August 12, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Breakfast


Almost every morning for breakfast I make the yummiest treat with organic oatmeal (1/2 a cup) that I put in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes with water (I just eye it and make sure that all of my oatmeal is submerged in. Next, I add the toppings.  

My current favorite toppings are Trader Joe's Crunchy Peanut Butter with Flax and Chia Seeds. It is not as sweet a traditional peanut butter and I love it.


Next, I add a half of a banana, dab of honey, shredded coconut, fresh fruit (if I have any), and top it with chocolate granola.


I buy Target's Archer Farms "Double Chocolate Chunk" granola.  It is so delicious. I look forward to breakfast every morning. Isn't that what life is all about, enjoying what makes us happy and this my friends bring a smile to my fave every morning.

It is very filling and has lots of protein and fiber. I have tried quite a bit of granola and many times my stomach hurts a bit after eating it. I don't have that problem with this granola.



July 21, 2018

My Favorite Things - Summer 2018




It's time for another round of my favorite things. And these items have been my go to this summer:

Grace and Frankie and Santa Clarita Diet TV Series. In my spare time I have been finishing up on the Waylon biography that I have been reading off and on and catching up on some tv series. A few of my favorites are:

Santa Clarita Diet stars Drew Barrymore, and she is an absolute doll and love her in so many things, like Miss you Already, 50 First Dates, Wedding Singer. Drew Barrymore plays Sheila, and Timothy Olyphant plays Joel, they are married realtors, and have a teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, California. Their life is picture perfect, until Sheila goes through a sudden and very scary change, causing her eat human flesh. I know it doesn't sound like something you might want to watch, but it's very funny, clever, yet gruesome. If you like a good scare, not afraid of obscene amount of bloods and a little dash of human flesh and body parts eating, then this is the show for you. I will be honest, I watched the first episode and wasn't so sure if I was going to love it, but I gave it a second chance and watched the second episode and they got me hooked. I really enjoyed all the characters, I especially loved the character actor Skyler Gisondo is playing, he plays the "nerdy" teenage boy next door. He is so funny, and his comedic timing really is spot on and he is very fun to watch, he is absolutely adorable. I am really looking forward to seeing Season 3, which is coming out sometime in 2019.

Another show I binged watched was Grace and Frankie. I never really understood binge watching until I found some amazing shows that you just can't stop watching at one episode. I would watch 3-4 at a time. Grace and Frankie is an amazing show. It really is one of the best out there right now. It reminds me of Sex and City meets Golden Girls. And I absolutely adored the Golden Girls and this. It was funny, sad, and sweet all at the same time. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, you laughed and sympathized with the characters and they really made you love them. Grace and Frankie star Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (They both also starred in 9 to 5 together).  The show starts with Grace and Frankie learning that their husbands have fallen in love with each other and leaving them both. Frankie and Grace are complete opposites, from their personalities, to their wardrobe, to the way they live their lives, sharing absolutely nothing in common accept that both of their husbands are leaving them for each other. The show revolves around how Frankie and Grace's relationship grows after they are both thrown together after the news.


Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Dew Liquid Blush. Dew Baby-Pink Liquid Blush is not only my favorite summer blush but my go to blush all year round. It is a liquid blush and it's a flattering light baby pink, it's the perfect flushed colored and I think it would work for various skin tones. It is very natural looking. I also use it on my lips.


LaLaVaVa Zip Front One Piece Swimwear. I have been looking for the right swimwear and honestly I have never found one, until now. I had a strapless black bathing suit, but I kept having to pull it up. I have a trip coming up and wanted something I could throw on and not even think about, so I knew I needed wider straps. I also knew I wanted a zip front, just because I like the sporty feel and look of it. I knew I didn't want to go to the store to try a million of them on. My sister recommended that I find one on Amazon, which I didn't even think about. I quickly found one, read the reviews and looked at the pictures countless times and decided to get this one. The price was ridiculously inexpensive, so I bought two, one in black with pink and one in black with aqua blue and I love them. They arrived 2 days later and I tried them on and love them. They are super flattering and comfortable.


Target's Universal Thread Tie-Front Dress. There was only one of these dresses in a size too big at the store, but I loved it when I tried it on. They were sold out online and everywhere near by, I happened to find one as I was browsing. While it is a little big on me, I still love the way it feels and looks. This is definitely on repeat for summer dinners and strolls.


Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette.  I try not to buy too many palettes because I end up only using a few shades, but the Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers so many beautiful colors to pass up. It has 21 shades and a full-size mirror, but unfortunately doesn't come with a eyeshadow brush like their other palettes do.

The colors range from jewel tones, neutrals to fun colorful shadows. It is very versatile with shades of pink, purple, orange, neutrals, blues and greens, and I have already been using it on repeat everyday.


J.Crew Aviator Sunglasses. These are my favorite go to sunglasses. I have always loved the aviator style, thank Sylvester Stallone. I have high cheek bones and the bottom of the aviators always touch my cheeks, so it has never worked out for me, until I tried these on. These were the perfect size and super comfortable. Unfortunately, they are sold out at J.Crew :( but Here is a similar pair.


Target's A New Day Michaela Block Heels. I have these in beige and black and wanted to find them in a fun summer color. They also come in sky blue, lavender and red. They are super comfortable and have a 2.5” block heel. I bought the black and beige pair in my size, but I decided to go up a half size in these and I think going up a half size is more comfortable for me as these squeeze a bit in the toe area.


Nubian Heritage Deodorant. I am all about all natural deodorant with no Aluminum. I saw a documentary about the correlation between breast cancer and deodorant and there is just too much data out there that it is not worth the risk. I have tried quite a few and most of them I started out liking, but then they weren't holding up. This Nubian Heritage Deodorant is one of the best of I have tried out there. It is all natural and  made with vanilla extract, coconut, and papaya. When I have this on my underarms smell like coconuts, the more I sweat the more I smell like coconuts, not a bad problem to have at all.


So these are a few of my favorite things right now. All of these things have been putting a little smile on my face, and I can't urge that enough, it is important to do and be surrounded by things that you like and love.

March 26, 2018

Bunny Pinata


Happy Spring!! Easter is right around the corner and I was inspired to make this bunny pinata by The Art Dream. It is so cute and sweet,  and I needed a new friend to add to my Pinata pals.

He isn't too hard to make, as he is mostly one large oval shape, the hardest part for me was figuring out how to cover the top of his ears. To get started you need:
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • White Crepe Paper (Streamer paper)
  • White, Pink, Black paper

First, cut out the bunny shape in the cardboard, two pieces have to be identical in shape/size.

Next, cut out long pieces of cardboard, all of these pieces must be the same width, about an 1.5 inches, this will be the width and sides of your bunny. Tape these cardboard strips all along the two identical cardboard cutouts. Here is a video of me creating a skull pinata, it will show you how to tape the two pieces together. Next, you will want to begin gluing the streamer paper.


Using white streamer paper cut small slits on the bottom side. I usually roll a bunch together and cut the little slits, this saves a lot of time. I then glue the strips starting at the bottom until you go all the way to the top.


Next, using pink construction paper cut out two large bunny ears, a nose, and two circles for the cheeks.  I then cut out a smile (half circle) and eyes with black paper. Lastly, I cut out strips of white paper and two teeth and I glued them on. Your bunny pinata can look however you would like. So feel free to change his face up.



I won't be filling him up with candy, he is just going to be my companion and bringing a smile to my face. I am thinking about giving him a little bow tie.

I hope you get a chance to make this little guy. He stands about 2 feet tall with his ears, and you can make it larger or smaller. And these would also be super cute as mini ones to give as gifts on Easter. Enjoy!!


December 4, 2017

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins


As a child I loved going to the Jordan Marsh Bakery, it was a bakery within the Jordan Marsh stores in the Boston area. Not until I was an adult did I learn that the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins were so well known and famous.

About a year ago, the baker, John Pupek, who original made these shared the recipe and I was so excited to try them. Here is the original broadcast of his interview.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used maple syrup as a substitute as I ran out of vanilla)
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of whole milk (I used non-fat)
2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar, for topping


Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line with muffin paper cups. You can use 10 if you want larger muffins.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • Add the vanilla and beat for a few moments.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt to combine.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.
  • Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries and sprinkle with flour. 
  • Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.
  • Scoop the batter into the muffin pan.
  • Sprinkle granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired.
  • Bake the muffins for about 25-28 minutes, until they're light golden brown on top.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.



