Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Garden Update

I was so excited about all the new stuff in my garden last month.
The herbs were thriving and the flowers looked great,
but then a darn heat wave hit Los Angeles recently
and I ended up losing almost everything!


While I do love having a garden on my balcony,
I've made the difficult decision and won't be keeping it up for now.
I don't have the time I used to have to keep it up,
and if I'm being honest it's become more of a chore than fun.

So with all the above said,
I won't be doing monthly updates after this one.
It's a little sad because my garden is what got this blog going,
but I'm looking forward to spending more time on cooking, baking and DIY projects.

Now that I have that outta the way,
let me show you how my poor little garden looks now!

Empty pots and window liners make me a little sad.
But I'm not getting rid or them or anything.
I have hopes that one day I'll have a garden again!
Maybe soon, maybe not - we'll see.

My basil is the last herb that's still around.
The heat knocked out all the rest sadly.

I almost got rid of the jalapeno plant,
but noticed a few new teeny tiny new leaves.
This plant has amazed me before,
so maybe, just maybe, it'll start producing again!

This could very well be the last jalapeno from my garden for awhile.

There haven't been any new buds or blossoms on the lemon tree in awhile,
but I'm hoping they start coming when the weather cools down a little more!

I know I say this every month...
but I am shocked by how big this Christmas tree is now!
It started so small and is just HUGE now!!!

And since this is the last garden post for some time,
I had to include my cute furry garden helpers!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Things I'm Lovin' Tuesday: Shark Rotator Vacuum

A few months ago I started another monthly blog series called
If you missed the first two, you can fine them here and here,
and make sure to check back every last Tuesday of the month!

Now onto what I'm lovin' this month...

I know this is a little strange...but I really enjoy cleaning.
And having good cleaning products or tools makes it even better.
A few months ago I was in the market for a new vacuum,
and my aunt suggested the Shark Rotator 3 in 1 Lift-Away Vacuum.

I trust my aunt's opinion for many things in life,
so less than a week later, I purchased the vacuum she suggested.
Not only was it on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond,
but I also used a 20% off coupon to make it even cheaper!

The vacuum was super easy to put together
and I was able to start cleaning in no time at all!
It was much quieter than my previous vacuum,
and it also seemed to pick up SO much more!

Not only does it work great on both carpets and hard surfaces,
but it's super simple to switch from one way of vacuuming to another.
And on top of all that awesomeness - it's SO easy to clean too!
Oh and I can't forget that it's very light weight as well. 

Would I purchase this vacuum again?
You bet I would, but I'm hoping I don't have to for awhile.
If you're in the market for a new vacuum,
I absolutely recommend the Shark Rotator 3 in 1 Lift-Away Vacuum.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Spicy Turkey Nachos

MMMMM nachos!!!
Boy do I love me some nachos.

If I'm craving them, I have to have them.
Otherwise the craving just never goes away.
I will seriously crave them until I have some!

And now that I've gone on and on about my love of nachos,
let me show you how to make some that are super easy and tasty!

The Goods:
Tortilla Chips
Taco Meat
Spanish Rice
Black Beans
Shredded Cheese
Pickled Jalapenos
Green Onions
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fresh Lime

I like to layer all the goodies, so I don't end up with all the hearty stuff on top,
and just sad, dry, boring chips left alone on the bottom.

For this batch, I did the following:
A thin layer of chips, followed by meat, beans, and rice.
Then sprinkled some cheese on top of that layer.
Followed by two more layers done the exact same way.
Lastly, I added some jalapenos to the top layer.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees,
then pop your nacho dish in the oven for a few minutes.
Keep an eye on it, and pull it out when the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Once it's nice and hot, remove from the oven and
add fresh squeezed lime, avocado, green onions and greek yogurt.

Now grab a ton of napkins (this IS finger food) and dig in!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Favorite Things About Fall

Happy Friday you guys!!!
I'm back today for another Friday Link Up!
And again, I'm linking up with THREE different groups.
Make sure to check them all out at the bottom of this post!

Last month I posted about ways to wrap up Summer.
If you missed that you can read it here.
And now that it's officially Fall, it's time to talk about my

I don't know about you,
but when Fall rolls around it's "holiday season" for me!
No, I'm not talking Christmas and New Years.
I'm talking about Halloween and Thanksgiving!!!
Decorating, Celebrating and all that goes with both holidays!

It's time for Pumpkin EVERYTHING!
Local stores have been stocking up on pumpkin "stuff" for weeks.
And that makes me a happy girl.
I pretty much love pumpkin in anything and everything
Pie, Ice Cream, Seeds, Puree and more!!

You can eat squash pretty much all year long,
but something about Fall just screams squash to me.
There are many different kinds and ways to prepare squash.
But three of my favorite type of Fall squash are:
DelicataButternut and Acorn

It's been HOT in Los Angeles and I'm ready for it to FEEL like Fall.
I'm looking forward to cooler weather and the leaves changing...
But sadly maybe not in LA just yet...

And last but not least bring on the Fall clothing!!!
I've always loved Fall clothes and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Even if it's not cool enough just yet,
Bring on the SweatersScarves and Boots!

Now for more Friday Link Up Fun, check out the blogs below!

Andrea and Erika's blogs from Friday Favorites.

April's blog from 5 on Friday.

Karli and Amy's blogs from oh hey friday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How To: Hard Boil Eggs

One of my coworkers asked me how to make hard boiled eggs recently.
After explaining how I made them, I had a lightbulb go off in my head.

