Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

I bought this sweater early last winter and only had one chance to wear it.  It’s so beautiful, I was super bummed about that.

So, when Dad and I spent the day walking around Birmingham over the weekend, I put it on over a dress to make it spring appropriate and keep me warm from the slight chill in the air.

Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

It was perfect for the weather and added a little something extra to the outfit.  I love that it is super cozy, yet also super fashionable.

Spring Crocuses

We spent a good ninety minutes walking around – yes, I walked in those shoes! – and it was a blast to see spring popping up in the crocuses and birds singing.

A coffee from Commonwealth kept us energized and the day really could not have been better.

What is your idea of the perfect spring day?

Sweater: Alexander McQueen // Dress: Phoebe Couture // Shoes: Prada // Bag and Bag Charm: Burberry  Sunglasses: Tiffany

Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

Spring Sweater Remix #FashionFriday

Spring Recipe Roundup

032617 Monthly Meal Plan April-main

Brunch

Entrees & Sides

Desserts

This month’s recipe round up was brought to you by:

The Pajama Chef | Ninja Baker | The Cooking Actress | Pies and Plots | The Spiffy Cookie | Foodtastic Mom | Kelly Lynn’s Sweets & Treats | Savory Moments

Pin this to your meal planning board for easy access all month long!

032617 Monthly Meal Plan April-pinterest

032617 Monthly Meal Plan April-square

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

We have been breaking high temperature records all week here in Michigan, and it has been amazing.

Last Saturday the sky was a cloudless blue and the temperatures almost reached 70!  So, we ventured to downtown Birmingham, hopping with activity from everyone wanting to get out and enjoy.  After a nice walk, we headed to Market North End for dinner with friends, where they had the windows open.  I want every day to be like this #californiadreaming.

Birmingham Michigan

To celebrate, because it was a celebration, I wore a super fun outfit of my new watermelon sweater and my favorite polka dotted skirt.  Plus, sandals, because I could.  That’s reason enough for me.

I am so in love with this sweater because it’s so vibrant, youthful, and spring worthy, while still being kind of warm.  After all 70 and sunny in February isn’t 70 and sunny in July.  It’s one of my favorite recent additions to my wardrobe and there have been a lot.

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

I feel like I’m finding my fashion voice and really comfortable with it and how I present myself to the world.  I dress like me, no one else, and I think that’s cool.

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

Do you have a distinctive style?

Sweater: Draper James // Skirt: Kate Spade // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Sunglasses: Tiffany // Bag: Prada // Bag Charm: Anya Hindmarch

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

Spring Fling #FashionFriday

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

March may have started with a couple pretty nasty snowstorms, but now spring is officially in the air and hopefully here to stay.

Mom and I headed to the mall the other day, and it was just beautiful out.  Sunny.  Seventy.  A warm breeze.  Seriously what my weather dreams are made of.

And since it was so warm, I couldn’t wait to break out a pretty dress and some sandals!  Can you blame me?

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

 

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

If you aren’t familiar with Somerset mall in Michigan, you’re probably wondering where some of the pictures were taken.  They have a skywalk over a road connecting two parts of the mall.  It’s actually really cool and a great way to visit a lot of stores!

Confession: I didn’t love this dress when I first bought it.  I thought I did, but then I thought it made me look matronly.  It was pricey, so I needed to figure out a way to wear it and love it.  I found that leaving one more button in the top unbuttoned made it fresher and more youthful.

Though you made not be able to tell in the photos, the dress has a subtle purple pattern to it, so I love to pair it with purple shoes.

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

Then I added my new favorite Prada bag because it holds EVERYTHING and because it’s always a good day when I can channel Olivia Pope.

What are you excited to start wearing now that the weather is getting nicer?

Dress: Carolina Herrera // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Handbag: Prada

Hint of Spring #FashionFriday

Lemon Brownies #SundaySupper

Lemon Brownies

I need lots of sunshine in my life. And when the actual sun isn’t present, which is frequent here in Michigan, I turn to Mom. She is my sunshine when that big star in the sky is hidden behind clouds and snow and other yucky things or when even at its brightest, said star isn’t enough.

