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Monday, February 6, 2017

Celebrate Galentine's Day with a My-Gal-Rita!

So, who here is a fan of Parks and Recreation? (Insert redheaded-girl-with-hand-up emoji here). Could you be the Leslie Knope to my Ann Perkins? Or maybe you are more of the bacon to my Ron Swanson type; either way I think we could be really breaking the ice here! And thinking back, one of the best lessons that Leslie taught me is that February 13th is the best day of the year. 

That’s right; I am talking about Galentine’s Day my friends. The one day of the year reserved for the ladies to celebrate ladies in your favorite way. Leslie and her gal-pals loved to enjoy brunch and presents and I cannot think of a better way to share the love with your besties then delicious waffles to eat and drinks to clink.  Whoo hoo ovaries before brovaries (sorry boys)!!

To celebrate this wonderful holiday and show the ladies you love them in true Leslie fashion, I will be sharing my My-Gal-Rita (Margarita) recipe with you. So break out your most unique and fun margarita glasses to fill up and cheers to all the amazing things you will do together over this next year to give all the other people out there squad goals to look up to! This fruity, fun and refreshing drink will not only pair well with your favorite brunch foods it will also fill you with homemade love and happiness.

If you are like me, events like these where you can gather with all the ladies who have helped keep you sane and supported really means the world and can exponentially refresh your motivation to tackle the world. When you have friendships like Leslie and Ann do, you feel empowered to do anything you set your mind to. So, look out, Galentine’s Day is here and we shall be fierce and fueled by My-Gal-Ritas!


Galentine's Day My-Gal-Rita


Serves two!


Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of tequila
  • 5 sweet strawberries, leaves trimmed off and cut in half
  • 4 oz sweetened lime juice mix
  • Juice from one fresh squeezed lime
  • 1 lime, cut in 4 to use for garnish
  • 3 cups of ice
  • A splash Chambord Liqueur for topping
  • Rim salt, mixed lightly with pink food coloring


Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine pink or red food coloring with rim salt and stir until combined, then set aside.
  2. Cut strawberries in half after taking the leaves on top off. 
  3. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, press firmly into two of the halves of strawberries to make a heart shape to use for the garnish. Place the rest of the halves and leftovers into a blender.
  4. Cut one of the limes into fourths for the garnish. Cut the other lime in half and squeeze the juice into the blender.
  5. Add the tequila, sweetened lime juice mix and ice to the blender. 
  6. Turn the blender on the blending setting until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Take your margarita glasses and use one of the lime wedges to run around the rim of both cups to lightly dampen it. Take the glasses and place them upside-down in the salt to create the salted rim.
  8. Pour the blended margaritas into your prepared glasses.
  9. Top the margaritas with a splash of Chambord Liqueur.
  10. Create a garnish for the glass by sticking a toothpick through the heart-shaped strawberry and adding a lime wedge underneath it. Place it in the margarita to finish it off.
  11. Enjoy with your favorite Galentine!
I hope you have an absolutely fabulous Galentine's Day with all of your best gal pals. If you have another drink that you enjoy with friends, be sure to comment below so I can test it out. Cheers!


XOXO
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Delicious and Ginormous Caramel Drizzled Banana Coffee Chocolate Chip Scones

Hello everyone! I hope you had a fun time behind the scenes of my baking journey yesterday as I had my Instagram Takeover on The Blog Bar page. If you missed out, please head over there to check out all the fun I had leading up to the creation of this larger than life delicious recipe and get caught up!

So, I must confess, I have had this recipe in my journal for a while now. I have gone through some of the test phases and it just simply was not coming out the way I wanted it to so I had to take a little break from it and come back when the time was right. Lucky for me, starting out 2017 has seemed to go much better for this delicious recipe to come together; thank you baking gods. 

If you are like me, then you love your coffee, banana, caramel and chocolate- even better when it is all together. Before this recipe, I would likely have paired a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with some of my homemade chocolate chip banana bread, but now that I have this wonderful creation, I can have all my flavors in one scone and eat it, too! So are you all set to round up your supplies and get to whipping up your own batch for yourself and your loved ones? Then let's do this!


