Some of my Favorite Things- Prime Day & always!

Some of my Favorite Things- Prime Day & always!

Many links that I share are affiliate links, which means if you choose to purchase from a link listed on my site I may receive compensation. The items are the same price to you, but help support this blog and my family.  Being a mama is hard work. I specifically share only items I personally use and also love! 

Hey y’all! With Prime Day being today and tomorrow I wanted to put some things together that I lalalalove and use often- if not daily. Maybe you’ll find something for a friend that has a birthday coming up or start stashing gifts for Christmas, how about something you may need for yourself, mama?

I cannot tell you how often I find things online, sometimes such simple things and my husband is quite the advocate of cutting down errands and shoppings lists. But it really is a life changer when I don’t have to hit a bunch of different stores or spend nearly as much time in one— except Target, I could spend allll day there. It’s just not really ideal now is it? For many reasons, but I’ll stop that thought there, as you could probably imagine. So friends, feel free to look through here for any ideas. I am listing only things I love, and I mean reallly lalaLOVE.

OK, how cute are these notebooks?! I love the size of these and use them for keeping track of ideas, thoughts, goals, prayers, notes from church or bible study, etc. I also love to gift them, so I’m always happy to find cute ones like this. And come on, anyone else obsessed with florals like me?

This KitchenAid Stand Mixer, y’all.

I will alwayssss, always be an advocate for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I recommend it to guys when they aren’t sure what to get their wives for Christmas or a birthday. Cause really y’all, it’s good for EVERYTHING. I make most of my baked treats with this thing as well as, meatballs, pancakes, deviled egg filling and so much more! So much good has come from this appliance that my husband gifted me SEVERAL Christmases ago. I use it so often and it really makes my life easier. There are also a TON of attachments too! Plus, I love the glass bowl option. This appliance functions as a display piece in your kitchen with so many colors to match or stand out!

This Azure Blue KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a HUGE deal through Prime Day! It comes in two other colors as well, friends.

Love this little Contigo Water Bottle. Recently got one for the mini since she loves the one I use during workouts. It doesn’t leak and she drinks much more water with it compared to other water cups and bottles we have used. I’d also like to try the kids’ cup with a straw, cause ya know, straws are fun and when you’re little they’re even more fun, haha. I lalalaLOVE all the color and design options too!

Anyone looking for some comfy pajama pants that are cute and cool enough for summer? Look no further than Amazon Essentials Women’s Poplin Sleep Pant. I REEEAAALLLY LOVE THESE. I wear them A LOT, y’all! Lots of different patterns available too. I may end up buying another pair today myself.

Looking for a new bible study to try? I have a couple of my top faves to share with y’all!!! One I did with our church’s Mothers of Young Children last year and the other is one I found through @christcenteredmama on Instagram, which is my current personal study. Bot are aimed toward women but could definitely benefit men as well.

Also, this is the Bible I currently use and have used for nearly two years. I love that there is room for notes and has beautifully highlighted verses throughout.

Do you have an Aromatherapy Essential oil Diffuser yet? If not, it is so great. If so, maybe another? We have three throughout our house and may even add another one. The natural smell can be so soothing, or energizing, even relaxing! Listed first is the one we have in our living room, plus there are many other options out there to look through on Amazon. I gifted this one to my dear friend for her birthday recently, and she LOVES it. I love mixing lemongrass with rosemary, or peppermint with lavender. What’s your favorite blend?

Not all the items I have listed fall under Prime Day Deals, so get to looking for anything you else you may need or want during this time (today & tomorrow). Happy shopping y’all!

Let's Be Friends
error
Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

If this title gets you excited, then we clearly would be good friends. Plus, Monday can really be tough, so if you need something sweet this is perfect.

A couple weeks back we had brunch with a friend, after picking my husband up from the airport. I ordered a cold brew coffee, cause obviously I needed it, then the server asked me if I’d like sweet vanilla cream. “Uh yes, definitely” was my response without any delay.  My coffee was cool and delicious, without being too sweet (nothing at all against sweeter coffee). I even ordered one to-go for our drive home.

After chatting with a friend about it that week it has been on my mind to make it ever since. In fact, I probably would have made some for her too, if we would have gotten a visit in this past week. I have heard of some people using sweetened condensed milk in their coffee and I have made that at home, so how hard could some sweet cream be? After looking around on Pinterest I decided to kind of wing it, and no disappointment here.  With it being my first try, I may try to mix it up next time- which I am almost out so that won’t be too far out.

I pulled some heavy whipping cream out, along with whole milk and poured those into a pot. With the heat set on a medium-low, I then added in some sugar and vanilla.  After giving the mixture a few minutes to cook down the sugar, while continually stirring, I lowered the burner to a simmer and allowed it to finish cooking. Then after removing from heat, I whisked it as it cooled. Once it was cool enough I transferred it to a mason jar to store in the fridge, and it has accompanied my coffee each day since. I just give the jar a little shake before pouring (while it’s still closed, of course).

You too can enjoy this sweet and simple addition with just a few basic ingredients and your stove. Don’t have heavy whipping cream? Try half and half or just milk altogether. You can also play with the type of sugar or try pure maple syrup- even honey. Like coconut? Try it with coconut cream and/or coconut milk, then please report back on that version! This Sweet Vanilla Cream goes wonderfully in coffee, but I imagine it would also be delicious in chai tea, anybody with me here?

