Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kitchen Confessions {Hot Broccoli Cheese Dip}

This past weekend it was our turn to host our monthly dinner club.  I almost always make Cowboy Caviar for an appetizer, so I decided to change it up a bit this time.  I dug through my recipes and came across one that I had not made in forever.  It's a Hot Broccoli Cheese Dip and it is really yummy!

This is one of those kind of things you can prepare ahead of time, keep in the fridge, and then just warm up in the oven right before you need it.  It's a crowd pleaser and even got my kids eating broccoli, which is quite an accomplishment.  Honestly, I don't even think they realized what was in it, but everyone must have felt the same way because this is all that was left.



Hot Broccoli Cheese Dip 
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 envelope Good Seasons Mild Italian Salad Dressing mix
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen broccoli, chopped and thawed
1 pkg. (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and salad dressing mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Stir in broccoli and 1/2 of cheese.  Spoon into 9 inch pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted (approximately 5 minutes).

Serve with Wheat Thins or other crackers and enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mommy & Me: Rain Gear

Rain, rain...let's go out to play! We aren't about to let all these spring showers bring us down! We embraced all this wet weather, and came up with a bright and fun rain gear guide that is sure to make you start puddle jumping for joy. 

To see our favorite rain gear picks, hop over to our guest blog on Savvy Sassy Moms today,
Do you have any rainy day favorites? What do you or your little ones make a splash in when weather turns wet? 

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P.S. - Our Savvy Sassy friend, Katie, wrote an awesome blog featuring 20 Dinosaur crafts! We know a few mini paleontologists who will be so excited about this. Hop over to check it out, and see a little something from Carrie Beth while you are there. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Liebster Award

When Jen and I started this blog about 8 months ago we had no idea where it would go.  We thought it would be fun to share our stories and ideas, connect with other bloggers, and have some fun opportunities.  Little did we know that in 8 short months our blog would grow more than we had ever expected, we would be guest blogging for The Avenues, be selected to be Product Scouts for Savvy, Sassy Moms, and connect with so many other amazing bloggers!  That is what we love most..."meeting" other people and sharing this fun blogging community with them.  

One of our newest friends is Cory from Playdates and Prescriptions.  She's a mother of two, a pharmacists, and the sweetest ever!  Last week she nominated us for the Liebster Award!!!  We were so honored and excited. 

Basically this award is a way to recognize new-ish bloggers, discover new blogs, and connect with others.  :-)  Liebster has German origins and has several different meanings: dearest, nicest, kindest, beloved, welcome, valued, etc. We loved the idea of this award and definitely wanted to play along.  Cory was asked 10 questions and then came up with 10 new questions for us to answer.  So fun, right!?!  Here are our answers:

Carrie Beth: 
1.  What is your favorite hobby? 
Does sleeping count?  Ha!  I really wish I could do that more.  I guess I would say crafting in general. I love to create things whether it be sewing, making wreaths, something for the house or for the kids.  Seeing the finished product is so rewarding!

2.  Do you have a favorite scripture verse?  If so, which one? 
It's hard to pick just one. I love Psalms and always have since I was a little girls so this is one of my favorites:

via Pinterest

3.  Are you a morning person or a night owl? 
Definitely a night owl. I love the time alone at home after everyone goes to sleep.  The house is quiet, I can focus on what I need to do, and I feel so productive!  Waking up early is not my strong suit.

4.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I would like to say the beach because I would love that, but honestly I am so very happy with where we live right now I don't think I would leave it completely.  We are near a large city, close to everything, surrounded by friends and other families we can relate too with lots of kids.  At this stage in our life, I love where we are!

5.  If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 items would you hope to have with you? 
My phone, my phone charger and a generator so I could call for help!

6.  What's your idea of a perfect date night?
I love dancing, so I would probably say going to a yummy dinner with a group of friends and then going somewhere to dance the night away.

7. What's your favorite vacation destination? 
The beach! I love the salty air and the sand between my toes.

8.  Do you prefer summer or winter?  
I'm definitely a summer girl.  We love all sorts of summer activities like swimming, the lake, the beach, etc. and I feel like in the cold winter there isn't much to do, but stay indoors.

9.  What is/was your dream job?
I was never one to dream about being a big-time business executive, working in the corporate world, becoming a doctor or anything like that. I have always dreamed of being a mom.  I literally feel like I am living out my dream being a stay-at-home mom to my three little ones.  I feel like it is what God put me on this earth to do.