Caramel Drizzled Banana Coffee Chocolate Chip Scones


Makes: 8 Ginormous Scones


Ingredients


Scones

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. instant coffee granules 
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk

Caramel Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. milk


Directions


Scones

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. 
  2.  In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and coffee granules together until well mixed together and there are no lumps. 
  3. Add the cubed butter to the dry mixture and using your hands or a pastry cutter, combine until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Set aside.
  4.  In a small bowl, combine the egg, vanilla and milk. Whisk until incorporated and then add in the mashed banana.
  5. Create a well in the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the dry well. 
  6. Slowly mix the wet and dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until it starts to come together and there are still streaks of flour. 
  7. Add in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and finish incorporating the dough together until mixed, but dough remains slightly wet. 
  8. With lightly floured hands, roll the dough into a ball and then turn out onto a floured surface. Work the dough in the flour until it is no longer sticky on the outside (about a minute).
  9. Roll the dough into a ball and then lightly flatten into a disk with your hands or a rolling pin.
  10. Cut the disk into 8 equal parts (resembling triangles). Move each part to a prepared baking sheet. I did four per baking sheet. 
  11. Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden brown on the outside. 
  12. Take the scones off the baking sheets and cool on a baking rack while you prepare the caramel drizzle. 

Caramel Drizzle

  1. For the caramel drizzle, melt the butter in a small pot over stove-top heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the milk and brown sugar. 
  2. Bring the caramel mixture to a boil for a minute, stirring consistently so the sugar melts thoroughly. 
  3. Remove the pot from heat and add the powdered sugar in with a whisk and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth and no lumps are present. 
  4. Let the mixture cool for a few moments and then pour it into a Zip-Loc baggie. Seal the baggie and cut one of the corners off.
  5. Drizzle the scones with the caramel drizzle in the pattern of your choice. 
  6. Allow the drizzle to harden and then package for your delicious deliveries to your favorite friends or enjoy with your favorite morning routine! 

I hope you enjoy these giant scones as much as I did. I know they will quickly become part of my weekly meal prepping for some quick breakfasts and snacks throughout the week. What are your favorite flavors of scones? Tell me below so I can test those yummy ones out, too! 

Have a magical rest of the day and thank you so much again for watching my Instagram Stories Takeover on The Blog Bar Instagram account and joining me for this amazing recipe reveal here on Seams & Sprinkles! I hope you had as much fun as I did and I look forward to catching up with you again really soon.


XOXO
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle, And Other Things I have Learned

Once of my favorite quotes is "Never let anyone dull your sparkle." I try my best to keep this quote in mind and never let anything ruin my day, but sometimes I find that it is not so easy! I think we all want to be some type of magical unicorn (or your spirit animal of choice) that is able to always be at your best and never stop shining. We want to say the right things all the time, be liked by everyone and have the things we have worked so hard happen for us. Well, life has other lessons in store for us, right?



I have learned that you need to just keep that focus on your sparkle and not the dull that anyone or anything can bring. One thing I have really been struggling with this aspect in is how much I seem to give and not always get the same in return. I feel like I am constantly giving and giving in all I do whether it be networking with new people, keeping in touch or offering to participate in any event I am asked to. Just typing it I feel exhausted! This certainly leads to the dull of my sparkles in my life. These activities take a lot of my energy and time and cause you to quickly get burnt out. So, the next nuggets of wisdom I have found are these other truths:

  1. It is okay (REALLY) to say no sometimes and not feel guilty about it. 
  2. You must focus on doing things because you want to and not have the expectation that others will want to give the same effort you will and be okay with it. The more I accept these things the less I feel stressed or negative about the things I do and I can really get back to enjoying the feeling of giving!
  3. Do not let others define your happiness! To put it simply, don't get caught up in comparing yourself to others and what they may have or do. Define your happiness by your own benchmarks. 
  4. When it all becomes too much, just take a break. No one says you have to throw in the towel, but perhaps a little fresh air and give you that desire to get back into the swing of things and pick up where you left off.
  5.  Stay true to yourself no matter what. Do not let anyone make you turn into a bad person. Do things you would normally do and things will all fall into place for you. Consistency is key, but also being organically your wonderful self! 

So what else can we do when someone or something has dulled our sparkles, even if for just that one instance? Leave me a note below so we can all learn from your mighty wisdom and help re-shine our sparkles when they start to get dull! Have the most wonderful holidays and I look forward to all the sparkles that await us in this new year- keep on shining my friend.