These came out so moist and delicious. They were so easy to make. I will definitely be making these again. Enjoy!


August 8, 2017

Lemon Pie


I love a good sweet treat and my go to sweet treat for weeknights are dark chocolate covered almonds or I bake chocolate chip cookies once in awhile.

With the warm sunny days I have been craving fruit and something fresh and light. When I saw this Lemon Pie recipe from Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Uppers I knew it was exactly what I needed. I altered it just a bit due to what I had, for example, I didn't make the crust nor did I make or have any whipped cream and it made no difference. This pie was delicious, easy to make, and I will definitely be making this lemon pie a few more times before the end of summer.


Pie Filling Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Eagle Brand “sweetened condensed” Milk ( I used about 1 can and half and it didn't change the recipe at all)
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • ⅔ cup lemon juice 
  • 1 dash salt 
  • 1 lemon (I added this so that you could cut thin slices for decoration)


To Make Pie Filling: Mix Eagle Brand Milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Mix well with mixer or whisk.

Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Place pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or more.




Crust Ingredients ( I didn't make a crust, I had a store-bought graham cracker crust)

  • 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers 
  • 6 tbs butter ⅓ cup sugar 


To Make Crust: Combine crushed graham cracker, softened butter, and sugar. Mix well and press into greased (I use Baker’s Joy non-stick spray) pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 350.

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Whipped Cream Ingredients (I also didn't make the whipped cream or have whipped cream, and it tasted marvelous anyway)

  • 1 small carton of heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 


To Make Whipped Cream: Mix whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until fluffy, and add to cooled lemon pie.



This was a fresh, light and sweet pie, and the graham cracker crust added the perfect crunch to the light airy pudding like texture of the lemon pie. 

I hope you enjoy making it and eating it on a beautiful sunny day.

March 15, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Treats


I listed a few of my favorite easy Saint Patrick's Day treats to make the day before or day of Saint Patrick's Day. You are going to love how simple and easy these are to do.

1.  I love a good peanut butter and sandwich. I usually eat one before I work out and sneak in some slices of bananas in it too. I simply toast the bread and use a shamrock shaped cookie cutter to cut one toast and then I fill the shamrock cut out with jam. I used a peach jam so it looked like a gold shamrock.

Here is the full step by step: http://peachycheek.blogspot.com/2015/03/saint-patricks-day-peanut-butter-and.html



2. Leprechaun hats made with chocolate covered marshmallows and Keebler's fudge stripe cookies.
Recipe and Photo from: http://blog.hwtm.com/2012/03/diy-tutorial-leprechaun-hat-smores/

Tip: To make this easier,  I recommend dipping the marshmallows in chocolate (or buying chocolate rolos) putting them over a chocolate cookie and simply adding a mini cut out green shamrock.



3. These are easy peanut butter shamrock cookies using the same shamrock cookie cutter. I also use it to make chocolate chip shaped shamrock cookies.

Here is the recipe: http://peachycheek.blogspot.com/2014/03/shamrock-peanut-butter-cookies.html



4. Rainbow Veggies. This is such a cute and quick idea. All you need is a slice of green, yellow, orange, red pepper and cauliflower put it over a mini bowl of salsa, guacamole or my favorite hummus (recipe and photo via parents.com)


I hope these little fun treats bring a smile on your face.

March 1, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Oreo Treats - You're the Gold at the End of my Rainbow


Top of the morning to you! For Saint Patrick's Day I made these Milk Chocolate Covered Oreos and wrapped them in gold and rainbow colors. They are available in packs of 9, 6, or 4 and each one comes wrapped in a matching bow with a rainbow note to give to your loved one that says "You're the Pot of Gold at the end of my Rainbow".


They all are milk chocolate covered oreos, but you can request dark or white chocolate too.

Shop ChocolateFinch below. Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I wish you a day filled of joy and luck.






February 15, 2017

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


Do you have bananas that look way past due? Heavy dark brown and black stains?

Back away from the trashcan, do not throw them away, and make this easy chocolate chip banana bread today!

Ingredients
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or substitute with olive oil)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup of sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate morsels)
1/2 cup of walnuts (optional)


Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F .

Grease a 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into the greased loaf pan.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until golden brown, or a butter knife  inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.