10.  What's your favorite accessory?    
That's a tough one because I love to accessorize. I think my favorite would have to be my Michael Kors watch.



I received it as a birthday gift this past year and have worn it almost every single day.  I love the weight of it, the size of it, and feel like when I wear it I don't need other bracelets, etc., because it looks great and makes a statement all on it's own. 

Jen: 
1.  What is your favorite hobby?
Oh this is tough because I feel like I have a lot, but my favorite one is photography. I don't get to play with my camera as much as I used to, but taking photos is so fun to me. 

2.  Do you have a favorite scripture verse?  If so, which one?
This is another tough one. I love Corinthians, but I also love Jeremiah 29:11, but for my mommy soul I think Matthew 6:34 is a good go to.
Free Bible Verse Printable "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow..." Matthew 6:34 from PrintableWisdom
 { Source }

3.  Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Both??? I am an awful sleeper, and can run on almost no sleep. I stay up late and can pop right up early in the morning. Most days with out the aid of caffeine. Shocking, huh? It's a gift.  

4.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Most definitely at the beach. There are some sleepy little East Coast beach towns that we love, and I would love to retire to one day. 

5.  If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 items would you hope to have with you?
A box of books I've never read to pass the time, a picture of my family, and a satellite phone to be able to call for help. This is assuming I at least have clothes on me. If not, I would trade the box of books for a rocking bikini. No one wants sand in places sand shouldn't belong. Agreed?

6.  What's your idea of a perfect date night?
What is this date night thing you speak of? J/K! I can't remember the last time we had a formal date night. I think going out to a yummy dinner where we can leisurely eat our meal and talk uninterrupted would be fabulous. 

7. What's your favorite vacation destination?
We've been very lucky to travel to some amazing places over the years. I love anywhere with a beach and love visiting Hilton Head Island each year with my family. I think my favorite vacation of all time was to Costa Rica with Mr. Cute a few years ago. It was just such a fun and unique place to visit, and we can't wait to go back one day soon.


8.  Do you prefer summer or winter?
Summer! I don't even want to talk about winter. 

9.  What is/was your dream job?
My current one? I am like Carrie Beth and love love love being a stay at home mommy. Yes, some days it is challenging, but I wouldn't exchange it for anything in the world.

10.  What's your favorite accessory?  
Oh my I am an accessory addict so that is tough. I would have to say my favorite thing to grab to complete an outfit is a statement watch or a statement bracelet. I like some major sparkle. :)

Now, we are going to change things up just a bit.  We feel so honored to be a part of this blogging community and love all of the amazing people we have met and all of the amazing blogs we read.  Our nomination is totally open to ALL of you amazing bloggers. If you are reading, and you have not yet received this award, we nominate you! Yes, you!!!  Leave us a comment and let us know you are going to play along so we can be sure to read.  We feel like everyone deserves recognition for their hard work and dedication to their blogs because let's face it, while this is fun, it is also a lot of work, too!  Let us know more about you by answering these questions.  

1.  What is your favorite season?  
2.  Would you rather wear jeans or a dress? 
3.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
4.  Why did you start your blog?  
5.  If you could go back to anytime in your life, when would you choose and why? 
6.  What's your favorite TV show?
7.  What 3 beauty products could you not live without? 
8.  What are you looking forward to most this summer? 
9.  What's your favorite store? 
10. Who inspires you most?  

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Fashion Fix: Pineapples {Giveaway}


Spring weather seems to finally be here to stay, and as true to form here in the South, we are also already getting little hints of summer. We are summer girls in every sense of the word, and are counting down the days until that final school bell rings for the year. 

We've been enjoying changing over our homes and wardrobes in prep for brighter days and warmer temps, and noticed a theme that kept popping up in our shopping excursions. Pineapples are everywhere we turn, and we are more than embracing of this symbolic southern tradition of welcome and friendship. 

From pjs to the pool to pillows, these are just a few of our favorite pineapple finds this spring. 

1. Tory pineapple swim shirt (coordinating swim bottoms also available). 
2. One Kings Lane linen pineapple pillow
3. Williams-Sonoma pineapple barware (wine stopper & cork screw). 
4. Soludos Picnic Espadrilles in Coral Linen
5. River Island pineapple sneaker socks
8. Welcome beverage set in pineapple
9. Williams-Sonoma Pineapple margarita mixes (available in regular and skinny). 