XOXO
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

10 Things I hate About... Being Sick!

Hello there from behind the curtain of a week-long sickness! As many of you deal with I am sure, I am coping and recovering from being sick on the way back from an absolutely beautiful vay-cay. So after spending the week with my lovely sister and now brother during their wedding week in the tropical paradise of the Dominican Republic, I had been cursed with the most horrible sore throat and clogged up face the whole travel back to the good ole' US of A.

I am talking major pain here people, feel it with these hard-core adjectives! I am on a plane for endless, countless, ongoing hours with a throat that must resemble the scratched surfaces of a cat's play structure, lit on fire, then thrown in a freezer and then taken out to be hacked with a high-power saw on the inside. Yes, it was literally (not literally, but close), SO MUCH FREAKING PAIN!!! So on the way to recovery with this muck, I decided to jot down a few notes about what I hate most about being sick and why. My suffering is now your amusement... please enjoy!


  1. That thick, gross, yellowish-green snot, phlegm, whatever-it-is. I mean seriously, how does it become so gelatinous and difficult to get out? And where does it continue to come from? Make it stahhpppp! Can I also say (don't continue reading if you get easily grossed out), I hate it even more when it is too thick and heavy, much like in the game of Don't Break the Ice, and it comes out onto your hand because the tissue cannot hold it. UGGGHHHH!!!!!! And Ewwwyyy McEwwerrrson!!
  2. When you have to go to the bathroom like super, duper, uber bad because you have been too busy with other things and have not taken two seconds to go and all the sudden that's when your throat decides you need some moisture and you start having a MAJOR, non-stop cough attack. Yeah, it is not funny when you have to go to the bathroom and you barely make it there by walking cross-legged to the stalls to ensure you don't completely obliterate your dignity at work by wetting your pants like a toddler. Everyone is already looking at you, don't let them see you at your even worst moment of vulnerability by peeing your pants. It is not worth it, bro!
  3. Having a man voice or no voice at all. So you have already coughed your throat off and then your voice decides you need to go down steroid-taker's street. People look frightened when they realize it is you coming around the corner and your loved ones look at you as though they already see you as the opposite sex. My voice is just on strike, I swear I will be back to unicorn Barbie princess in no time.... I hope! Please stop looking at me with fearful pity.
  4. Your tea temperature is NEVER right. You boil the water because that is what your throat needs to be soothed. So you baby the water, get the tea bag and let it steep with all the other magical potion ingredients like honey and lemon and softly blow to let it cool or set it aside and before you know it the freaking tea is already not hot enough. Is there any way we can get it somewhere between burn your taste buds off for life and cold bathwater? It is so much work and I just want my soothing tea to take me back to the DR.
  5. In the morning, you taste the gross flavor in your mouth. You know the nighttime cold medicine is always horrible so you have that mixed with the other gunk and your breathing issues. No wonder people hide themselves in a cocoon while they are the slimy, stinky caterpillars until they are ready to emerge as a normal, not fire breath-breathing, butterfly. Not all the mouthwash in the world can save you now!
  6. Eating the same thing day in and day out for every single meal. There's only so much soup the body can take before it wants to start the next revolution because you get to the point of what is there to live for anymore? It certainly can't be soup.... again!! Don't get me wrong, I am very lucky that my husband always makes me delicious soup when I am sick that always helps me get better, I just still secretly want pizza and wine, even though I can't have it. Why God, WHYYYYY?!?!?!?
  7. Thinking, in general, is basically impossible. I know life goes on and the world does not stop spinning, but come on people. I have barely enough functionality to use the bathroom correctly. I am setting humans back to the very first computer with my sickly capabilities. Please, Mother of Pearl, yes or no questions to the sick only! Don't even waste your time with anything else unless frustration is your only goal for the day.
  8. People look at you with pure and utter disgust. Yes, I know I am sick and am carrying around the black death on my skin, breath and everything I touch! I am doing my best here to contain it, but after several days sleeping and sitting in bed you, too, would just try to do the normal routine to feel human again, only human again (any Beauty & the Beast lovers out there?). Each time you cough, sneeze, blow your nose you see the many pairs of eyes on you wishing you would just go away. Let me tell you that just plain hurts- well, not really too bad for me. I mean I totally get it and Clorox all surfaces when the sicknesses are permeating the air around me so, please feel free to do the same. Just know I cannot help it, okay! 
  9. Adulting. I CANNOT DO IT TODAY, BUDDY. They call them chores on a normal day because they are no fun. I know you don't run home to clean laundry, put things away, do dishes or make dinner but imagine getting aboard this struggle-bus when you are sick. You don't want to do anything and I have often found myself just staring at things hoping they will just be done if I stare at them long enough. There should be some fairy that will come along when you can't adult anymore. I don't need the tooth fairy or any of that nonsense, I need an I-Can't-Adult-Today-Fairy. Where is she at and when can she help get me caught up on chores so I don't have a backlog of that on top of the umpteen other things I missed while in my sickness black hole?
  10. The best for last... most hated thing while being sick is when people tell you how bad you look. So you feel bad, are barely functioning, can't adult, have bad breath to wake you like an evil song bird and have almost wet yourself while coughing and then people have the nerve to tell you how bad you look. Well no duh! I feel like crap, so of course I am bound to look like it, too. As a woman growing up in this society with all the pressures of the world on my back, please believe me I have already been hard on myself for my appearances and certainly am aware when I have bags under my eyes or jacked up hair! Just let me be, okay. Again, I am functioning with first generation computer analytical skills- slow and almost useless. I will regain function upon reboot soon. Until then, please resist the urge to even let the words fall from your open lips. Just don't. DO NOT!!!
I hope you have enjoyed the fun notes I have taken this week while in pain, distress and shear loser-dom at various stages. I, as I am getting better, do find them quite hilarious! However, during many of these moments I was one stitch away from completely losing it... that might have also been the weakened immune system talking as well. At least there were no "explosive" moments during this sickness, especially while travelling back, this time to report! PHEWWW!!!

