Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Monday, June 10, 2013

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's day is right around the corner and if you are a busy, procrastinating mom like me you probably haven't picked up a gift for the father in your life. I've been scouring the web and came across some gifts that  would make a popular gift for every dad...

(Clockwise from the top)

1. Chillsner Beer Chilling Set-This is one of my favorite gifts from the guide! These frozen chillers fit perfectly inside your beer bottle and allow to you drink the beer while it stays ICY cold the entire time! I may just order these once I'm done with this post and hope it gets here in time...I would Danny would love these ;-)

2. Classic Checkered Skinny Tie- Every man needs a skinny tie in their wardrobe. My dad nor Danny own one so now may be the time to help them with their dad swag!

3. Nike Men's Heritage Golf Shoe- Do you have a dad in your life that just golfs occasionally? This shoe seems perfect! I'm sure there are plenty of golf shoes with a heftier price tag, but these seem great to wear out to the driving range.

4. Field Trip All Natural Beef Jerky- What guy doesn't love beef jerky? This jerky is low fat and all natural, leaving out all those pesky preservatives and additives. I'm sure any dad would just dive right in!

5.  The Big Green Egg-If you have a dad or a husband who loves to smoke their food and barbecue, chances are you've heard them talk about the Big Green Egg smoker or they already own it. If you want to be considered daughter/son/wife of the year...this gift will buy you that title ;-)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dried Mango Chips

I couldn't be more excited that mango season is finally here!! I love the juicy fruit and they always remind me of when we went on vacation to South Florida as a child because the family friends we visited always had huge mango trees in their back yard.
For Christmas I decided to get Danny a food dehydrator as one of his gifts because he really takes pride in cooking and I knew he would love to make his own beef jerky. Now this gift really was meant for him, but I thought I would test it out with the mangoes I picked up from the local grocer the other day. 
Mangoes are such a difficult fruit to slice because of the awkward shaped pit, but after figuring out a great method, I threw them in the dehydrator and turned it on to 115 degrees. Now, initially I was following this recipe and it stated that it needed to dehydrate for 24 hours. When I went to check on it about 6-7 hours later the mango slices we dry, thin, and crispy! I think (well now I know) I sliced them too thin, but they were great for mango chips! 
Either way they were amazing! They were crispy when you bit into them, but melted in your mouth after! They were the perfect healthy snack to grab and were just like potato chips where you can't just have one :)
Check out this recipe here for a complete guide on dehydrating mangoes!
Do you know of any other fruits that are great in the dehydrator?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Best Week Ever!!!

This week has been soo amazing in soo many ways!! Let me start out by saying that Monday was my birthday and I turned the big 2-8!! This year was actually a freebie for me because I kept thinking all year that I was twenty-eight when I clearly wasn't...ha! (mom brain) But anywho, those who know me know that my birthday is usually a week long celebration and this year was none the less!

We started it off celebrating my birthday at an intimate dinner with good friends at the new Cooper's Hawk Winery. There's nothing better than great friends, great food, and great wine all jam packed into one night :)

Then on Wednesday morning we had an amazing opportunity to be featured on Fox 13's Good Day Tampa Bay to do a Mother's Day gift segment! Since I am a Tampa native it was truly an honor to be part of such a respected morning show! And what a great time we had doing the segment! 

Click here to view the clip! 
(Best if you watch from a computer and not a mobile device)

As if the day couldn't have gotten any better, Danny topped it as he accepted a job offer with a wonderful new company!! Needless to say, Wednesday was a day full of celebration. 

Now if we can rewind a little bit I have been dancing in my head (and in real life) all week because I will be attending my first blog conference next week and it's called ALT SUMMIT!!!! (in Oprah's screaming voice) haha!


Well, I won't actually be going to an Alt Summit blog conference, but they have created their first completely-online conference called Alt For Everyone <----yes that includes me!! This is absolutely perfect because I'm not in any shape to leave the kiddos behind just yet so virtual sounds fantastic! And to top it off one of my fav blogger Joy Cho will be the keynote speaker so I can only imagine how informative this experience will be!!

And now we are finishing off this fabulous week celebrating why we do what we do everyday! For our babies of course! I love my babies and am incredibly blessed to live the life I live with them.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Insta Weekend!!!

Hello blogosphere!!! I'm back and it feels great :) These past two weeks I was a busy mama bee planning my little man's first birthday party, executing it, more celebration with a mini beach vacation, and doing everything else in between! Now I just need to fully catch up on Bloglovin and then it will be gravy.

Here are some snippets of what's been going on...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Insta Weekend!!!

Hello!! Happy Monday Eve (blahhh)...Actually, Monday is like my Friday because Danny gets off of work early and has Tuesday they are not all bad in this house! I hope you had a fab weekend! Mine was great! A little too much Target...visiting with the gramps...and the local Sunday Market!

Don't forget there is about 24 hours left to enter my first giveaway, just click here :)

Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GIVEAWAY: One Copy of Jessica Alba's The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True To You

This week I hit a big milestone since starting this blog over two months ago: I reached 100 Twitter followers...hooray!!!

