Friday, November 16, 2018

Low Calorie Holiday Cocktails + Gift Idea

This post is sponsored by Sparkling ICE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


The weekend is here friends, and I have a little something to help kick it off - low calorie cocktail recipes. Today we are chatting about my favorite sparkling drink and how you can use it as a base to make a few of your soon to be favorite cocktails. That's right - I'm taking mommy juice to a whole new level. 

A little background first. A few years ago I gave up caffeinated sodas cold turkey. In my head my plan was to drink only water. But, while I was glad to give up soda, I quickly grew bored of just plain water. I realized I craved something with flavor and/or carbonation. 


Carrie Beth actually suggested Sparkling ICE. Her girls liked several of the flavors and after chatting with them, they told me which were their favorites. Soon a love affair began with me and the Coconut Pineapple flavor. It is so good! I literally have one every single day. 

I've tried a variety of the Sparkling ICE flavors, and you can't go wrong with any of them. I have a few clear favorites and even order them in bulk via Amazon's Subscribe & Save program. As a Prime member I save 15% off and get my favorite drink delivered directly on my doorstep. Mom win for sure! 

If only everything in life were so easy. 

Not only do the Sparkling ICE drinks give me a great alternative to just boring plain old water, but they have a few other benefits as well. They are naturally flavored and the colors are derived from natural sources. They contain zero sugar, have zero calories, and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  All such an added bonus to its already great taste! 


Low Calorie Holiday Cocktail Recipes

LOW CALORIE HOLIDAY COCKTAILS WITH SPARKLING ICE


One day as I was mixing a different kind of mommy juice, I realized that the Sparkling ICE waters -with their fizzy goodness - would actually make for a great cocktail base. And as a bonus, if you mixed them right, they would be lower in calories and sugar as a result of using them as alternatives to juices or other mix-ins. I pondered and then made it my civic duty to give this a whirl. 

It was a tough job, but I was so here for it. 

After many committed taste trials, I came up with three great festive holiday cocktail options. All low in caloric intake, and all so yummy you wouldn't care anyway. 

Low calorie holiday cocktail. The Holly Jolly Punch is the perfect festive cocktail recipe for both small and large crowds.

HOLLY JOLLY PUNCH

Ingredients
  • 6 oz. of Sparkling ICE Coconut Pineapple
  • 3 oz. of orange juice
  • 1 oz. of cranberry juice
  • 3 oz. of vodka
  • optional garnish: slices of orange and frozen cranberries
Holly Jolly Punch Recipe - great low calorie holiday cocktail recipe.


Directions
  • In a large glass, mix all juices together. Stir in vodka. Garnish as desired and serve chilled.
  • Note: If making a large batch freeze your cranberries and they not only help to garnish your holiday drink, but also help keep the punch cool for a little while. 

 
Apple Cider Moscow Mule recipe. Great low calorie holiday and fall cocktail option.

APPLE CIDER MOSCOW MULE

Ingredients
  • 2 oz. of Sparkling ICE Crisp Apple
  • 2 oz. of Ginger beer
  • 2 oz of vodka
  • 1 cup of ice
  • optional garnish: apple slices and cinnamon stick

Directions
  • Fill a copper mug with ice. 
  • Pour Sparkling ICE Crisp Apple, Ginger beer, and vodka over the ice. 
  • Mix with cinnamon stick and leave for garnish. Add apple slices
  • Serve and enjoy! 



LOW CALORIE BOURBON BLACK FOREST

Ingredients
  • 3 oz. of Sparkling ICE Black Cherry
  • 2 oz. of bourbon
  • 1 oz. of Kahlua
  • optional garnish: cherries 

Directions
  • Place Sparkling ICE Black Cherry, bourbon, and Kahlua in a cocktail shaker with ice. 
  • Shake for approximately 20 seconds and then pour into a martini style glass
  • Garnish with cherry and serve immediately. 
Note: This drink is typically topped with a whipped cream or garnished with chocolate, but to keep it low calorie I removed those. Same great taste, but if you aren't worried about the calories or sugar portion of the cocktail then go ahead and add them back in. It's quite tasty both ways! 



CHEERS! FESTIVE FIZZ FOR EVERYONE! 


While on my mission to craft the perfect holiday cocktails, I thought each one would make for a great holiday gift idea too. My girlfriends and I are always thinking of cute little favor ideas for holiday parties and thought packaging up a mini version of each low calorie cocktail would be a great way to spread a little mommy juice holiday cheer. 


ITEMS NEEDED
  • Sparkling ICE bottled water drinks
  • Mini bottles of alcohol
  • Fruit and garnish that won't ruin when not refrigerated
  • Stemless wine glass or fun cup
  • Clear gift wrapping
  • Festive ribbon
  • Gift labels (we used these)

INSTRUCTIONS
  • Place large square of gift wrapping on table. 
  • In the middle place your Sparkling ICE bottle as the center. 
  • Surround with fruit, mini bottle and garnishes. 
  • Take all four corners of gift wrap and bring up to the top of the bottle. 
  • Secure with ribbon and add gift tag. 
  • Sign, deliver, and cheers! 