I'd love to hear your most hilarious and funny things that you hate about being sick if you wouldn't mind sharing with me below! Take care and I catch up with you soon (I promise to stop hacking up a lung by then!). 

XOXO
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Spooktacular Halloween Kitchen Tour Blog Hop!

Two posts from me in one month- say what! I know, look at me being all productive. Thank goodness for partners and collaborations to help keep that healthy amount of accountability alive. Since Halloween is just around the corner, I am in the mood to keep calm and be scary on around the house. I invite you to join me on a little tour of my kitchen for this festive fall celebration.

I want to start with my favorite kitchen accessory- my chalkboard wall! It has been so fun to change this up for each holiday to create a fun little decorative drink or snack bar. I quickly searched for some fun images on Pinterest and fell in love with this one. I know I will need to find my next idea soon since Thanksgiving is already just around the corner as well! I just used regular white chalk to create this board and smuged it a little here and there to give it more of that spooky webbed look. I also added in some skulls and fake web material to add some fun without taking too much away from the board. It is nice seeing all these decorations that can be used for almost anything at the Dollar Tree!


Next, no kitchen hop can be complete without adorable cookies. I made a fun batch of sugar cookie cut outs and decorated them with lots of ghoulishly good fun. My most favorite recipe to use for sugar cookies is from All Recipes. I have been using it for years and have had great success with it. The cookies are soft, yet sturdy and keep for quite a while. I hope to make some time soon to do a little practice with royal frosting to make even better designs on these cookies, but that has been a little difficult for me! If you know a great recipe I could use, please comment below!


Next, let's head over to the little bar area. I found the cutest, most hilarious drink napkins at Marshalls that add that little extra dash of holiday sass and get your guests into the spirit. Accessories like these are usually inexpensive and really help set the mood for your guests. Even if you can't do a lot of other decor, make sure you pick up splashes of these themed accessories!



Last but not least, I simply adore my holiday kitchen towels. I have quite a collection going now and think I might be addicted to them. There are usually so many different styles to pick from it is hard to select just one! This year for Halloween, I went with "The Most Wicked Time of the Year." I thought they were still magical, in a slightly scary sort of way. I also stumbled upon a few seasonal spatulas from Wilton at Walmart and couldn't resist getting them to add to my kitchen.


I hope you have enjoyed seeing all the fun over in my kitchen for this Halloween and find some new creative ideas to make your home extra special during these holidays. Be sure to head over to Carrie's Creations next to see the next kitchen on the tour! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful time eating, drinking and being scary this Halloween. 

XOXO
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