.  It's the first room you see when you enter our home and opens up to the entire main floor.  I'm planning to incorporate more wood tones and sprinkle in a few pops of soft green & brass to balance all the black, white & gray we currently have going on.

I'll be sure to post a few before & after photos as we make progress. . .

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April 26, 2016

Favorite Morning Drinks At Home

Good Morning early risers. . . 

No matter what day of the week it is, mornings always seem to begin very early in our household.  After years and years of battling the snooze button and all of the repercussions of oversleeping {thanks to that same ol' snooze button},  I finally committed to the idea of becoming a "morning person."  Though it wasn't exactly easy at first, I'm happy to say that I have fully embraced the newfound quiet time to myself and really enjoy the pace it sets for each day.  About an hour or so before the kids wake up,  I tip-toe downstairs and make at least one of my favorite warm drinks listed below, then I pile on a few cozy blankets and snuggle up on the couch before sunrise.  It's peaceful and relaxing and feels so good to not be frantically rushing around at the beginning of each day.  Oh, and no more nasty snooze button. . .

So here are a few of my favorite morning drinks to make at home ::

1.  Warm lemon water  //   I realize this is nothing groundbreaking and I'd bet that most of you have read an article or two detailing all the health benefits of lemon water {if you haven't, I would highly recommend skimming one like this} but this drink has truly become a critical part of my daily routine.  It is absolutely fascinating to me how including a cup of warm lemon water every single morning has changed my energy levels.  After about 2 weeks of consistently drinking this, I no longer dread the afternoon slump.  2:00 rolls around and I no longer feel that need for caffeine to get my through the second part of the day.  I just squeeze a 1/2 lemon {throw the other half back in the fridge for tomorrow} into a favorite coffee or tea cup and add in about 8 oz of warm water.  Slam it or sip it and then proceed on to your favorite tea or coffee.  It's a game changer for sure.

2.  Skinny Caramel Latte  //  This drink has taken a lot of trial & error, but I finally feel like I've created a pretty tasty latte at home that isn't loaded with sugar, milk or calories.

Kitchen gadgets needed ::
Keurig machine (this is the one I have) or a similar machine that brews K-Cups
Frother (I use this one

Ingredients ::
Folgers Caramel Drizzle K-cup
Your favorite milk {I prefer almond or cashew milk} 
Creamer {I use natural bliss creamer in french vanilla}

To start, I brew a 10oz cup of the caramel drizzle k-cup.  While the coffee is brewing, I pour about 2-3 tablespoons of creamer and equal parts milk into the frother.  The frother that I use has a fill line so that helps to ensure I don't over do it.  After the froth is all finished, I just pour it over my coffee and voila.  It's probably the closest I've come to an at-home caramel macchiato without having to boil milk over the stove or do anything too time consuming.  It's not quite as good as coffee houses but it's under 100 calories and super satisfying so that's a win in my book.

3.  Vanilla Chai Tea Latte  //  This is a recent find from one of my all time favorite spots - Trader Joes.  I sampled a small cup a few months ago while I was shopping there and couldn't wait to get it home and tweak it a bit.  The chai mix is premade so I follow the recommended instructions on the label and then add in my froth.  I use the same method as above {2-3 teaspoons each of milk + creamer} to give it a creamier consistency and warmth.  It's delicious and such a great morning or even an after dinner desert kind of drink.

My tastes change a bit depending on my mood or even the season so I'm always playing around with different recipes but the three I listed above have been in constant rotation these past few months.  The lemon water is a must and I promise once you make it a habit, you will never look back.  The benefits to your health are overwhelming and it's just a perfect boost to your metabolism for the day.  Then you won't even feel bad about making that second or third batch of froth {guilty!} and adding it back into your latte. . .

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April 24, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

I've spent the morning scouring some of my favorite sites in search of gifts for my mom as well as my mother-in-law. I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds with you all in case you need some ideas for the special ladies in your life. Mother's Day is just 2 weeks away so it's the perfect time to order your gifts without the worry of missing the shipping cutoff dates.

I've been dropping major hints to my hubby that I would love a cozy new bathrobe & these cute slippers so fingers crossed he's been paying attention.  Now my kiddos on the other hand always seem to get it right on Mother's Day.  They spoil me with messy handmade cards and freshly picked dandelions straight out of the backyard and honestly, nothing could be better.

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