Such a simple and easy gift idea! I love that my favorite daily drink is able to easily be transformed to bring a little extra holiday cheer this season. 

Do you have a low calorie cocktail recipe that you love? Or one that you would like to see? Do share - we are always willing to do our part to make sure everyone has a mommy juice that they love.  





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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

5 Reasons a Springfree Trampoline Would Make the BEST Christmas Gift

Thank you Springfree Trampoline for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and ideas are our own!

Ok Mamas...it's crunch time!  With less than 6 weeks away from Christmas, holiday shopping needs to get started!  We've already started getting a few things here and there, but are no where near being close to done and we need to get on the ball.  

Every year we try to have one larger gift that is for all of the kids. Something that hopefully they will all play together with and something that will encourage that awesome sibling love we know they have for each other deep down.  
This year the talk of a trampoline has come up time and time again.  We've told them that Santa might not be able to pull this one off. However, that hasn't stopped them from wishing and hoping and helping come up with 5 reasons a Springfree Trampoline would make the BEST Christmas gift this year. 


1. Wow Factor 
You can't argue the wow factor of a trampoline.  This is definitely the gift that is going to stand out in their little minds as the big one. The one they were so excited about and the one that they couldn't believe really happened.  If you are looking to make a big impact this Christmas, a trampoline is certainly the way to go! 


2. Gets Them Moving 
No more couch potatoes!  Trampolines get them moving. We were surprised to learn that just 10 minutes of bouncing is the equivalent of a 30 minute run.  Hello?! That is reason enough for us to think this is a good idea.  Watch out kids, the Mamas are about to get our fitness on in 1/3 of the time.


  In all actuality though, it is great for the kids too and will keep everyone moving and staying healthy. So much better than staring at an iPad. 


3. Healthy Technology Balance 
And speaking of iPads, one thing we were most impressed with is a way to re-direct their love of a device.  The reality is that in today's world technology is just part of it.  However, with Springfree's tgoma accessory it turns the trampoline into a Smart Trampoline!  How cool is that?! Four sensors on the mat connect wirelessly to a tablet like an iPad. The sensors track movement and games are used to motivate kids to jump and play longer, parents can use the fitness app part of it and there are even educational games that would make learning fun through play. We just love this aspect of Springfree and fee like it is something that totally sets them apart. It's not that you'll be adding more screen time, but rather re-directing it in a way that is going to make them motivated to get outside and be active. 




4. Safety First
One of the biggest concerns most parents have with trampolines is the safety of them. However, with Springfree Trampolines that worry goes out the window. These trampolines were designed by an engineer so that his kids would have a safer option and that is just what these are.  You can learn more HERE, but basically they use flexible rods instead of springs, has a flexible safety enclosure, a hidden frame and soft edge with no hard areas meaning you can jump to the very edge and still not risk getting hurt. 


5. Family Time
One of the best things about a trampoline is that it is great for all ages.  Our littlest Mini Magnolia had a blast jumping around just as our Middle School Magnolia loved practicing her flips and tumbling tricks.  


We can't really think of another game, toy, or piece of equipment that would be so fitting for so many age ranges.  That fact alone simply makes us consider this as a gift. Knowing that all of our kids would be able to use this together would encourage family time and sweet sibling smiles.  Heck, us Mamas might be known to jump around from time to time and we are sure the Mr. Magnolias would be all about showing what they've got. It would be fun for everyone! 


Gifting Options and Black Friday Sale 

 If you are considering a trampoline for Christmas, Springfree makes is really easy. They have a bunch of different gifting options available and a special Santa Contract. They go out of their way to help you keep this a surprise up until the very last minute and their elves do all the work! 


 For all of you savvy shoppers out there, just a little FYI.  Springfree's Black Friday deal starts this Thursday!  They are offering 3 accessories for FREE and that could really mean HUGE savings.  Those aren't cheap, so if you are considering buying a trampoline this would definitely be the time to do it. You can learn more about the sale HERE. My kiddos love the accessories and that is part of what makes Springfree so unique!


If you do consider a trampoline or just want to learn more about them there are several locations around Atlanta where you can take your kids in to jump and test them out. Even if you aren't local you can see all of the locations HERE



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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cocktail Confessions: Jingle Juice Punch

Over the weekend after spending our Friday at Findlay Rowe and being surrounded by all of their holiday sparkle, we couldn't wait any longer. We broke our no Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving rule.  Our homes aren't full blown Winter Wonderlands just yet, but by the end of this week they might be. 


One of our favorite things about this time of year is all of the time spent with friends and family. I'm so excited to have family in town this year for Christmas. We usually travel, but this year we are staying put and some of my family is coming to us. I couldn't be more excited about it!  


I'm SO looking forward to hosting and will certainly be putting my new Laurie Louis Designs holiday designs to good use.  


I just love the reindeer design and I'm an old fashioned girl when it comes to my holiday decor. I like traditional red and green so these pieces go great with what I have all around my home. 


Whether you are having family over, host a big holiday party, or just a little get-together with friends, one of my go-to hosting tips is to have a signature cocktail on hand. Something easy to whip up and serve, but also something that sets the tone with it's colors and flavors. 


