Archive of ‘Featured’ category

My Christmas Cards + $250 Minted Giveaway

Thanksgiving is officially over so we can all start thinking about Christmas –hooray for Christmas cheer! One of the first things I like to do is send our our family holiday Christmas cards. It helps me feel like the holiday season is underway and I get a great sense of accomplishment getting the cards in the mail early. (Great news, you can enter to win your own Minted holiday cards!)


I just love the gold foil designs Minted offers and had to choose a design with it this year. This is our family Christmas Card, I just love it!

I also really liked this Winter Botanical design and this Winter Brush design –it was so hard to choose! (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Periscope Will Replace Twitter Chats

Raise your hand if you’ve participated in a Twitter chat over the years (also commonly referred to as Twitter parities)? I’d guess that you have either:

1) joined one 2) hosted one or 3) passively lurked in one.

I do all three, quite often –hosting my first one in early 2008. The value of Twitter chats is now crystal clear seven years later for participants, hosts, bloggers, and brands. These chats are an obvious way to gather a group of people focused on a shared topic or engaging around a new product or service. The direct, real-time exchanging of ideas and advice….. GOLD right?

Well, here’s the thing….I think Periscope is WAY better for this.

Periscope for Bloggers and Brands

If you haven’t yet joined Periscope don’t tune this out. There are currently over 15 million people on the platform who are engaging even more directly with one another around common topics. The sharing of ideas, talking about business, and dishing about real life is happing 24-7 just like on Twitter. BUT … with video!  (more…)

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Simple Alfresco Entertaining

This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports

Photo Jun 04, 10 50 37 AM

After our recent patio transformation, I was eager to invite a few friends over for a simple evening dining alfresco. Our new outdoor dining furniture and garden-inspired accents set the stage perfectly. I love how the space is pretty neutral with a few pops of color. The furniture and decor lets our backyard really shine. This time of year, we’re in full bloom with lots of greens, pinks, and yellows.

Photo Jun 04, 10 49 20 AM

I set the table for four and got ready for a casual early evening (light) dinner. These acrylic glasses were perfect for citrus infused water (and wine later in the evening). I love their light  green color and the fact that I don’t have to worry about breaking them.

Photo Jun 04, 10 51 06 AM

I kept the food light and served salads and cheese and crackers. I love serving salads in these disposable berry baskets. And the gold plated cutlery from Pier 1 Imports added a nice touch of elegance to an otherwise, really casual tablescape.

Photo Jun 04, 10 51 17 AM

For me, dining alfresco is all about embracing the weather and keeping things really simple. Some flowers, food, and friends are really all that is required to host a nice evening. When you have an inviting outdoor space, you’ll be able to entertain in a moment’s notice.

Photo Jun 04, 10 49 33 AM

I served cheese and crackers on these wooden coasters. I spotted them and thought they looked just like mini cheese boards. I loved that I could put one at each place setting (I can re-purpose them later indoors as coasters –bonus!).

Photo Jun 04, 10 49 43 AM

We had a great evening. Simple food, an inviting space, and great company –the perfect recipe for dining alfresco this summer. Will you be entertaining soon? I’d love to hear about your outdoor space.

Pier1_Imports_RGB[1]Find what speaks to you. See the Outdoor Living collection in stores or at

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Give it :: Pecan Pie Pancake Mix in a Jar

You may have seen my recent post for Pecan Pie Pancakes in which I professed my love for pecan pie and (hopefully) convinced you all to eat it for breakfast. Great news! I’ve teamed up with Diamond of California to turn this into a simple gift idea so now you can gift the joy of pecan pie pancakes to your friends, family, and neighbors.

pie mix in a jar

I typically like to give baked good during the holiday season but to be honest, it’s a lot of pressure to find time to do all that baking during the holiday crunch. I love this idea because you can create this layered pancake mix gift weeks ahead of time, seal the lid, and you’ll be ready to roll when it comes time to deliver your gifts. Plus, there is just something so cute about gifts in a jar, am I right?


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Serve It :: Mini Pumpkin Milkshakes


pumpkin milkshake

I am a self diagnosed canned pumpkin junkie.  This time of year I come up with all sorts of reasons to use it; cooking, baking, or otherwise. That is just how these mini pumpkin milkshakes cam to be. They are so creamy and taste like your favorite milkshake just collided with a pumpkin pie. They’re rich, so making them in mini form seems to be the perfect choice. Served up in mini glasses also make them adorable to offer to guests or little ones during your next gathering or special dinner.


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Serve it :: Monte Cristo with a Brazilian Twist

Brazilian appetizers


While participating in a cooking challenge at the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Innovation Center, we were inspired by Brazilian appetizers and came up with this play on the traditional monte cristo recipe. It’s made with guava paste which pairs so perfectly with the saltiness of the ham inside. Puff Pastry sheets replaced bread and this buttery, flaky flavor means all of your guests will love these — kids and adults!

monte cristo recipe


I had never worked with guava paste before. It is a really interesting ingredient and added just the right amount of sweetness to this sandwich.


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