My life is unique, unlike no one else’s and in flux constantly as I wade my way through the turbulent waters and try to find my place in the world. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a mom who stands by me no matter what.

Lemon Brownies

She comforts me when I’m crying about things big and small. She helps me come up with ideas for my writing. Seriously, she should get a job as an editor. She bakes and cooks with me and does the dishes, even when she doesn’t want too. She goes shopping with me, and every once in awhile buys things on a whim.

She tells me things are going to work out and all my dreams will come true (or at least some of them) when I can’t see that ever happening. I imagine she sometimes doubts it too, but she never tells me. And most of all, she loves me. The love of a mom is a powerful thing, more powerful than even the sun sometimes.

Lemon Brownies

I know my life and Mom’s life haven’t turned out in the way we hoped as of late, but I won’t give up and things will get better. One day soon, maybe I can take some of the pressure off of Mom and be the sun in our worlds. She can take over as the moon.

When Mom needs a little extra sunshine, we love to make lemon desserts together. These Lemon Brownies were one of our favorites. I’ve made Orange Brownies before, but they were more like orange cake. These are definitely brownie like. They are rich, dense, and almost gooey in the center. The lemon flavor shines through and the glaze, applied when warm, melts in, intensifying that gooey brownie-ness.

Celebrate Mom all the time, but make today extra special with these Lemon Brownies!

Lemon Brownies

Lemon Brownies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 large brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon juice, followed by the flour and salt. Mix until just combined.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Toward the end of baking time, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon zest and juice. Add more sugar or juice as necessary until a thick, but pourable glaze is formed.

Poke holes in the brownies with a toothpick and spread the glaze on top. Cover the whole thing. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting and serving.

Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Foodista

http://piesandplots.net/lemon-brownies-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Celebratory Sips

Starters and Salads

Hearty Mains

Treats and Sweets

5 Favorite Pancake Toppings by Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Fashion Friday: Polka Dots

Fashion Friday: Polka Dots

Very often when choosing pieces for my wardrobe, I avoid patterns, especially stripes and polka dots, but every once in awhile I break my own rules. After all, rules are meant to be broken, particularly when it comes to fashion.

When I saw this skirt at the Kate Spade store a couple months ago, I knew I had to have it. One of the sales associates was wearing it and made it look so cute, and I knew I could put my own style twist on it.

How to Wear Polka Dots

I love how young it looks and makes me feel with the festive polka dots and its short length. Plus, I can dress it up or dress it down and pair it with many different things already in my closet, making it perfect year round.

Here, I paired it with a Burberry Brit top I just picked up at Nordstrom. It is my new favorite piece in my closet because it’s so classic, casual, and will go with just about anything. Plus, the tan in the plaid pattern picks up on the tan polka dots.

How to Wear Polka Dots

Even though I am wearing almost all black, I feel like this outfit is a really great way to transition into spring. Adding metallic sandals really picks up on that spring and even summer vibe, as do the sunglasses and pop of pink lipstick. Makeup can really refresh and change up a look.

So even if you think polka dots aren’t your thing, maybe you’ll find the perfect fun piece for you!

Top: Burberry Brit // Skirt: Kate Spade // Handbag: YSL // Shoes: Prada // Sunglasses: Anna Karin Karlsson

How to Wear Polka Dots

Fashion Friday: Pop of Spring Color

Fashion Friday: Pop of Spring Color

I’m in spring mode and so is my wardrobe. It can be a hard transition to make because the temperatures are nice but still a little chilly, so I can’t break out my sleeveless dresses quite yet.

But, I don’t want to wear sweaters and dark colors all the time either because then I feel like it’s still winter.

Pop of Spring Color

Pop of Spring Color

Adding in bright, happy pops of color are the perfect way to make the transition. I actually saw this skirt in InStyle Deals. It was such a good buy and is even machine washable, so I was thrilled to add it to my closet.

Finding pieces that are on sale or a good deal is one of my favorite things. This top is actually from a Midday Dash sale from Neiman Marcus. It’s one of their new daily events and is a great way to pick up classics at a discount.

