Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's no secret we love Fridays around here, but we love Fridays before Spring Break even more.  That's right...we are turning off our alarm clocks for a week.  We've been on the go so much this winter that I'm excited about enjoying a stay-cation next week.  It will be full of some birthday celebrations, some downtime, some fun outings around town and some sleep.  

Today we're linking up with some of our favorite bloggers for Friday Favorites and I'm sharing a random assortment of my recent favorites. 

Before we went to the Super Bowl I ordered two new make-up products from Amazon that were recently recommended to me.  One is a primer and the other is a setting spray, both of which I have never used before.  The primer is a base for foundation that allows it to go on smoother and last longer.  The setting spray acts kind of like a hair spray. You spray it on after you are done applying your make up and it should help everything stay looking like it did when you first applied. 

I've really loved using these two products and think they really help with keeping my makeup looking great all day.  I put it on first thing in the morning and go hard all day long so whatever I do in the morning has to last me all day.  The primer is amazing. It seems watery when you first pump it out onto your hands, but when you put it on your face it totally transforms. It's hard to explain, but it is so silky and makes your face feel so smooth. I'm obsessed with it!  The setting spray smells really good and I think seems to do the trick.  I've really enjoyed using both! 

My DIY denim shorts have got to be my new favorite shorts. I've worn them several times so far and can't get enough. 

In fact, I wore them last weekend to Little Mama's cheer competition and when the Mr. saw me later that evening he asked if I got new shorts. 

I asked him if he read the blog or looked at our Instagram (he doesn't) so he was impressed to learn I had made them myself.  Let's be honest though...he was probably more impressed that I saved money by finding the denim at Goodwill and making them myself.  To see all of the details and directions to create some of your own check out the post HERE

To pair with those cute denim shorts I shared this adorable ATL tank I found at Target of all places.  Their whole line of local pride tops are amazing. They remind me of something you'd find at a local boutique instead of in your local Target.  The price is right (less than $15 each) so I ended up buying 3 different styles (HERE, HERE & HERE).

Not only does it look cute with my DIY denim shorts, but it also works out great for a top to work out in.  I usually wear a medium in tops for the length, but sized up to a large for these and I'm so glad I did. They shrank quite a bit when I washed/dried them and I honestly like the roomier fit.  Target is offering these featuring tons of cities so see all of the options HERE.

OK, I have to share these new protein bars that I recently discovered. I usually eat some sort of protein bar every afternoon between 3-5 PM because I'm usually getting hungry about that time and just need something to get me through to dinner.  It's usually the time I'm running kids around from place to place so I always throw one in my purse for on the go.  

Years ago I started using the term "cookie on a spoon" because I love to eat cookie dough that much.  I used to LOVE a cookie dough flavored bar that isn't made anymore. Last week I was determined to find something similar so I bought several different varieties and was pumped to find a winner.  Many were too grainy or too rubbery or didn't even taste like cookie dough AT ALL. But friends, when I took a bite into the Zone Perfect bar I needed the both hands raised emoji.  They are THAT good.

These are creamy, have the constancy of real cookie dough and are such a treat.  Seriously after lunch I start thinking about them and wondering when it will be time to have my afternoon snack.  My only complaint is that I wish they were bigger!  I've had the cookies and cream flavored one and the chocolate chip flavored one and both are amazing.  I stocked up on both because now my kids love them, too!  

Ending on a fun note, I have been listening to this song on repeat for a few weeks now.  This is pretty much how I do new songs. I'll download the ones I love, listen to them on repeat for a couple of weeks and then get over them, but not this one.  I can't get enough!

Have you heard it? Do you love it like me?  I like to play it loud, sing along, and pretend I have a good voice.  #CantStopWontStop

We hope everyone has a great weekend!  
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kitchen Confessions: Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin Made Easy With Dorot

It's officially Spring! Even if the temperatures dip back below freezing, which in our case is anything below 60 degrees fahrenheit, I've decided to say goodbye to all things Winter. Winter clothes (bye), Winter boots (bye), and even Winter foods (see ya!).

