Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wellness Wednesday: Low Calorie Greek Yogurt Bark


I'm not going to lie I'm still not feeling 100% from my week long sickness, but I managed to make myself productive to type up this blog post. As I've been lying in my bed I've been doing tons of social media scrolling, and came across a version of this recipe that immediately made me salivate. I eat really healthy, but when it comes to dessert I'm doomed. I love love love me some ice cream, and I am always looking for healthy/low calorie alternatives that will satisfy my sweet tooth. 

Since I'm still going dairy free I wasn't able to partake in the devouring of this greek yogurt bark, but my husband said it was delicious! I decided to choose strawberries and blueberries since they were on sale at my local grocery store, but you can honestly add any fruit! To sweeten up this dessert a little more I added drizzles of agave, and low fat graham cracker crumbles. #nomnomnom. This recipe is honestly so easy to prepare, and is the perfect "little something" to indulge in without feeling guilty.  


Greek Yogurt Bark Recipe

Ingredients

  • Sliced strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • 32 oz Chobani vanilla greek yogurt
  • Agave or honey
  • Low fat graham crackers crumbled
  • Parchment paper

Directions

  1. Clean and cut your fruit.
  2. In a pan place parchment paper, and spread yogurt over the paper. 
  3. Place fruit and graham cracker crumbles into the yogurt, and pressing gently so that it freezes into the yogurt. 
  4. Drizzle agave over the yogurt mixture. 
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours, and then break the bark once fully frozen.
  6. Last but not least, eat, and enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Summa Yella

Dress: Shein (only $20, and comes in 2 other colors!) c/o / Bag: Amazon / Shoes: Free People / Sunnies: Quay / Necklaces: Baublebar c/o + Alixandra Collections c/o / Lips: NARS - Orgasim
Hi blog fam......

Yes I am still alive! I must apologize for a week long absences, but I've been sick in bed all week. When I get sick I cannot function, and unfortunately my blog suffers. Good news is I'm feeling better, and well! Wanted to stop by to share this outfit I wore a couple weeks ago. With summer coming to a close I'm sad to say bye to all my maxi's. Even though I haven't been a huge fan of living in Pennsylvania something tells me that I'm going to love fall here. Almost time to whip out the booties!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Living Our Most Interesting Life by Exploring Rickett's Trail

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #Myvitaminwater #vwlabelcontest #CollectiveBias

After a month long of continuous rain we finally had a weekend where there was no rain! My heart has been longing to play outside since the 4th of July, and was beyond excited when the weather forecast read "clear skies" for the weekend. 

Todd has been wanting to go hike Rickett's Trail in Benton Pennsylvania since one of his fellow residents said it was a cool hike with tons of waterfalls. Since I love to stay active I was immediately down for the idea of hiking a trail full of waterfalls. 

We decided to wake up early on Saturday morning to head out for our adventure. Our first stop was at our local Target where we grabbed some vitaminwater to replenish our electrolytes, and trail mix to fill Todd's belly for our hike. I'm not normally into sports drinks because of all the calories, but the Zero squeezed lemonade has 0 calories in the bottle, and still has the added vitamins in it. 


Once we left Target it was then off to Benton. The drive took us about an hour to reach Benton, and I pretty much napped the whole time in the passenger seat. Once we got on the trail I felt immediately at peace with being back in the wild. The trail was filled with so many waterfalls, and all varied in size. If you live in Pennsylvania I highly recommend doing this hike because I have never seen a trail with this many waterfalls! 

If you have any suggestions of any more adventures in Pennsylvania I would love to hear about them so I can add it to our adventure list!


Just like adventures are endless for Todd and I in Pennsylvania so is the chance in creating your own label for vitaminwater! Click here to enter the "Label Me a Winner Contest."

Here's how to enter:

Create a unique vitaminwater label. Have fun with it! Once you created your unique label share it on either Twitter or Instagram, and use the hashtag #vwlabelcontest. Here's an example of a label I created.





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Quick and Easy Summer Treat with Häagen-Dazs

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AnIceCreamForThat  #TheresAnIceCreamForThat  #CollectiveBias



Each day Todd and I are getting closer and closer to finishing our living room and my office.  I can't wait to share the finished product with y'all. Todd and I have been working day and night to get everything finished for fall. A typical night for us consists of Todd coming home from work, and us working in the garage nailing and painting away. When we finally hang up our tool belt for the night we rewards ourselves with a yummy dinner. We then spend the rest of our night indulging in a dessert I prepared while enjoying the summer weather as a way to reward ourselves for our hard work.