Pop of Spring Color

In this look, the gold handbag and shoes act as neutrals. While I love nude accessories, gold is a way to spice things up without clashing with the bold colors.

I’m ready to add even more color just like the flowers outside!

Top: Michael Kors \\ Skirt: Kate Spade Saturday \\ Necklace: Lana \\ Handbag: Fendi \\ Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Pop of Spring Color

Pop of Spring Color

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackPackMixins #CollectiveBias

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

I’ve told you before how I’m obsessed with candy, especially at Easter. While a handful of jelly beans puts a huge smile on my face, I’m even happier when they are mixed with other ingredients and Snack Pack pudding for some #SnackPackMixins.

Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food is totally and completely wrong. Food should be fun! The kitchen is the best place to get creative and let your unique personality shine through. It’s also a wonderful time to get kids involved, especially with these fun, easy to make pudding cups.

Pudding Cup Ingredients

Vanilla SUPER Snack Packs are the perfect vehicle for some fun family time in the kitchen. I picked them up at Walmart and had to resist buying one of every Snack Pack flavor – there are so many and they all sound so good. Because they don’t need to be refrigerated and have an easy open lid, they are also great for school lunches and parties. Oh, and it’s pretty awesome they have as much calcium as an 8 ounce glass of milk! I am not a milk drinker and am always looking for sources of calcium.  Walmart even has a coupon available now!

Buying the Pudding

The vanilla pudding itself is so creamy and has a really great flavor. I happily enjoyed it plain. That great vanilla flavor means that other flavors pair well with it too.

I started these fun pudding cups by stuffing a Mega Stuf Golden Oreo (or two) into the pudding. I loved how it absorbed the pudding and softened, blending in perfectly.

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Then, I got creative with the toppings to create springtime scenes. I crushed some Honey Maid Teddy Grahams to create “sand” and used blue jelly beans for “water.” In another scene some of the Teddy Grahams frolicked with gummy bunnies under a yellow and orange jelly bean “sun.”

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

It was fun to color coordinate jelly beans to create the landscape, as well as use animal shaped gummies. The variety of candies you can use to create the scene is virtually endless. All of the fruit flavors really popped against the vanilla flavor and the cookies added a welcome crunch. Peanut butter and chocolate candies would definitely work as well.  The mix in possibilities are endless!

Making these Pudding Cups would be an awesome Easter festivity for kids since they can all create their own delicious masterpiece.

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla SUPER Snack Packs

Mega Stuf Golden Oreos

Cinnamon Teddy Grahams

Blue, yellow, and orange jelly beans

Gummy bunnies

Gummy butterflies

Instructions

Push an Oreo into each of the pudding cups so that it is in the middle, totally surrounded by pudding.

Crush some of the Teddy Grahams. An easy way to do this is to put them in a zipper bag and then smash them with a spoon.

Sprinkle Teddy Grahams on top of the pudding cups as desired. Decorate with more whole Teddy Grahams, jelly beans, and gummies. Use your creativity and whatever candies you like!

Notes

Make as many pudding cups as you like using whatever toppings you want. My ideas are only the beginning of the possibilities!

http://piesandplots.net/layered-easter-pudding-cups/

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KeepSpringBubbly #CollectiveBias

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

The sun is shining, the weather is warmer, and I’m ready to do some entertaining. But, I’m not always the best planner. Sometimes I just like to have a couple friends over at a moment’s notice. Once I invite them, though, I often realize I am sooooo not prepared.

After I take a deep breath, I figure out that I’m more prepared then I first thought. I always have a freezer stocked with baked goods. Always. I mean, I’m kind of surprised people aren’t always showing up at my house wanting a cookie or piece of cake.

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Then there’s my fully stocked refrigerator and pantry. I have tons of washed vegetables and fruit bowls that overflow with seasonal produce. There’s not a lack of candy and chips in the pantry either. The party shapes up quickly with all these fun foods.

But we still need some libations. Because what’s a party without a fantastic drink?

