March 31, 2014

spring party ideas

It's end of March and we got hit with snow in Connecticut, but that doesn't keep me from dreaming about spring, peonies, bright colors, and flowers.

I put together some of my favorites for spring that would make a sweet party perfect for bridal showers, birthdays, mother's day and even easter.

1. and 2. I love this fresh color palette and from the Oh Joy! Target line. I love the combination of gold and these bright colors. For lunch adding a bright food bar of salads and fruits will be perfect. You can buy Joy's beautiful pieces from Target.

3. For a spring party you can add bright flowers everywhere, my favorite are peonies and zinnias. Zinnias come in a variety of bright colors. From 100 Layers Cake.

4. I love how beautiful and simple this cake looks and just add bright flowers on top and it makes it so fancy. Found on The Lane.

5. I love this paper flower backdrop. This would be perfect behind the table and for photos with guests. From Lovely Fest Events 

6. and 7. Adding some bright colored popsicles is a fun alternative to cake. And I am loving this gold fabric backdrop. Both from 100 Layers Cake

8. These cupcakes are stunning. From Magnolia Bakery in New York City.

March 28, 2014

easy spinach crustless quiche

This was my very first time making quiche. I wanted something different for breakfast and for one reason or another I wanted quiche. It was so much easier than I thought and this is definitely going to be a recipe I keep coming back to. Quiche is so versatile, you can make it with eggs or egg whites, different items like spinach, mushrooms, ham, and much more, and you can also switch up the cheeses.

This easy spinach quiche is also crustless, so all you need are these few ingredients and you can make an amazing breakfast or brunch.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 pound of frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 eggs (I used egg whites)
  • 2 cups of shredded blended mexican cheese (you can use any shredded cheese)
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.

In a large bowl beat eggs and add salt and pepper for taste.

Add the cheese.

Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tablespoon of minced garlic and once golden brown, add chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. 

Stir in spinach and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated.

Add spinach to egg mixture and mix together. Scoop into prepared pie dish.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle some more cheese and put back in the oven until the top cheese has melted. Take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I served the quiche with homemade home fries and ketchup. Here is my home fries recipe. The leftover quiche can be wrapped and placed in the fridge and a slice makes a perfect quick breakfast option for the next few days.

March 27, 2014

march 2014 birchbox review

I received my March Birchbox and received five items that ranged from makeup, hair products to creams. My very favorite being the 

The cheek and lip cream from the Balm is really soft and creamy and last all day. I am really loving this color on my cheeks and lips. It looks really natural and refreshing and I have been wearing it every day. It's become my go to lip and cheek color. It's perfect for the spring.

The air repair is a clear salve and I was looking forward to use this because my hands have been extremely dry. I put a coat of it on my hands and it looked like a coat of vaseline, but about 30 minutes later my hands were still dry. 

I did find a great use for it, it's perfect for my cuticles. I slathered them around each of my nails and I really liked the way the felt and looked.

I just realized that it was a lip balm too, so I am going to give it a try and see how it works as a lip balm and I am also trying to find a new one because my lips are always dry.

BB and CC creams are everywhere. In this month's Birchbox I received two BB creams, one for my face and one for my body.

Coola is sunscreen bb cream with a matte tint. I like that this has SPF 30 in it, as I wear sunscreen every day. I also like that this is natural.

It's creamy and light. I applied it all over my face and I thought it was going to look yellow on my face, as it looks yellow when it comes out of the bottle. It actually has a slight white tint when it was applied to my face. My face was very soft after applying it, but after I applied my makeup over it it felt like the sunscreen was coming off in pieces. Maybe I should have left it on longer before I applied my makeup.

I did like that it was matte and that my face stayed pretty matte for the entire day, but I don't know if it's the right for product for me to wear under makeup, but I do plan on using it alone on the days I don't wear makeup, like weekends or days to the beach.

