How I Make Time for Creativity

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. 

I spend a lot of my “free” time (late nights after work and after family time) crafting. But ironically, I also really always want to be sleeping. I know, the struggle right?! I find that the older I get, the more I truly value a good night’s sleep. But yet, I just can’t seem to let go of burning the midnight oil–I guess I still love DIY projects more. I recently made a few DIY sleep masks which seem to be the perfect representation of my current struggle–sleep vs. crafting.

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I snooze with a sleep mask every night. It just makes me feel like I’m forced to shut my eyes and tune out the world around me. Plus, I’m one of those that wake up at the first crack of light so this totally helps. I take them with me when I travel as well and seem to always be loosing them (I bet there are dozens left in past hotel rooms, ha!). So I recently decided to DIY a few to keep on hand and of course I had to put a personal twist on them with some fun sayings.

They are pretty simple to make (you know I don’t like a ton of steps). I’ll share more in an upcoming post, but basically you just create an iron on transfer and apply it to a blank sleep mask. So easy!

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Crafting is really a way to turn my creative juices on and have a little “me” time. Mostly happening late at night, but I also set aside one Sunday a month to tackle projects to share with you here. (Stay tuned for the DIY of these sleep masks coming this week!) I often get asked how I manage this blog and also work full time. Well, this is it. I just carve out time to be creative and get things done. No big secrets over here! Those all-day Sundays set aside for creating are really important to me because they allow me to create for the weeks ahead.

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I kick those days off with a delicious carafe of coffee which keeps me going. I’m really enjoying Folgers Simply Gourmet coffee (I picked it up at Walmart). It’s made with natural flavors and I appreciate that it’s not overly sweet. I’m not a big creamer fan so having a hint of vanilla feels like such a treat.

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Whether I’m enjoying some crafting time or just lounging in bed on the weekend, I love a warm cup of coffee to keep me company. Folgers Simple Gourmet also comes in Natural Cinnamon, Natural Chocolate, and Natural Caramel (you can see them, here). I think I’ll make it a goal to try all of the flavors :)

What does your “me” time look like? Are you a reader, a crafter, a binge watcher? Tell me in the comments! 

A Bountiful Veggie Tray for Entertaining

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Looking for veggie tray ideas for your next BBQ or dinner party? I love laying out a variety of fresh veggies and dip for guests to enjoy. Especially at a summer BBQ where the menu is typically heavy on grilled meats. A fresh veggie tray is a great way to offer guests a great appetizer to snack on without being to heavy.

Need veggie tray ideas? Make a bountiful farm fresh veggie platter for your next BBQ or backyard party.

When possible, I always head to our local farmers market to pick up some fresh vegetables. I love to mix up what I serve based on what’s in season. And I always look for something unexpected to add into the tray–in this case they were some delicious black figs I discovered.
Need veggie tray ideas? Make a bountiful farm fresh veggie platter for your next BBQ or backyard party.

There are several ways you can go when thinking of veggie tray ideas, but my favorite is creating a long board like this that can go in the center of the table. I find when you put the appetizers off to the side or out of the proximity of where your guests are sitting, they often go untouched. Using a long board almost makes it feel like a colorful (and edible) centerpiece. (more…)

3 Frozen Drinks to Make This Summer

It’s summer! This means there will certainly be several occasion to whip up a batch of frozen alcoholic drinks. I wanted to share a few of my go-to frozen cocktail recipes with you in case you don’t want to dig in the cocktail archives. I’m totally planning on enjoying each of these very soon. Did I tell you all I am taking a 30 day sabbatical from work? I cannot wait for lazy summer days and enjoying these recipes poolside! If you have any good summer book recommendations please drop them in the comments, I have reading on my “must-do” list for sure. I mean, a frozen cocktail and a good book just go together so well, don’t you think?

(Bonus: Each of these are really simple to make and don’t require too many ingredients)

Here are three of my favorites:

3 easy frozen alcoholic drinks to make this summer. Grab the recipes and pick up just a few ingredients. Frozen cocktails for the win!

1. Pineapple + Peach Vodka Slush
Don’t let the layered look fool you, this is easy to make. I love how tropical it tastes without being overly sweet! Grab the recipe.

3 easy frozen alcoholic drinks to make this summer. Grab the recipes and pick up just a few ingredients. Frozen cocktails for the win!

2. Watermelon + Strawberry Lemonade Cooler
Lemonade has “summertime” written all over it. This adult upgrade is always a crowd pleaser. Serve it when you’re entertaining for extra hostess points! Grab the recipe.