And I have one stellar drink for you today. A Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito made with the Original “Green Bottle” Canada Dry Ginger Ale®. I was on the hunt for Canada Dry Blackberry Ginger Ale® at my local Walmart but they didn’t have it yet. I won’t give up the hunt, but this mojito has all those flavors.

Shopping at Walmart

It reminds me of summer with the fresh mint, blackberries, and ginger. That extra ginger really complements the Canada Dry Ginger Ale® and gives the drink an extra kick. The fizzy Canada Dry Ginger Ale® reminds me a little of being a kid and drinking it when I wasn’t feeling well or on a hot summer day to cool me down.

But then I took this drink up a notch with some rum. It’s an awesome drink without it, but the rum gives it an extra, complementary flavor and kick.

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Another tip, use frozen blackberries in the drink instead of ice. That way the drink won’t be watered down. I actually rely on this tip a lot because I rarely have ice in the house since I don’t use it much. Weird, I know.

My parties will be extra special with these mojitos, and I’m thinking they’re a great way to celebrate just any old spring day.

See more great Canada Dry Ginger Ale® recipe ideas on the Canada Dry Ginger Ale® social hub where you can also enter to win a Canada Dry spring party pack and Walmart gift card.

I’d also love to hear if you have any fun spring inspired drink ideas for Canada Dry Blackberry Ginger Ale® and Canada Dry Ginger Ale®! Share them in the comments.

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Blackberry Ginger Ale Mojito

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients

2 sprigs mint

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

5 fresh blackberries

4-6 ounces Canada Dry Ginger Ale®

5 frozen blackberries, or a few ice cubes

1 ounce rum

Instructions

In a tall glass, place the mint, ginger, and fresh blackberries. Muddle gently with a spoon or muddler.

Add the Canada Dry Ginger Ale®. Fill so the glass is about ¾ full. Add the frozen blackberries or ice cubes. Top with the rum.

Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe is easily multiplied to make many drinks!

http://piesandplots.net/blackberry-ginger-ale-mojito/

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PepItUp #CollectiveBias

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

It has been a long, cold, snowy, icy, below zero winter for me, and I know it has for many of you out there as well. And I bet just like me, you all are ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

There are many ways I welcome spring with open arms. I spruce up my wardrobe, spend more time outside, start thinking about planting flowers, and I eat lighter meals that suit the warming temperatures.

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Salads are one of my favorite go to meals. I know what you’re thinking: bor-ing! But that doesn’t have to be the case. Plus, they are an easy transition meal, as they can be warm and comforting without weighing you down.

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a great vehicle for a salad because it is a light, healthy superfood while still being filling and satisfying. It’s also light on flavor, so it showcases other ingredients like Hormel Pepperoni.

When you think of pepperoni I bet you think of pizza, but it is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways at any time of day. It adds a lot of flavor to dishes, so your taste buds can still be happy while you trade heavy comfort food for lighter springtime foods. Hormel wants us to #PepItUp when it comes to our meals!

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

I am so glad I added Hormel Pepperoni to my Quinoa Salad. The flavor really sang and complemented the onion, parsley, tomatoes, and vinaigrette I added to the salad. In fact, I think the flavors are slightly reminiscent of Friday night dinners of my youth with pizza and salad.

Nutty quinoa, salty pepperoni, sweet tomatoes, spicy onion, fresh parsley, and acidic vinaigrette are a match made in springtime paradise.

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

This is a salad you will want to make over and over again. I’m excited to make other meals with Hormel Pepperoni, but I need your ideas. Share your springtime meal ideas for Hormel Pepperoni in the comments!

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Hormel Pepperoni Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

¼ Pillow Pack Hormel Original Pepperoni

1 beefsteak tomato, cut into wedges

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

½ bunch fresh parsley, large stems removed, roughly torn

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it boils, add the quinoa, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, pepper, turmeric, mustard, and honey.

Once the quinoa is cooked, pour it into your serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and stir so it absorbs the dressing. Add, tomato, onion, and parsley. Stir to combine. Mix in some of the pepperoni and place the rest on top.

Salad may be served warm or chilled. Store salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

http://piesandplots.net/hormel-pepperoni-quinoa-salad/

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