We decided not to let the pineapple fun end there though. With our friends at The Avenue, we've partnered to have a little giveaway. Call it inspiration over a delicious skinny pineapple margarita, or just plain love over their wonderful products, but we've decided to giveaway a Williams-Sonoma gift card to one lucky reader.  What better store to celebrate pineapples with than the one with a pineapple as their logo? Enter the giveaway below and the winner will be announced on Friday, May 8th. 






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P.S. - Don't forget when you visit The Avenue to snap a pic or two and tag them on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #shoptheavenue to win amazing monthly prizes. Good luck! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Savvy Sassy Sunday: Minted Home Decor

We have found a new favorite website, and we just can't keep it to ourselves. A few weeks ago we were given the opportunity to try out Minted. We both had previously heard about the website, and knew that it was an online marketplace for designers to showcase their invitations, stationery and party supplies for purchase.  Their products are simply gorgeous and we were excited to give them a try.


 Graceful Wedding Invite - Photo courtesy of Minted.com
After a little digging we realized, while yes they have simply adorable party decor, that wasn't all they had to offer. 

 Nautical Party Decor - Photo courtesy of Minted.com

They also have a whole home decor section that offers a wide selection of custom designed fabric, children's decor, and fabulous art. We had no idea!

We instantly fell in love with Minted's art selection, and had fun browsing through the hundreds of options. It took some time to finally settle on what we both wanted to order because there were really just so many beautiful things! 

Jen's choice: 
Ultimately as Carrie Beth and I drooled over all the beautiful print options, we actually ended up liking one of the same ones. We both love our home state of Georgia so much that the Georgia Map Foil Pressed print seemed pretty close to perfect. There are a ton of state themed options, but this was love at first sight for me.  I knew exactly where I wanted to put it in our home, and was so excited. 


I decided to order the 8x8 sized print (it comes in variety of size options) with a custom frame. Minted has a wide selection of framing options available, which is perfect. I usually take forever to frame art because (1) I am super picky after gaining my professional photographer eye, and want to make sure anything and everything is framed just "perfect", and (2) The idea of making framing decisions with two little ones in tow who think the frame displays are their own personal velcro puzzle pieces that need to pass the toddler throw test for quality control sends me into a new level of anxiety. I loved that I could click a button and everything would be shipping to me ready to hang. I was torn between the distressed charcoal frame and the barn wood frame, but ended up going with the distressed. 



I was a little nervous on the quality of the frame, not having seen or felt it in person, but once it arrived I loved it even more than I thought I would. The gold foil print is exquisite, and the frame is of GREAT quality. 


The distressed charcoal frame is very similar to a barn wood style frame. It is rustic and knotted and has tons of great character.


It is thick and comes with all backing and ready to hang hardware already installed. 


The frame gives you that custom frame feel, but definitely at a much better price. I was thrilled with my choice and the quality of the entire product. 


I decided to hang print in our office gallery wall. The walls in our office display pieces of art or photos that are super special to us. Our wedding invitation, dogs foot prints, art from our travels...it all resides in this room, and the Georgia map could not be a more perfect addition. Now we have a lovely piece to remind us of our home state and the place we've grown our life together. It just makes me smile each time I look at it. That, and it is shiny gold, and who doesn't love that?!? ;) 

I already have my eye on a few more prints, and can't wait to make another purchase. Some of my current favorites are the Sea Fever print, the Whale Series One print, and the Flora in Peach print. It will be so hard to choose with all of the thousands of great options!

Carrie Beth's choice: 
One thing I liked when looking through all of the art work is that you can order any piece is multiple sizes.  It's perfect if you are looking for something in a specific size or to fill a certain wall in your home.  Since we moved in our new house under year ago, I have slowly been trying to decorate and fill our walls.  I use a lot of photographs and portraits on my walls because, let's face it, I like looking at my sweet little family.  When I do choose artwork, I want it to be something that is meaningful to our family, not just some random thing I bought to hang up. 

In our new home we are surrounded by nature.  It's funny because we live really close major roads and highways and we are actually in the middle of everything, but our lot is really wooded and we have a little stream right beside our house, so we get all kinds of wildlife around here.  I don't necessarily love nature and I could really do without some of the critters (we spotted a raccoon just last week - yikes!), but what I do love is all of the birds.  They begin chirping early every morning and we are constantly seeing them.  

When I saw the Robin print, I knew it was what I wanted. I loved the colors and the detail.  