I figured there would be no better way to celebrate than to give away a copy of Jessica Alba's new book, The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You.  This book couldn't be a more perfect fit for my first giveaway. I have been a fan of Jessica Alba for many years and I couldn't be happier seeing her success with her eco-friendly line of products with The Honest Company! The timing couldn't be more perfect since I am raising these littles and hoping to raise them the healthiest way possible.

Whether you are a new mom who wants to help your family be more eco-friendly or a college student who wants to prepare yourself for what's ahead, this book is just what you need! The book is a compilation of everything Jessica has learned over the years on living healthier and is written in the most easy going fashion. 

She features tips on food, staying clean, beauty, style, home, and inspiration! 

And honestly, have you seen her little family? Just beautiful...

The recipes look amazing and I already know my next trip to the grocery store will be a different experience! Jessica really opens your eyes to a lot of new facts with products we use daily on the kids. She gives you advice on some of her favorite products out there that are safe for you and your family.

Rodale Books so graciously sent us an extra copy to give to one lucky reader! This giveaway will be open until 4/09/13 at midnight (EST) and is only open to US Residents.

Good Luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Insta Weekend!!

Hello everyone!! The weekend has come to an end and I hope you had a great one! Ours was pretty eventful considering that we went into it without any plans! We had a week full of babies, boating, and blogging...ha!

Here are the photos I managed to upload to Instagram...I seem to have a lot I forgot to upload, but there's always next week :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Simple Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Shells

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe so today I thought I would my share my simple stuffed shells recipe! I've always grown up around Italian food and I have come to realize that most Italian dishes contain similar ingredients, only prepared differently. So for my perfect stuffed shells I don't really follow a recipe, I just go with the flow of cooking Italian and it usually works! Like I have mentioned I love semi-homemade cooking with the kiddos so I will not be making homemade sauce in this recipe either (I'm such a rebel)...ha!

Here's what you'll need:

1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 box of jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 16 oz container of Ricotta cheese
1 frozen package of spinach (thawed & drained)
1 egg, beaten
1-2 jars of marinara sauce heated in a saucepan (2 if you would like extra sauce)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning

Ok now here's the run down...

First preheat your oven to 350°. Then drizzle olive oil in a pan and once hot, sauté the onions and garlic until tender. After, add in the Italian sausage and break it up with a spatula until it is in crumbles. While doing this go ahead and season it with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to your liking. Once the meat has browned, drain the excess drippings and put it aside to cool.

Next you can boil the shells by following the instructions on the box. I always remove them from the water a couple of minutes early so they are al dente and easier to work with so they don't break. Ten minutes seems to be a magic number in my book. Once done, drain and put aside as well.

Then grab a medium sized bowl and combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, 1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, and the crumbled sausage. Gently fold the mixture until everything is thoroughly combined.

After, you can grab a 9x13 inch lasagna pan and lightly spray the bottom with cooking spray. You can also substitute a little sauce to grease the bottom if you'd like. Next begin stuffing the shells with the mixture. How much you stuff them is really a personal preference, I put about two tablespoons of the mixture in or until the shell is full. Line them faced up until the pan is full or you run out of shells. I can usually fit all of the filled shells in so I don't have any leftover.

Once that step is done I spread spaghetti sauce all over the shells. It's important to completely cover any parts of the shell with sauce so you don't have any pieces that get to crispy while baking.

Next I sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and parmesean cheese on top of the shells, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes in the oven.

You can serve the shells with extra sauce and a yummy piece of garlic bread to top off the goodness! This is a great recipe to play around with and alternate ingredients or even make ahead and freeze. It should make anywhere from 25-30 shells so I hope you're hungry!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Insta Weekend!!!

Happy weekend everyone!! I am excited to announce a new weekly blog post I will be starting called 
Insta Weekend!! It will be a weekend recap of my Instagram photos. If you don't follow me on Instagram (which you probably should: les_stina), you can just follow my blog and see what's been going on in this crazy little world I live in. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do...happy Instagramming!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Chalkboard Labels

I have been slowly working on my 'Organize My Life' project since these two kiddos are keeping me extra busy. As of right now the napping-at-the-same-time days are no longer present, but I'm hoping they will come by to say hi soon :) One of my organization projects involves these fabulous little chalkboard labels I created. If you haven't already guessed by now, I was inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organizing. I am not going to let you in on exactly what I will be using these for as you will need to stay tuned to see...
Anywho, I thought I would go ahead and give you a quick tutorial on how to make these cute little things! 
Here is what you'll need:
You will also need a stencil of  some sort for whichever shape you desire. I chose a bracket shape which I thought would look nice and fancy! I made my stencil by printing a template off of the computer onto a piece of cardstock and then cutting it out. You could also create multiple shapes on a file in a program such as Microsoft Word and then print them onto the cardstock you will be painting-whatever works...either will do. 
Here is what you will need to do:
First paint the sheets of cardstock with the chalkboard paint and the sponge brush. The will probably need two coats or so and then let them dry.  Once dry, go ahead and trace the shape onto the back of the painted cardstock as many times as it will fit. 

Then just cut the shapes out and...
I also thought about buying some vinyl next time I head to Target and I could use this method for labels on my OXO containers in my pantry!! I've heard you can even buy chalkboard vinyl as well! My brain is a-brewing... is a clue as to what I will be using these labels for...

Any guesses??