While I eat super clean, dessert has always been my weakness in life especially when it comes to ice cream, but life is too short to not indulge! Last month I decided to stop eating dairy to see if it can help clear up my adult acne, which has prevented me from eating my favorite summer dessert. I then started looking into alternative dairy desserts, and found that my new grocery store Giant has Häagen-Dazs® non-dairy ice cream! Click here to get $.75 off your purchase!




I decided to give the non-dairy Häagen-Dazs a try, and was so amazed how delicious and creamy the ice cream was! Other ice cream brands will use soy or nut based milk as the base causing the overall flavor to taste like the base despite other flavors added. Häagen-Dazs does it differently by using simple and pure ingredients for their base flavor resulting in a non-dairy ice cream that tastes like actual ice cream! For all my readers out there who are dairy free this is the answer to your ice cream prayers.

One night I decided to get a little creative after working in the garage, and made this yummy dessert for Todd. Little did he know that he was indulging on ice cream that was non-dairy ;)

Non Dairy Ice Cream Bites Recipe


Ingredients 

  • Häagen-Dazs non-dairy ice cream in the flavor of your choice ( I used peanut butter chocolate fudge and salted fudge truffle).
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • Peanuts chopped
  • Sticks

Recipe

  1. Take some wax paper, and place on top of a pan. 
  2. Let ice cream soften on the counter, and then use a melon baller to scoop out pieces. 
  3. Places balls onto the wax paper.
  4. Place pan in the freezer for the ice cream to harden for at least an hour. 
  5. Take balls out and place a stick into the center of each. 
  6. Put back in freezer for another 30 minutes.
  7. When the balls are ready microwave chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat until chocolate has melted. 
  8. Take balls out, drizzle them with chocolate, and top with peanuts.
  9. Put the balls back into the freezer, and allow them to harden for an hour.
  10. One balls have hardened take them out to enjoy :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

From Bland to Glam on a Budget - TV Console DIY



This post came sooner than planned, but I am so excited to be sharing with you this DIY for refinishing a TV stand / buffet. I have to give credit where credit is due, and have to thank the real MVP Todd for doing  80% of the work on this project. We are getting closer and closer to revealing our living room design, and I can't freaking wait to show y'all! 

When I first started curating the design for the living room one of the pieces I had the hardest time finding was a TV console that was navy, tall enough to hold a space in the vaulted living room, felt modern, and was slim enough so it didn't protrude too much from the wall (per Todd's request). Honestly I couldn't find anything close to what I was envisioning, and also fit within our budget (big shout out to our mortgage for sucking us dry #itsfineimfineeverythingsfine). 

Back when I was redesigning my office (posts here) I had to stick within a budget, and from that is where I learned that I love refinishing furniture. When I redid my office was during a time when Todd was away for a week, and did all the work myself. With having Todd around for this made the finished product 10x better since he pays so much attention to detail. 

I am so in love with how the finished product turned out, and that it was a project we worked on together. If you are looking for a DIYfor a TV stand on a budget keep reading below. 

Art: Minted here and here (each is 30x40) c/o / Handles: Hook and Knob c/o / White Box: Home Goods (similar here, here, here, and here) / Gold Sphere: Amazon

Thrifting for the Perfect Piece


When we both decided that we would refinish a buffet or console we immediately started to search for the perfect piece on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and thrift stores. When I lived in Arizona the thrift stores were golden, and found so many amazing pieces for my office. In Pennsylvania the thrift stores were all a bust, and lacked a variety of furniture. A couple weeks went by, and ended up finding the buffet on Facebook marketplace. They were originally asking $35, but Todd talked the owner down to $30! 

Pro Tip: When you are first learning how to thrift be aware that it may take a little while to find the perfect piece. Give it some time, and search diligently online and thrift stores regularly. 

What to Look for When Thrifting

You can find some gems out there when thrifting, and can do a 360 transformation if you have bare bones to work with. The types of things you want to look for are:

Pieces that are real wood.
No deep scratches.
Furniture matches the dimensions of your space and your trunk (if this buffet was one inch bugger theres no way that we could have fit it in our car)
Look for potential not perfection. 
Are the repairs more than you want to take on?

Here's the before image of the console we bought. What attracted us to this piece was that it was solid wood, had a glass door that would be perfect for us to put our dvd and Apple TV in, had storage where we could put dvds, and was roughly the height and width we were looking for. 