Robin's are my favorite because of the beautiful blue eggs they lay, so to go along with my Robin print I also selected Fly, which is of the Robin's nest.  I loved this art piece of the bird's home, with it's three little blue eggs.  


To me it represented our home with my three little kids living here.  I couldn't have planned it any better!  They are both by different artists, but I felt like they complemented each other perfectly.  


As Jen mentioned, Minted does offer framing as an option for most of their artwork, but I already had these frames so I knew they would work and look great with the prints.  I love them hanging together and I have them in our mudroom, right where we walk in and out each day.  Every time I pass by them I get a smile on my face thinking about our home and the special people who live here.




Have you tried Minted? What art or products did you fall in love with? We can't wait to hear your choices! 


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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lilly: A Winner, A Sale & A Preview

Three cheers, the weekend is here! We hope everyone has had a great start to their weekend!



A Winner...
Let's get down to business...time to choose a winner for our mini Lilly for Target giveaway. The winner of the Nail gift set is...


Commenter #7 Carol Harrell! Congratulations! Send us a message with your contact info to themagnoliamamas at gmail.com and we will be sure to get your prize out to you asap. 

A Sale...
Now if you didn't get a chance to attend the Lilly for Target sale, or win the giveaway, worry not. There is an awesome sale going on at Sak's this week through 4/27 for their friends and family event, and lots of LP is included! 

These adorable Liza shorts are now under $50. We love that darling lace detail!

| Green | Yellow |

Tanks and tops are also included in the sale. These tops are simply gorgeous, and the Tabby Tank is now only $23!



Thes white dresses are perfect for upcoming graduations, wedding rehearsals or summer beach photos. At 30% now is the time to grab them. 



To enjoy the 30% for the Saks' Friends and Family sale enter code: FRNFAM at checkout. Tons of great items in addition to LP are available. Shoes, jewelry, beauty items...happy shopping!

But wait, it gets better! :) Amazon also has some fun items available on sale from past seasons. Not a bad way to pick up some super adorable looks for less than retail.


This Eaton Sheath Dress is adorable. We just love the tassels at the bottom! It also comes in another pattern, that is just as precious. Currently it is 15%, and there are a wide range of sizes still available.

The Macfarlane Shift Dress is also 15%. The gold lace detail is gorgeous!



This super cute iPad case is such a fun pattern. Would even be a great graduation gift.

It takes a little digging, but there are a few more items. 

A Preview: 
This week following the Lilly for Target sale, LP released the first round of their summer line, and we are swooning. As usual all the bright colors and bold prints have us craving for summer. Here are a few quick favorites...

This Karrie Crew Neck Tee is so fun, and perfect for a casual day with white shorts and gold flip flops. 
Oh my...now we are talking. Lilly yoga wear! These weekender crops are speaking our language. The matching tank and popover are super cute and just the kind of loungewear/workout wear we can get behind. 

Summer is always our favorite line and we can't wait to see what the next few rollouts produce. Hopefully this has given everyone their much needed Lilly fix. ;) 

Have a great rest of your weekend!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favorites: Mother's Day Gifts

Hello, hello!!!  I hope every has had a great week.  Today we are linking up with the Friday Favorite girls (Andrea, Narci, and Erika) and sharing our favorite ideas for Mother's Day!  Mother's Day is May 10th this year, which is literally just around the corner.  For some reason it always seems to sneak up on me, so this year I wanted to be prepared with some gift ideas for moms.  I've been gathering some of my favorites and I hope some of these ideas will help y'all, too!

My first favorite gift idea is one that I would actually love. I got a Michael Kors gold watch for my birthday and I absolutely love it. I have a friend with a white one that is just gorgeous!  I feel like it would be great for spring and summer (or really year round).  Here are some of my favorites (click on the picture for the direct link).

The next thing that I think would make an amazing gift is a nice tote.  My all time favorite Mother's Day gift was a Coach diaper bag that I got years ago.  It was such a nice surprise and I carried that thing everywhere.  I'm past the diaper bag phase now, but I still use that bag when we travel because it is big enough to hold everything I need from iPads to snacks, to things to keep my kids entertained. I would love a new bag (and I'm sure most of you would agree that any mom would be pretty excited about one of these).  I love a tote style because you can easily toss everything you need for your day in it and easily retrieve it, too.  I am obsessed with all of these bright colors, preppy stripes, and fun prints!  I think the pink and white stripe Kate Spade is my very favorite!