Warmer temps make me crave lighter fares and frostier beverages. My crockpot oven tends to get a rest, and my grill comes out of hibernation. Our garden becomes more colorful, and our plates often look just as vibrant.

Over the weekend our southern spring was in full swing and we took our little dinner party outdoors with one of my favorite spring time meals, Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin.

Here's my confession for the day: I totally cheat at making this meal. I cheat in a totally good way though. And I am about to make you a cheater too! Here's how...

I love this meal. It is so so yummy. But (and it's a HUGE but) I tend to put it on my back burner when it comes to meal planning because I rarely have the time to make elaborate meals. And this one isn't even that elaborate, but it typically involves mincing garlic cloves. Again, not hard, but takes more time than I have sometimes.

But then as I was shopping along at Trader Joe's last week, I spotted my new favorite meal making time saver - Dorot! After doing a little investigating about these pre-packaged herbs, instantly I realized I would be able to put together delicious meals with out having to take the time to chop/dice/mince my way through a list of herbs - it's already done for me!

The Dorot herbs are already prepped and then flash frozen immediately so that they are just as fresh as if I cut them myself. I love that all the work is already done for me and that all I have to do is pop out one of the pre-portioned cubes for my recipe. Half the work, and none of the mess - yes, please!

They are completely all natural, Gluten free, Vegan and Kosher, and offer a wide variety of flavors. For the Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin recipe I only needed the Crushed Garlic, but there are six total options - Crushed Garlic, Chopped Parsley, Crushed Ginger, Chopped Basil, Glazed Onions, and Chopped Cilantro. So healthy, easy, and I might not ever have to cry from chopping onions ever again - double yes, please!

This recipe was already pretty simple, but now with even less prep time I might decide to tackle it a few more times this spring.

Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin
Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 60 mins

- 2 lbs of pork tenderloin
- 4 cubes of Dorot Crushed Garlic
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 bag of baby carrots
- 2 lbs of sweet potatoes and red potatoes

1: Preheat the oven to 375.
2: Slice the potatoes and put in a large mixing bowl with the carrots.
3: Stir the honey, vegetable oil, and Dorot Crushed Garlic together in a small mixing bowl.
4: Place tin foil on a large pan. Place a second section of tin foil on the center of the pan and then put tenderloin in it. Brush the honey garlic mixture over the tenderloin and then wrap completely with the tin foil.
5: Toss remaining honey garlic mixture over carrots and potatoes. Place carrots and potatoes around the tenderloin on the pan.
6: Roast in oven for approximately 40-50 mins, or until internal temp reaches 150 degrees.
7: Remove and let tenderloin sit for about 10 mins.

Serve and enjoy!

See...cheating in a totally good way. A totally good, super yummy way!

If you want to cook up a little something elaborate (without all the elaborate work) this Spring, you can find yourself some of these amazing Dorot herbs at Trader Joe's on your next shopping trip.

Just look in the frozen section of the store.

I was able to find the Dorot products right in the beginning of the vegetable section of the frozen food aisle.

Just pop them in your cart and thank me later when you aren't washing, chopping or peeling!

What yummy spring time meal will you be making now that you know less chopping and more enjoying is in your future? Share with us your favorite spring time meals!

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Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin recipe. Great quick and easy recipe for dinner!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Host a Bunny Buffet

Okay, I know Easter is still a few weeks away, but I'm the room mom for a couple of The Cutes' parties and one of them is this week. I know, so early! To make it easy for myself I came up with a cute "Bunny Buffet" snack idea and then did a trial run yesterday to make sure the set up would work for little hands and tiny fingers.

It turned out so cute and is so easy to pack and go that I thought I would share in case you have any events coming up that this would work for too.