3. Lime Coconut Margarita
I know coconut water is all the rage–but I prefer mine in margarita form. ;). This is light, and refreshing and just tropical enough to make you feel like it’s vacation time. Grab the recipe. 

 What do you think? Will you be trying one of these frozen alcoholic drinks this summer? Let me know which one looks best! 

And if you make one, be sure to share a photo with me on Instagram and tag #TScocktails!

Simple Rosé Spritzers for Summer

Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Tis’ the season for light, summer refreshments. After a hectic week, I’m always looking forward to a little chill out time on my patio or inviting a few friends over for a laid back dinner. Of course, a summer cocktail always plays a role in my plan. I’m currently obsessed over these simple rosé spritzers. They are so simple to make that it almost feels like cheating. I made these last weekend and I’m officially declaring that they are my new favorite drink to make at home.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

You guys know I don’t like to create complicated recipes and this one is as simple as it gets. When I say simple, I mean two ingredients–rosé and 7UP®. (Told you so.) Summer cocktails should never be fussy to make in my opinion. The whole idea is to relax and unwind and this rosé spritzer fits the bill. It’s perfect for a chill summer evening or to serve when entertaining guests.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

Before you make your drink, you’ll want to fill a glass halfway with ice and then add some fresh citrus for a garnish. I like to use a slice of lime and a wedge of pink grapefruit. If it’s really hot out, pop the cut citrus into the freezer for about 10 minutes. This helps keep your cocktail nice and chilled!

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

Next, you’ll want to pour your drink. I fill half the glass with my favorite rosé and then fill the rest of the glass with Diet 7UP (you can use any 7UP of your choice). The 7UP has a great crisp and clean taste which makes it pair perfectly with the rosé.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

Party skewers are fun to use for garnishes, but totally optional! Remember, keeping it simple in the summer is key.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

This cocktail is easy create, which means it’s also easy to serve. If you’re just serving one or two people, just pour them in each glass. But, if you’re serving a crowd you can mix up the cocktail in a punch bowl or pitcher and let guests serve themselves. Isn’t that great? If you do mix up a big batch, toss in a few frozen lime slices and grapefruit wedges to keep it cold (don’t use ice as that will melt and dilute your cocktail). Then, have additional slices on the side so guess can add their garnish to their glass.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

I’m telling you, this cocktail sure feels like summer.

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

These rosé spritzers are simple to make and are the perfect, refreshing summer cocktail. You'll only need two ingredients!

Next time you’re at Target, do what I do–grab a bottle of your favorite rosé and some cans of 7UP to keep on hand. Then, you’ll be all set for any impromptu summer chilling that may occur. Be sure to share your summer sips using #mixitupalittle so I can check it out!

Checkout even more inspiration and simple summer recipes using 7UP, here! And on your next Target run, be sure to use theseCartwheel offers (links below) when picking up your 7UP.

  • 7/1-7/8  20% off 7UP minicans and more, here.
  • 7/1-7/8  20% off 7UP 2 liters and more, here.
  • 7/9-7/22  35% off 7UP 6PK bottles and more, here.
  • 7/23- 7/30  35% off 7UP 2 liters and more, here.

This post has been sponsored by 7UP. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Want to see more summer cocktails? Here are 3 of my go-to frozen alcoholic drinks.

Grapefruit Cocktail “Love Punch”

I get really excited about delicious drinks that only have a few ingredients and this grapefruit cocktail takes home the prize. I recently featured this cocktail as one of the engagement party ideas I shared but it totally deserves to shine on it’s own here. Plus, so many of you emailed me asking for the recipe, which I want you to have! I called it “Love Punch” because that went so well with the party theme but you can call it whatever you want!

This grapefruit cocktail only has 3 ingredients and is simple to make. Great to make as a punch for guests to serve themselves.

I never would have called myself a grapefruit fan really. I mean I think they are gorgeous and obviously a photogenic citrus, but I didn’t go wild for the taste. But this punch … YUM. I guess everything tastes better with vodka? ;)

This grapefruit cocktail only has 3 ingredients and is simple to make. Great to make as a punch for guests to serve themselves.

I recently was gifted this gorgeous punch bowl from my Mother-In-Law and this was the perfect punch recipe to break it in (PS, isn’t the ladle just so pretty?).

This grapefruit cocktail only has 3 ingredients and is simple to make. Great to make as a punch for guests to serve themselves.

I think a grapefruit cocktail is the perfect choice for any warm-weather gathering. Even if it’s just sitting on the porch with your loved one. (more…)

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