July 13, 2014

Happy Sunday everyone!

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing an oh so delicious ice cream treat I created in conjunction with Ice Cream Social, happening over on The Kitchen Prep this week!

ice cream social coconut macaroon ice cream pie

For my contribution of frozen goodness, I combined two of my favorite sweets: coconut macaroons and ice cream. The final result was a Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream Pie. It’s good. It’s really good. I’m biased, but please believe me.

Make sure you head over to The Kitchen Prep for the full recipe today!

Also, we have a lovely giveaway running for our Ice Cream Social week – make sure you enter to win!

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July 11, 2014

So, there have been some pretty big changes going on around our house lately. One big alteration? The paint color. Yay! At the end of May our house was repainted from the brownish color I was not so fond of to a beautiful blue-ish green. LOVE it. But now that the outside of our house had a makeover, it was time to talk landscaping. Because let’s be honest: it was a bit of a mess.

Let's Talk Landscaping

The previous owners of our home did a great job of keeping up the lawn and some of the other plants in the front of the house, but there was a LOT to be desired when it came to two spots in particular. There was a HUGE vine plant/bush thing on the side of the house, and a half moon shaped area near the walkway to the front door was looking a mess. Thankfully, we managed to spruce it up a bit.

bougainvillea

I don’t know about you, but I am such a fan of color. The front of our house had zero flowers on it and I thought it was such a shame. I knew right from the start there was a particular bush/plant/whatever you want to call it that I absolutely HAD to have: bougainvillea.

bougainvillea

Our next door neighbor has a coral colored one that has grown to crazy proportions/grown over the fence. The beautiful clusters of flowers are so bright and happy. The farmer’s market we visit on the weekends just so happens to have a nursery vendor who always has beautiful baby bougainvilleas…so we bought three of them to replace the horrible vine/bush abomination on the side of our house.

bougainvillea

bougainvillea

I absolutely could not resist the hot pink and fuchsia varieties. We purchased a few new fan trellises (in white, so they blend in against our white fence) and guided the vines through them. It makes me smile to see those pretty flowers every day!

aloha lilies

As for the front walkway? That was a bit more work to figure out. That particular area doesn’t get enough sun for bougainvillea (single tear…), so we had to rethink our options. In a perfect world, I’d have bougainvillea growing everywhere. So, Justin and I scoured our local home stores and nurseries to find some plants that spoke to us. As soon as I laid eyes on these Aloha Lillies, I was in love. They have such a unique shape, and their eggplant purple color looks awesome as a pop against our new blue exterior.

landscaping flowers

We knew we needed a few more plants aside from the Aloha Lillies, so we searched for another option to arrange around the outside of the flower bed. We settled on these plants with light lavender and orange flowers. Apparently they are butterfly attractors…and they smell like mint! Bringing them home with us in the car was a nice treat – the entire interior smelled heavenly!

landscaping before

landscaping before

I wish I had a photo of what the flower bed looked like before Justin got his hands on it. He was so eager to remove what was existing that he forgot to let me take the full “before” photo. Not only were these strange grass plants hanging around in the flower bed, but there was also some sort of small tree with red berries that was taking up residence. Sorry tree – you had to go. After pulling up all of the extra plants from the bed, it was time to arrange our new finds!

landscaping setup

landscaping setup

We placed the Aloha Lillies in the back, and lined the outside edge of the bed with the minty plants (we read that they spread out over time, so we’re hoping to see them grow together and form a small hedge-like area eventually. We’ll see.

…and after digging holes, planting the flowers, and adding some mulch to finish it off, that was about it for now! We were happy to tackle a project that added a bit of beauty to the front of our house. Now…let’s hope we manage to keep the flowers alive and thriving! Gulp…

Do you have a favorite flower you use for your landscaping process?

July 9, 2014
I don’t know about you, but these hot summer days definitely have me thinking about ways to keep cool and refreshed! I can go for ice cream, tons of ice water, the occasional soda…but I also like to enjoy a yummy cocktail every now and then as well! And wouldn’t you know it – a grapefruit cosmo definitely seems perfect in my book!
Grapefruit Cosmo
Ordinarily, I tend to be a “plain” vodka buyer; I add flavor to my cocktails with other ingredients. But I have managed to fall in love with a few flavored vodkas over the course of time. I discovered my penchant for this pink grapefruit vodka when a local grocery store went out of business a while ago. As luck would have it, not only was the entire store filled with food on sale, so was the wine, beer, and liquor. Whoa! All of the “plain” bottles were snatched off of the shelves without haste, but there were flavored versions left when I went by. It was then that I picked up my very first bottle of pink grapefruit vodka. I figured: hey – it’s 50% off – why not give it a try?
Grapefruit Cosmo
I’m so glad I did. I love the tart flavor of the grapefruit vodka – there are also hints of ginger and other citrus alongside it. For me, it’s the perfect summertime cocktail ingredient. And when you use it for a grapefruit cosmo, you can’t go wrong. I love the simplicity of the cosmopolitan; I almost always have all of the ingredients necessary to create one in my home at any given time. Other than a simple mixed drink or pouring a glass of wine, it doesn’t get much easier. Now, if only I could get my butt in gear to buy myself a new cocktail shaker. I’ve been meaning to replace my current one for a while now, but for some reason it always gets away from me…
Do you have a favorite cocktail to concoct during the summer season? What is it?
Grapefruit Cosmo
Grapefruit Cosmo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz pink grapefruit vodka
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • Juice from 1/4 lime