If you like to pamper your mom on Mother's Day, I love the idea of creating a gift basket with some items that are just for her and that will help her feel her best!  I have heard nothing but rave reviews for the Clarisonic Mia skin cleaning system and would personally LOVE to have one of my own. It's the kind of thing I wouldn't normally buy for myself though and would be so excited to receive one as a gift.  Some of my other favorite goodies would make a nice addition to this type of gift!




If jewelry is more your style, these beautiful styles would be perfect for a mom.  The personalized jewelry trend is so popular right now. It would be sweet to give a mom initial charms for her kids or grandkids or even a monogrammed piece that would be just for her and quickly become one of her favorite things to wear.  Check out those darling monogrammed stud earrings!
So many great things, right?!?!  I might just be off to go shopping for myself.  :-)  Are you looking for ideas for your own mother, trying to give your husband a few hints as to what you would love, or are you just wanting to treat yourself to something special?  No matter what mom you are thinking of this year, I'm sure one of these items will be her new favorite gift!

I would love to know if any of you have any favorite Mother's Day gift ideas this year.  Leave us a comment to share your favorites!

Lastly, don't forget to check out our Lilly for Target fun giveaway!  The winner will be announced tomorrow so click HERE to read all about it and to enter for your chance to win.  Good luck! 


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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Frozen Birthday Party

Last week I shared a little of my Frozen Party Prep that I had been working on (click HERE to see some of those details) and on Saturday the big day finally arrived.



The rain was off and on that morning and I was getting a little nervous, but thankfully it ended up holding off until after the party, which was a so nice.

FOOD: 
To eat we served Anna's Frozen Hearts (strawberries), Sven's Carrots, and Olaf Snack Mix (popcorn, Cheetos, and pretzel sticks).



 To drink we offered Glacier Juice (Blue Hawaiian juice and Sprite) and Melted Snow, which the kids all though was so fun. :-)




Blondie doesn't really care for cupcakes (although she loves the icing) so instead she asked for cookies made by my extremely talented friend.  I go to her for every cookies occasion and she always goes above and beyond.  I absolutely LOVED the cookies she did for the party and they matched perfectly!   Not only did they look good, but they taste amazing.





The dipped Rice Crispy Treats were also a big hit and so very easy to make.  I followed Jen's directions HERE and I will probably be making these for every kid event I have from now on.


Decorations: 
I really didn't need to many decorations.  I did have the centerpieces I made (click HERE to see) and found some snow flake confetti that Blondie helped me sprinkle around.  Along with the centerpieces I used some pillow stuffing (to look like snow) and some of the Frozen dolls we already owned.


Games/Activities: 
I had a few games planned for the kids, as well as just some general outdoor things like sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, and jump ropes out of them to play with.

We played Pin the Nose on Olaf, snow ball toss, and I also had an Olaf piñata for the kids.




This game was a hit and was so simple to make. I just used poster board to draw Olaf, cut out carrot noses and wrote at each of the kids' names so they would know which nose was theirs.  It did take a few people manning the game though to keep it going smoothly. I was putting tape on the back of the noses, my mom was blindfolding the kids, and one of the older guest help guide the younger ones in the right direction.


I didn't get many pictures of the actual whacking of the piñata because I was too worried about someone getting hit with the baseball bat.  All of the kids got one good swing and hit before the candy started to fall out.  Then the Mr. just ripped it in half and started shaking the candy/goodies all over.  The kids loved it!  Prior to all of that, while they were all lined up waiting in line, I passed out baggies to each of them so they had somewhere to put all of the treats they collected.  I also talked to them all about making sure everyone got a fair amount and possibly the need to share some of their prizes with a friend if they noticed someone didn't have a lot.  I really think that little pep talk helped us avoid any hurt feelings because they were all so sweet to each other and I saw lots of sharing/trading going on.


Party Favors: 
For party favors I usually like to do one larger item that would be fun for the kids to use or play with instead of a bunch of little things in a goodie bag that usually get thrown out.  For the girls I found Frozen diaries with the cute pen and the boys got glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls.  As the guests started to leave I stationed Blondie at this table so she could hand them out and thank everyone for coming to her party.  


All in all, it was a great party.  I had a great time planning all of the details, the kids had lots of fun, the weather held off, my house didn't too messy and our sweet SIX year old felt so special that day, which was my whole goal to begin with!

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