The Jergens BB Body skin cream is very moisturizing and gives a hint of color, which will be perfect for late spring and summer for legs and arms, but right now I don't have a use for it because I am stilling wearing my leggings, boots and sweaters. Because it has a tint to it I can imagine it's going to rub off on clothes, so I recommend wearing a dark color with it and only wear it on exposed skin. It doesn't come with SPF, so make sure to put SPF on after. 

Finally, the Beauty Protector Leave-in Conditioner is a spray leave-in conditioner, that is supposed to be a detangler, thermal protector, UV protector, seals the hair cuticles, adds shine, locks in color, and smoothes hair all in one.

I was a little hesitant at first, because I have another leave-in conditioner that I love and have been using for years. 

When I first tried to spray it nothing came out. I opened it and saw that the product is pretty thick, like cream. Once I opened it and closed it, I was able to spray it.

I first sprayed this one in my wet hair and left it wet to dry naturally and my hair was naturally curly and not frizzy when I woke up. I tried it again and sprayed all over my wet hair, especially my ends. I brushed right through my wet hair with ease. I then used it in combination with my other favorite hair product, Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Relaxing Balm, and I blow dried my hair and the results were very smooth and the split ends I have were so much smoother. My hair felt very soft. I also liked that it has a thermal protector built-in so my hair is protected from heat damage from my blow dryer, hair straightener, and hair curlers.

March 24, 2014

easy home fries

Home fries. They are lightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The hint of garlic and onions make the whole house smell heavenly. These are so easy to make and you only need four ingredients.
  • 1 pound bag of gold baby potatoes, washed and cleaned. 
  • Unsalted butter or olive oil.
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Once the potatoes have been washed and scrubbed cut baby potatoes in 4. make them as small as you would like. I usually cut them in 4 pieces each. Next, arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter on top and cover with a piece of paper towel, so that the entire top of the bowl is covered. Microwave for about 5 - 7 minutes. Halfway through mix the potatoes around. This will let the potatoes to steam and cook faster.

In a small skillet pan pour a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in medium heat.

Add minced garlic until golden brown, then add the chopped onions. Transfer to small bowl. We will be re-adding these onions to the potatoes after they are finished cooking. 

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Add salt and pepper for taste. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Mix and turn potatoes. Continue to cook until well browned and crisp. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking.

Stir the potatoes every few minutes, and pierce with fork to see if the center are soft. Once they are soft in the center and golden brown and crispy on the outside, add the onions and cook for a few more minutes. 

I made this with a spinach and cheese quiche. I will be sharing the recipe soon. I served it with a side of ketchup and they were delicious. 

March 23, 2014

weekend recap

This weekend felt a little bit like spring. The sun was out and I felt the warm air, even though there was a slight chilled wind. I felt like spring was coming and I felt like there was so much to do to get ready for spring. Spring cleaning has started and all the winter trinkets are being removed, and spring decor coming in. I bought flowers to decorate around the house because they make me happy and I painted my nails a bright fuschia pink. We ate chocolate covered fruit from edible arrangements, strawberries are my favorite and I cooked and baked. I made quiche and home fries for breakfast, pies, and cookies.

March 19, 2014

cinnamon baked french toast

I love french toast and when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen it looked so easy and yummy I couldn't resist. I had all the ingredients, so I put it all together on Sunday morning and these came out delicious. The sweet sugar and cinnamon with the moist toast was exactly what I was looking for.

Cinnamon Toast French Toast
adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 slices  white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. 

Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer. Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with one teaspoon of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden for about 7 to10 minutes. 

Generously butter a large baking dish and arrange the cinnamon toast down in the pan.

Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla.

And pour over the toast. Let sit for 15 minutes for all the pieces to entirely absorb.

Sprinkle any extra cinnamon-sugar over the toast before putting it in the oven.

Next, bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden.

The above photo has a little nibble on it, couldn't resist it before I took the photo. I poured agave syrup on them with some more cinnamon and it was delicious.

Next time, I need to add lots of fresh strawberries or blueberries.