Snack Food: Spicy and Sweet

Perfect snack for family night or a big get-together!

Spicy and Sweet Popcorn

{courtesy of Martha Stewart}

Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated brown sugar (or light-brown sugar, sifted) 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Directions
Combine sugar, salt, garam masala, and cayenne in a large serving bowl.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add popcorn, and cover. Cook, shaking pot frequently, until corn has finished popping. Add to bowl, and toss.

Makes 12 cups; serves 4 to 6
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Bunco Party Theme

When a friend of mine {Mary Kay} asked if I had any ideas for her next Bunco Party, I began brainstorming. After all, I am always looking for a reason to get a crowd together and have some fun! I started thinking what a great idea it is to host a Bunco Party: 12 close gal friends, a fun game, good food, and of course a signature cocktail!

If you are not familiar the game of Bunco, check out the official rules here and learn more about this game. You don’t need much to get your Bunco party rolling… I suggest keeping with the black, red, and white color scheme inspired by the dice {the most essential part of the game}.

For Mary Kay’s Bunco party, she was looking to serve her gal friends delicious, simple, and healthy appetizers. I put my thinking cap on and suggested she make these appetizers. She was thrilled with the healthy choices that were a breeze to make and also simple to serve. After all- no time for a fancy sit down meal when you are eager to play Bunco!

Antipasto Squares (Yummy served warm or cold)
From All Recipes
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Spinach Feta Pizza Bake
From All Recipes

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Of course what party would be complete without a signature cocktail? How about creating your own “Bunco-Tini!” Just serve up a red colored Martini {whatever you like best} and call it your own! I am currently loving:

Red Apple Martini

1 oz Fris® apple vodka
2 oz apple juice
1 tsp grenadine syrup

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5 Simple Ways to Make “You” Time

As women, moms, and wives, we often find ourselves doing several things at once. And free time? What’s that, right?! For many of us, it seems like there is always something that just has to be done; that just can’t wait. Well, I want to tell you it can and it should! The next time you find yourself with “free” time and are about to clip coupons, switch the laundry, or check your emails STOP! Yes, those things do need to be done at some point I know, but for now just trust me. Do one of these 5 simple things instead (come on, just this once). Even though they may not be the most thrilling or glamorous things-they are sure to lift your mood, even if just a bit. Don’t stress, the coupons can be clipped later.

1. Paint your toe nails. Yes, paint them. I don’t care if it is winter and no one sees them-paint them. Trust me.

2. Visit your closet. We so often run to our closet and grab something to pull on as we run out the door to school drop off. Remember when you used to take an hour to get ready, trying on top after top? Go ahead- change your clothes. Oh… and take your time!

3. Make a smoothie. Yes, I know you probably remember to eat (I sure hope so). But how often do you make something YOU want to eat? If you’re like me you probably just make an extra PB&J in the afternoon for yourself right? Make something for yourself, not just what the kiddos are requesting.

4. Walk to the mailbox. It doesn’t matter if it is at the end of your driveway or a block away, why not take a stroll and check the mail today? I know that I usually drive up to it, grab, and go. This will force you to take a stroll even if it is a short one.

5. Watch TV! Yes, I said it. For me this is hard because I often think of what else I could be doing. But let me tell you, sit back and watch your favorite 30 minute sitcom (for me it is Friends hands down) and your mood will surly change. Sometimes we have to force ourselves sit back and relax.

These are just 5 ways I suggest you take some “you” time this week. But really, the point is to make time for a bit of relaxation time- even if for only 30 minutes. The house will still be standing and the children will be safe, I promise!

What are your favorite way to use your “free” time (and don’t say to clean, please!)?
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Trendy Personalized Shirts For Your Little One

All moms want their little one to stand out from the crowd, right? Well, one fabulous company has figured out how to capture the personality of your little one in a trendy and stylish way. Check out these fabulous personalized tees from Bug & Goose.