If one person didn't know how to hard boil an egg,
I was sure there had to be more people that didn't know how either!

So today - I'm explain how I hard boil eggs.
It's super easy and how I've done it for years.

Put cold eggs in a medium saucepan.

And add enough water to cover completely. 

Bring the water to a strong rolling boil.

Turn the heat off.

And immediately cover with the saucepan lid.

Start the timer for 15 minutes.

And once that's up submerge eggs in ice cold water.

And that folks - is it. 

Mmmmm perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs!!!

While I don't have any special tricks,
I will say that I find older eggs tend to peel easier,
and a little better than eggs that are super fresh!

*Note - this method does not work for all farm fresh eggs.

Friday, September 18, 2015

DIY: Burlap Ribbon Wrapped Jar Vases

I love the look of burlap.
I use it pretty much whenever I can.
So when I was planning a little event a few months back,
you can bet I wanted to incorporate burlap in some way!

I knew I wanted to have some fresh flowers for decoration,
and I adore old recycled jars as vases for flower arrangements.
So I thought it would be a really cute to combine burlap and recycle jars
and make some adorable DIY vases!

The Goods:
Recycled Jars
Thick Burlap Ribbon
Thin Burlap Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue

Measure and cut your ribbon ahead of time.
And plug your glue gun in to heat up.

Place a tiny dollop of glue on the jar, followed by one end of the thicker ribbon.
Wrap around and secure with another dollop of hot glue.
Trim excess ribbon and repeat steps with thin ribbon.

Simple, yet cute!

With some white Mini Calla Lilies from Trader Joe's!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bubble Bath Review: Dr. Teal's Foaming Bath

This is a non-sponsored review and I purchased my own Bubble Bath.

Happy Wednesday!
Happy Hump Day!!
And since it's the 3rd Wednesday of the month...
Happy Bubble Bath Review Day too!!!

I think you know by now that I love bubble baths.
What you may not know though is that I love Target!
Yes, shopping at Target can sometimes be dangerous,
(because who can leave with just what's on their list?!?!)
But sometimes you find little gems that are such a good deal!

And that's exactly what happened with today's bubble bath.
Since starting this Bubble Bath Review series,
I pretty much keep my eyes open for bubble bath anywhere I am,
and this one* caught my eye on a Target trip not too long ago.

There were many different kinds,
but the Milk and Honey really intrigued me!

Just like the last few month's,
and most bubble bath's for that matter,
this one is really a no-brainer.

Simply pour the bubble bath into running water...

Sit back with a delicious cocktail...

And let the bubbles take over!

This bubble bath was fairly inexpensive,
produced a lot of great bubbles,
and smelled pretty darn good too.
So I'd for sure purchase it again!

Past bubble bath reviews:

*I'm aware the above link is for the bubble bath sold at Walgreens,
but I was unable to find the exact version of the one I tried on Target's website

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fruit Pizza

My aunt offered to make me a birthday cake this year,
and since food really is my love language,
I offered to make a birthday cake for her in return!

She agreed to a birthday treat, but didn't want a cake.
She said she wanted something with fruit on it,
so that's when I turned to trusty Google.

I found quite a few things that looked absolutely amazing,
but I pretty much stopped looking when I found this!
I was drooling just looking at the recipe if I'm being honest.

I wanted the Fruit Pizza to be perfect for the birthday,
so I did the only logical thing one would do...
make one ahead of time as a trial run!!!

Now keep reading to see how the trial run went.

The Goods:
Orange Zest
Whole Milk
Baking Powder
Marshmallow Fluff
Cream Cheese
Fresh Fruit

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, add shortening, sugar, orange zest and vanilla.

And then cream the above mixture.

Add in the eggs.

Then beat until fluffy.

Now time for the milk.

Mix that up too.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

The dough when finished mixing.

Flatten the dough between two sheets of waxed paper.

And refrigerate at least one hour.
(Dough can be refrigerated a few days!)

Remove dough from refrigerator.
And at this point I cut my dough in half.

Then press half the dough into a greased 9x13 sheet pan.

Bat 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
The edges will be a nice golden brown when done

Let cookie cool completely.

Add the marshmallow fluff and cream cheese to a bowl.

Using the whisk attachment, beat until combined, light and fluffy.

Spread mixture onto cooled cookie crust.
I didn't leave an edge on this one,
but did for my aunt's and I like both equally.

Place the fresh fruit all over your fruit pizza to your liking.

Cut yourself a nice big piece...

And then dig in!!!

Fruit Pizza
(Recipe from The Pioneer Woman)

1 1/3 Cup Shortening
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
8 Teaspoons Whole Milk
4 Cups Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Jars (13 oz) Marshmallow Fluff
2 Packages (8 oz) Cream Cheese
Fresh Fruit

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, cream the shortening, sugar, orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Add the egg and beat until fluffy.
  5. Add the milk and mix again.
  6. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Press dough mixture between two sheets of wax paper and refrigerate for at least one hour, but up to a few days if needed.
  8. Cut dough in half and press one half into greased 9x13 baking sheet.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
  10. Cool completely.
  11. Using whisk attachment, mix 1 block of cream cheese with 1 jar of marshmallow fluff. 
  12. Spread mixture over cooled cookie crust and top with fresh fruit.
  13. Slice and then devour a slice. And maybe have a second too!