Instructions

  1. Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake cocktail vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
  3. Strain into a martini glass and serve with a wedge of lime to garnish (if desired) - enjoy!
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July 7, 2014

It’s time to spruce up my living room even more! Since January, I’ve been talking about how my goal for 2014 is to finish up the decor in our house. I’ve been making headway with our bedroom, living room, and even the outside of the house, but it is still incomplete as of yet. Little by little, I’ve been adding new details to make our house into a home.

cork board on side table

Our living room is a combination living and dining room, which means the back wall is a large expanse to cover. I was thrilled when I snagged a huge canvas artwork piece to hang above our couch last year, but that only covered about 1/3 of the entire space. Luckily, a trip to IKEA resulted in finding our new sideboard table, which takes up a portion of the remaining space…but only on the lower part of the wall. Some height definitely needed to come into play to complete the space. I thought about scouring the stores for another piece of artwork, but I realized what I really wanted was a bulletin board. And wouldn’t you know it: I found an old corkboard I used to have hanging in my office. After placing it on the sideboard, it seemed to be the perfect fit for the space. But something had to be done about the color.

This I know: paint can make an enormous difference in the look of your home. When we moved into our current house, we repainted every single room, which completely transformed it from top to bottom. The right paint color on any piece in your home can truly set a tone and mood for a room. It was clear from the start that my bulletin board needed to have a dramatic change made in the form of paint!

cork board with Glidden paint chips

After my project was determined, I began searching for inspiration to help me take the PAIN out of painting. I curated a Pinterest board to help with my color scheme. The shades of blue are so relaxing, don’t you think? It wasn’t difficult to decide that was the direction I wanted to take. The next step involved a trip to The Home Depot for supplies. I walked up to the Glidden Premium paint display and knew that I’d find the right hues for my project. Glidden has a simplified palette of colors, which made it easy and painless to select some paint chip samples. I really loved how the Glidden paint chips are larger than the average paint strip; they are about the size of an index card, and they aren’t paired in a strip with 5-6 other colors like other paint chips you see. All of the various shades on the same strip can be rather overwhelming to deal with. The larger paint chip and simplified palette really made it a breeze to test the colors out when I returned home. I stuck an array of chips onto the frame of my bulletin board, and my two favorites quickly stood out to me: Tropical Lagoon and Deepest Aqua. They were practically a match made in heaven not only for my room’s color scheme, but the two hues seemed meant for each other in general. Plus, they suited my home’s current color scheme of blues and greens, accented with metallics!

DIY Glidden painted cork board

Here’s the truth: for the majority of our furniture painting projects in our house, I’ve kind of pushed Justin into doing them for me. I am great at spotting decor pieces and coming up with ideas, but painting has not necessarily been my strongest skill. I am happy to report that with the Glidden paint, the project was pretty much a breeze and I was confident to tackle everything by myself from start to finish. First, I used a small paint roller to apply two coats of Tropical Lagoon to the center of the bulletin board. I was really impressed by how smoothly the paint glided across the cork, and the coverage was almost perfect after only one coat. Being the particular one I am, I made sure to apply a second one to complete the look.

painting DIY Glidden cork board painting DIY Glidden cork board

I used a sponge brush to apply Deepest Aqua to the frame portion of the board. I was confident with the steadiness of my hands, but if I hadn’t been I would have taped off the frame before starting the detail work (after the center cork portion was fully dry, of course). Again, the paint was easy to apply!

DIY Glidden painted cork board

When I saw my finished product and was able to attach my photos to the bulletin board, I could not have been happier. I finally have a place to display a few snapshots. I am the WORST at putting photos on the wall; I like that I am able to change them up with this bulletin board!

DIY Glidden painted cork board

The beauty of this project for me was that it reaffirmed in my mind that everyone can paint. It can be a small piece of decor or a large piece of furniture; either way, Glidden makes it achievable. I am so pleased with how this project turned out, and I am officially one step closer to completing our home decor! Glidden paint truly made it easy to turn my inspiration into action, and this new pop of color in our living room is perfect!

DIY Glidden painted cork board

How about you? Are you one to tackle painting projects in your home? I want to make it a breeze for you as well, so make sure you answer the question below to be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

 

What would you like to spruce up with paint in your home?

~

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