This Jingle Juice Punch is just that!  So pretty and tasty and simple to make because it only has four ingredients!  


Jingle Juice Punch
1 bottle Whipped Vodka 
1 bottle Pink Champagne 
1 2-liter bottle Cherry 7-up 
2 cups Cranberry Juice 
Cranberries for garnish 


In a punch bowl or large pitcher fill with ice and combine all of the ingredients. Stir well and serve! 

We decided to make a kiddie version of this drink for the Mini Magnolias and they just loved doing a little taste testing.  Their favorite combo was Sprite with a splash of Cranberry Juice served in a fancy glass and garnished with cranberries.  They felt so big and loved feeling like they had a special drink just for them! 

Be sure to check out all of the Laurie Louis Designs holiday options and use code MAGNOLIA2018 to receive 10% off your order!

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Thank you Laurie Louis Designs for sponsoring this post! All ideas and opinions are our own. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Friendsgiving with Findlay Rowe


Happy Monday friends! We had a crazy busy weekend filled with all sorts of holiday happenings. It starts earlier and earlier each year. But as we chatted over the weekend, we realize just how fun it all is. The anticipation and the excitement of the season. Right now it doesn't feel like a whole lot of pressure because Christmas is still six weeks away. So, for now, we get to just enjoy the sparkle of it all! 

We kicked off the holiday season with a fun Friendsgiving event at Findlay Rowe, our favorite local boutique. They asked us a few months ago to host an event and do a little presentation for everyone. 


Friday marked the day, and we woke up so excited! We were a little nervous about what we had planned and if it would entertain everyone, but we had a few tricks up our sleeves.  

| Carrie Beth's Plaid Top | Jen's Plaid Top | Puffer Vest |

The store looked SO PRETTY! The Findlay Rowe ladies have outdone themselves this year on creating a holiday wonderland in their store. Their are seven gorgeous trees sprinkled throughout the store and everywhere you turn is a fun little holiday goodie or gift item. We couldn't help shopping ourselves! 


The first part of our presentation was to discuss holiday entertaining and how to set your table with ease. The store has so many wonderful items on hand that the hardest part was limiting ourselves to not going overboard. 


We showcased a few of our favorite serving items, and shared how easy it is to dress your table with just a few specialized pieces. The goal was to share how easy it can be to switch your decor from Thanksgiving to Christmas with just a quick adjustment or two. Less stress, and fuss leaves more time for celebrating! 


Our back up plan if that wasn't entertaining enough was to craft a little holiday cocktail for everyone to enjoy. 

Who can say no to shopping and drinking?! 

Not these Mamas. 


We loved all the little touches we pulled together, but one of our favorite was this Grat Pad Barbara shared with us...


How cute is it?! And so perfect for Thanksgiving...and every day after! Such a cute idea to share with guests. They would also make for a great Friendsgiving favor if you are hosting your own. Or something fun to give tweens/teens as a little conversation starter/reminder to see what they are grateful for each day. 

 They have several on hand in their store with a variety of designs available. Shoot them an email if interested for your own holiday (they ship!). 


And speaking of grateful...

We are so so grateful to each and every one of you who came out to say hi to us! The weather was not the best and we just want you to know it means the world to us you braved the cold rain to come say hi and shop! 


We had so much fun getting to know some of you in person and making new friends! 


Our event had two parts - one in the morning and one in the evening. We left around mid-day to grab our kids from school, eat a quick lunch, change and redo our rain soaked hair, and then headed back. 


| Striped Blazer | Black Tank | Black Jeans | Leopard Heels


The cocktail to say the least was a huge hit. The husbands who accompanied their wives declared it was "the best shopping experience of their lives.". We might be paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea. ;)


For those of you who wanted the recipe for yourself - here it is...


Cranberry Ginger Moscow Mule

Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients
  • 24 oz. of Ginger Beer
  • 15-20 oz. of vodka (we use Tito's.)
  • 20 oz. of Cranberry Juice
  • 1 pkg of whole cranberries
  • 2 cups of ice
  • Optional garnish: Sliced limes or sprigs of Rosemary 

Directions
  • In a large pitcher mix ginger beer, vodka, and cranberry juice over ice. 
  • Once well mixed add garnishes. 
  • Tradition states you pour this in a copper mug! 
  • Serve and enjoy! 
Note: If making a single serving, use a 1 to 1 2oz. ratio for ginger beer, vodka, and cranberry juice.  


Thank you again for all your support for what we do. We hope to have another event soon where we can see all your beautiful faces again!

If you have any suggestions on what kind of event you would like to see let us know! 


And don't forget to stop by Findlay Rowe this holiday season and say hi to these two lovely faces! Findlay Rowe has a ton of events planned between now and the end of December! The store is over flowing with great gift ideas (stay tuned for a little peek at our favorite things!). From hostess gifts to teachers gifts to gifts for all the ladies in your lives - they've got you covered! Not to mention they can monogram most things! 

 See if you can resist grabbing yourself a little something or two to wrap under the tree! #guilty


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