Cutting the Depth of the Console

Tools

  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Measuring tape
The console was originally to deep for what we wanted so Todd decided to saw ten inches off the console. This is probably a step that isn't necessary for most people, but just know it's always an option. Since the back of the console was plywood we removed it first by unscrewing it, and placed it to the side to be used as the back for the new console. Todd took a hand saw, and cut the console in half. A power saw would have worked better, but the hand saw was all we had. Funny enough, the trash half of the console worked as Todd's work bench. 

Since the shelves were going to be too deep for the new console we had to cut those as well. We saved the extra wood from the shelves for legs later on in this post. 

Sanding 

Tools

  • 60 grit sand paper $4
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand plane
You can probably tell by the image quality that I finally remembered to grab my DSLR camera at this  point in the DYI tutorial (photographer fail). 

To prep our console for sanding we removed the shelves, doors, hardware, and the top/bottom moldings off the console. You can use either a screw driver or drill to take off everything.


The top and bottom moldings read "old" to us so we decided to remove them to make the console more mainstream. Once we removed the moldings Todd used a hand plane mixed with sanding to smooth out the wood. 


Both of us tackled sanding the whole console, doors, and shelves. 


Putty Work


Tools

  • Putty (we used DryDex. Won't crack. Can be sanded and painted) $6 each, and we used 2 for total of $12
  • 60 grit sand paper
  • Putty knife
When we were discussing how we could make this console more modern Todd came up with this idea. Todd told me that we could use putty to fill in the grooves on the console sides and doors to make the piece more mainstream. We took a putty knife and applied the putty generously in the areas we wanted to fill. Since we were going to put new hardware on the console we filled the previous hardware holes with putty. The putty we used takes a few hours to dry so we waited until the next day to sand or reapply more putty. Once we got the putty to fill the gaps seamlessly we sanded the dry putty to create a smooth surface. 

Making the console taller - Adding Legs


Tools

  • Wood for legs or can purchase premade legs at Lowe's or Home Depot. We used a piece of wood from Lowe's $10
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Nails
  • Wood that will act as a "covering" for the legs. We used wood from the shelves we cut earlier in this post. 
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post one of the things we were looking for in a console was a specific height. Our living room has vaulted ceilings, and need pieces of furniture that have some height to hold the space. The original form of the console was too short for what we were needing so we decided to add an additional legs to it. If you are planning to do this to your piece of furniture make sure that doing something like this will work for your piece, and not look like its sitting on stilts (you'll see what I mean soon). 

We got a piece of wood at Lowe's, and Todd cut it into 4 legs that matched the height we needed. Since this wood wasn't going to be seen we looked for something sturdy, and not necessarily pretty. 


We flipped the console over, and screwed in the new legs. If you look at the picture below the legs look a little funny, and the console looks like its sitting on stilts. 


To make the leg look seamless Todd cut the wood from the extra shelf wood to make a covering for the new leg. For the front legs he used two pieces to frame the leg so you wouldn't see the stick leg from the side. Once the legs were framed we then puttied the seams, holes, and allowed to dry over night. Once dried the putty was sanded for a smooth surface. 


Painting

Tools

  • Gallon of paint (we used one with a primer) $25
  • Tarp 
  • Paint brush
  • Damp rag
We finally made it to the best part! PAINTING!
For those new to painting make sure you do this before you paint. Vacuum or sweep up your painting area so it's clean of saw dust or dirt so nothing sticks to your paint. Also, wipe down everything you are painting with a damp rag. I learned this lesson the hard way a while ago, and ended up getting flakes of saw dust in my paint. 

Once everything is wiped down its time to get to painting! When we applied our first layer of paint we realized that the blue was too bright for what we were going for. The swatch inside of Lowe's looked darker in the inside light, but looked so bright in direct sun. Since we didn't want to buy more paint we went to Lowe's and they tinted our preexisting gallon a darker blue without charge. I am so glad we did that so the console didn't look like it needed to be in a nursery. 

We applied three coats to the console, shelves, and doors. 


Putting Everything Together - Ta Da Moment


Tools

  • Hardware - Handles. I got mine from Hook and Knob c/o. We got the 3 -7.5 inch ones at $6.99 each.
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
Here's where everything comes together. When the paint has dried reassemble your console (don't forget to place the original back on it). The part that made me so happy was these gorgeous handles from Hook and Knob. They also have different sizes if the 7.5 doesn't suit your piece. 

As you can see that it didn't take much money to turn this console into something completely different. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you got some ideas for your next project :)

Big thank you to Minted for providing the gorgeous artwork, and Hook and Knob for providing the gorgeous hardware for this post!



 

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