I am all about the buffet. Eons ago when Mr. Cute and I got married we had a candy buffet for the late night crew at our wedding. It was one of my favorite things. All these years laters I've kept some of the containers we used and break them out for a party on occasion. For this purpose though I wanted some smaller decorative containers to mix in and found these adorable glass ones. They came in a set of three and are the perfect size for normal quantities of snacks. 

The mini scoops I've held onto since our wedding and they've come in handy so many times. I think Carrie Beth has even used them for a party or two.

They were the perfect fit for the glass containers. 

And speaking of the containers, the snacks were one of the easiest parts to come up with. I know with food allergies in classrooms it is tough to sometimes think of something that everyone would be able to eat.

A Bunny themed snack buffet for kids Easter party

So I relied on some of my favorite go-to brands for kids snacks to ensure that most items were free of the most common allergies.

And because I love a good theme and this is a "Bunny Buffet" I was happy to include a bunch of the Annie's Homegrown items for bunny themed snacks.

Bunny themed snacks for kids Easter party

When I ordered the containers for the Bunny Buffet, I also grabbed some super fun and bright party decor that is easy to use from party to party. The white table cloth is wipeable (because kids), large enough to cover most classroom sized tables, and inexpensive enough that if it does get ruined I'm not too worried about throwing it away. 

The tassel garland is one of my favorites! I hope it lasts through all of the festivities because I can see using it again for a few things we have scheduled in upcoming months.

I ordered these large carrot mylar balloons as well as the carrot treat bags to tie into the bunny theme. The balloons come in a set of three. 

(Note: not inflated fully because I didn't want them to pop for the test run.)

A bunny themed buffet for kids Easter Parties

The kids loved getting to try out the Bunny Buffet! Seeing how much fun this was for them, I am definitely going to be using this idea for future parties. Not to mention how easy it was! Bunny themed and I didn't have to make one thing!

Host a Bunny Buffet for Easter Parties

I am also hosting Easter for my family this year and I think I might set up aversion of this for adults and kids to snack on while we get lunch/dinner ready.

What are some of your crafty snack ideas for Easter? Anything I should add to the Bunny Buffet before the big day? 

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Host a Kids' Bunny Snack Themed Buffet for Easter. Great Easter party idea!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fashion Fix: DIY Distressed Denim Shorts

I am SO excited to share this project with y'all today.  This may just be one of my all-time favorite ideas to date.  Today I'm sharing my DIY distressed denim shorts!  I shared a little about the beginning of the process on our Instagram Stories and had more questions and comments than ever before!  Today I'm sharing the how-to if you want to try this yourself and I promise you can do it!  It just takes a little time, but very little effort, but anyone can do it!  

I haven't own denim shorts in almost 15 years and I blame it all on the Florida Gators.  Not really, but here's a little history.  I went to the University of Georgia and when I was in school us Dawgs loved to poke fun of Florida fans who were, at the time, known for their love of jean shorts, aka JORTS.  Heck, for all I know they still may love sporting their jorts and I swear because of this no self-respecting UGA fan would wear jean shorts.  However, times have changed and like Jen said to me, we are driving the Kool-aide.  The hot summer trend is distressed denim shorts, so distressed denim shorts is what we'll be wearing.  

A few weeks ago Jen and I met for lunch and did a little shopping to celebrate her birthday.  We were hunting for the perfect denim shorts. 

We found a few pairs at Gap, Loft and J.Crew, but then got a wild idea that we could make our own.  We stopped right in the middle of our shopping, searched YouTube for a tutorial video and decided this was definitely something we could tackle.  When I went home that afternoon I tried on some of my old jeans, but they were all more of a skinny jean and wouldn't really work for this project.  Then I got an idea to check out my local Goodwill, which I just LOVE. Say what you will, but I have found some amazing things there for next to nothing!  Lots of name brand things for dirt cheap and I hoped I could find some great jeans for this project.  

My only problem was finding too many!  I thought I might find some Gap or Old Navy jeans to use, but instead I found tons and tons of designer denim.  Joes Jeans, Citizens of Humanity, 7 For All Mankind and more! 