These personalized tees are definitely an attention grabber. You can choose you favorite style shirt, color, fabric pattern, and personalization. The great gals over at Bug & Goose sent my 2 year old an adorable tee brown and pink tee with a “L” for her name. We love it! It is super cute and very well made. The cozy material fits perfectly and feels good too. We’ve washed it several times {she is now requesting the “L” shirt about every other day} and it looks just as fabulous as when it arrived.

With so many styles and options {for both boys & girls} I think these tees from Bug & Goose would make fabulous personalized gifts. They can be ordered in sizes 2-12 and all of the products from Bug & Goose are made right here in the USA. Fabulous! And to top it off, all of their adorable tees are priced under $26.00!

P.S. I am loving this Baseball Raglan Tee. So cute!

I really can’t get enough of these adorable tees! Plus, Bug & Goose offers a variety of high quality {and unique} games, accessories, and toys…..so check them out!

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Tiffany Blue Wedding Inspiration

If you are considering Tiffany blue as your wedding color, you have many options. I was looking around for some “blue” inspiration and found so many different shades. You can choose baby blue to navy, and everything in between. My favorite shade of blue is this Tiffany Blue shade, I think it is crisp and cool and can really pop.

Little touches of this fresh color can really make an impression. Try pairing Tiffany Blue with either pale yellow, grey, or a chocolate brown. Above inspiration found from The Knot.

  • Simple and modern programs let guests know who is in the wedding party. Tied with a single blue ribbon.
  • Tiffany Blue bridesmaid dresses paired with yellow bouquets compliment their dresses.
  • Yummy cupcakes with just a touch of blue tie in the theme. Consider these instead of a traditional wedding cake, or serve these at the bridal shower before the big day.
  • What better than a signature drink at your reception? Check out these Blue Martini Recipes.
  • Fans help keep waiting guests cool. Consider fans if your ceremony will be in warmer months and outdoors.
  • Simple touches throughout the wedding site, like this blue ribbon, can really pull your theme together.
  • This Wedding cake is gorgeous! A peek of yellow from the lilies is the perfect touch.
  • Reception tables draped with Tiffany Blue overlays and topped with chocolate brown napkins.

Wrap up your favors in these tiffany blue boxes! I have used these several times, and they really are great quality and very impressive!

And what a way to pull it all together than these modern wedding announcements, blue of course!

This blue modern wedding announcement is from Wedding Paper Divas ($1.44 each).

If you’re looking for more tiffany blue wedding invitations, check our our round-up here.

Thanks to The Knot for the fabulous Tiffany Blue wedding photos!
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5 Ways to Ruin Valentine’s Day

You should not be stressed out when coming up with Valentine’s Day ideas, but you probably are right? The pressure to do the “perfect” thing and buy the “perfect” gift can be a bit overwhelming (especially if you are dating). My advice is to keep it simple and intimate, perhaps even a bit fun. Here are 5 ways you can ruin Valentine’s Day– so please avoid them!

1. Stress yourself out about the details and in doing so stress out your boyfriend/other half. Guys already feel the pressure, no need to add to it.

2. Go out to a formal dinner, because you think you have to. If you both wouldn’t enjoy it on a normal day….what makes you think you’ll enjoy it now?

3. Spend a ton of money on the “perfect” gift. Why not make or buy something less expensive that he will actually enjoy? How about a new CD or book? Even just bake him some sweets…. most guys really don’t care about extravagant gifts.

4. Get your expectations up. If you expect to be wooed and swept away, and this does not happen exactly how you had dreamed- you will be disappointed. Why not just except to have a nice day together, and I bet all of your expectations will be met or exceeded.

5. Sulk. If you are single, don’t sit around and dwell on how you rather be dating. Instead, grab someone else who doesn’t have plans and hang out with them. Make plans with a girlfriends or even surprise your mother or grandmother and rent a movie and just stay in.

By: Tori Tait
Share! What are your suggestion for keeping Valentine’s Day simple and fun? I would love to hear what you are planning!
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