I tried on a bunch of pairs and ultimately bought two of them to bring home for this project. One was a capri length pair of Joe's and the other was a faded bootcut pair of Citizens of Humanity.  

I also found a cute baseball print for Boo-Boo's room and my grand total was $20 even. I couldn't believe it! 

I picked a pair of shorts that I liked the length of and used those as a guide to start my cutting.  I figured I would start longer and could always cut off more.  

After cutting one side I fold them in half and cut the other so that they would match. Then I tried them on and decided I wanted to go a little shorter...I don't do all those lunges and leg lifts for nothing! 

I used a marker to mark where I was going to cut, but if I did it again I would use chalk so it could easily wash off.  Next I started to fray the ends of the shorts by first pulling on the white threads.

That started the fraying process and then I threw them in the washing machine and dryer to help them fray a little more.  

After they came out of the dryer I flipped my shorts inside out and used my tweezers to continue pulling the white threads out until I got the right amount of fray that I was hoping for.  

Next it was time for the distressing part. This is where a few YouTube tutorials came into play.  It's so easy to do though!  First, decide where you want your distressing to take place. I looked online at several pictures to get an idea. I wanted them distressed, but not destroyed, so I started small.  I cut two slits, both about an inch wide. 

Then I used sandpaper to rub over the area that was cut to help loosen the weaving of the denim. 

Next I used my tweezers to pull on the blue threads of the middle section that was cut.  Pull on the blue threads until they come loose and continue until you've pulled them all out, leaving only the white threads. 

I continued doing this in several areas on the shorts and on the pockets on the back.  Then I washed and dried the shorts again to help give them a worn look.  

At this point my shorts were done! I cut off some of the white threads that were hanging on the bottom of the shorts, but that was it. I loved how they turned out and can't wait to wear them this spring and summer.  And besides investing a little bit of time, I have designer denim shorts for less than $7.50!!! 

From capris that were out of style to trendy distressed this transformation! 

I can't wait for warm weather so I can pair them with my favorite sandals and this totally awesome ATL tank I found at Target last week!!! I have mad love for my hometown and this outfit will be on repeat all summer long.  

Now for my next pair I decided I wanted to try a little something different.  Little Mama has THIS pair of denim shorts I bought for her a few weeks ago.  

I just adore the lace/crochet detail on them. Super trendy and super girly so I wanted to see if I could create something similar for myself.  

When I was at Hobby Lobby (my favorite place ever) earlier this week, I asked the sweet ladies in the fabric and sewing department if they had anything like this that would work.  I was hoping for an appliqué or something, but I came up short.  The woman working there suggested I look at Goodwill for an old table cloth that I could cut and use.  That just made me giggle.  Little did she know I was going to be using this on my Goodwill jeans!  

I browsed a few aisles in different departments and found these crocheted headbands for $4 each. I bought two in hopes that I could cut off the elastic headband part to use the pretty lace part for my shorts. 

I picked off the rhinestones, which were just glued on, and then stitched the flowers onto the side seams of the shorts using my sewing machine.  However, this could easily be done by hand or even just glued with fabric glue, too. 

They turned out SO cute! I really love the crochet details and know I am going to be wearing these over and over this summer.  

When I picked up the ATL shirt I also saw this one. Anyone that knows me well knows I LOVE sweet tea. I was shopping with Blondie on this day and she insisted that I get this tank. All they had left was a large, but I tried it on and actually like the looser fit and will just wear a cami under it.  Plus, I think it's fun knotted up anyway.  

I was so surprised and impressed with Target and their local pride selections.  Lots of fun ones for Atlanta (see them all HERE) and they have lots of options for so many different cities.  If you love your city, be sure to check a Target near you for local options or you can see them all online HERE

I can tell you know that denim shorts, a cute tank, flip-flops and sunnies will end up being my go-to uniform all summer long.  If you give this project a go I would love to know!  Please be sure to share and let us know how it turns out!  
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