Home Sweet Vanilla Cream

Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour ingredients into a pot set on medium-low heat.

  2. Whisk constantly while sugar melts down 4-5 min.

  3. Turn heat to low/simmer for an additional 5 min, still stirring often.

  4. Remove from heat to allow to cool and continue to stir.

  5. Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week- if it lasts that long. 

sweet vanilla cream and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies

(Stay tuned for the recipe to these White Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies).

Does this Sweet Vanilla Cream go with your morning coffee? Yes, of course. How about that pick me up cup later on? Certainly! To accompany dessert or a snack? Yup!!!

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe for Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream. As always, I’d love to know how it works out for you, so please share it up!

Let's Be Friends
error

Don’t Let Your Stove Cause Mom Guilt

Ok y’all. It’s been a morning here. A day that started off nice and calm. I hit snooze wayyyy too many times but still managed to get up and wash my face before my toddler walked into my bathroom.  Thanks to my hubby for getting her out of bed and letting her just hang with you long enough for me to pee alone- seriously babe, thank you.

So anyway, she seemed content playing in the back while he worked a bit on his laptop. I jumped into the kitchen to cook up some scrambled eggs for her, thinking I could bring them to her and we can skip the whole breakfast fight that’s been going on lately.  Well this girl sneaks up behind me, just a bit after I took the pan off the burner to prevent further cooking and as I was also grabbing my coffee from the Kuerig, and then all I HEAR is screaming, “owwwie,” more screaming and crying. My heart is so hurt at this very moment. I know exactly what happened as she held her hand up saying “hurt.”  I grab her, turn the kitchen faucet on cool and somewhat calmly (in my mind anyway) tell Steven that this little sneak must have touched the stove as I run her hand under the water.  He walks up to help console her and offers an icepack which she refuses to take.  We sit on the floor and try to get a look at her hand that she does not want us to see. His next suggestion is to distract her, so yes what can we do? Do you want a muffin? Do you want to read a book? Ok, do you want to watch Elmo? Ok, TV it is.  Television is a great distraction and ALSO a TREAT.

My mind went from “Gosh, I feel bad” to “She is ok; she will be fine. I have told her the stove is hot. In fact, SHE has often told us how the stove and oven are both hot (in our real kitchen as well as her play kitchen).” Then while sitting on the couch snuggling her, this weight of guilt, disappointment in myself and just sadness came in like a fast-moving storm cloud. If you live in Florida, you know what type of storm cloud I’m talking about.  And then the rain came, in form of tears. I could just picture her crying and shouting in confused pain, it was playing on rerun in my head. While I did not cry for long, I was sad and at the brink of tears for a bit before getting to talk about it a little.  The reality is, I cannot see and stop everything bad from happening to her.  There is no way for me to prevent boo boos forever, and I shouldn’t want to.  This little firecracker has to figure it out on her own.  And you know what? Now, hot is some she knows “hands on” not just something we talk about.

She ate her eggs and drank lots of milk this morning. Then she went back to playing and I slathered some coconut oil on her hand, of which has some super super mild blemishes. As she naps, I am taking this time to reflect and heal from the guilt and sadness I felt.  I sat down with my second cup of coffee for today and opened up my Dwell Bible study journal by Sarah Liberty Hardee of Christ-Centered Mama (christcenteredmama.com).  I’m only a few days in but this one talks about being strong and courageous, which happens to also be part of the mantra that Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) recited with her daughter, Noah, today that I happened to catch on Instagram.

 

 

It just really helped me feel God this day when I really needed to not feel discouraged or afraid. What are the chances this day I would read Joshua 1 and get to see some repetition from different sources of inspiration?  That’s God, y’all! I am so GRATEFUL for the moments I spent today reading his word so that I may dwell in that rather than how I was feeling before.

Mom guilt is real y’all. You can see my previous post about it. While, it is important to notice and be aware of it is even more important to find a way to get passed it. Talk to another mama, read your bible, pray, meditate, take a walk, snuggle your baby or your puppy. Be grateful, because when we are grateful we are not focused on the negative!

Let's Be Friends
error

Scones that say “Thank You” (Chocolate Chip Scones)

Y’all! Life has been… well life.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to bake, and that is something I do often. It is part of me and I love being able to share my baking with others.

My husband was trimming the trees in the back yard and really giving it a nice makeover for some future ideas we have, when he got to talking with a neighbor back there.  And y’all, we have a concrete wall in our backyard that separates us from a subdivision, so this is interesting. Nevertheless, they had a friendly conversation about trees, which led to our neighbor offering us one of his banana trees- that he would dig up specifically for us.  Like how nice, right?! My husband would never ask him to do this, but also this is a very nice gesture and heck yes a banana tree is awesome.

So our kind neighbor, stops by a few monrings later with a light knock on the door. The dogs are barking, our spunky toddler jumps on the couch and is peeking out of the blinds all excited, meanwhile I’m in the bathroom and still in pajamas. Yes. It was before 9 a.m though okay! Well by the time I get to the front door, I see the tree in a bucket right outside and a car pulling out of our driveway and leaving the neighborhood. Oh gosh, I missed him. Steven is out of town for work.  I am thinking all day, I should go say thank you and not wait for Steven to get back cause waiting too long seemed rude. Then I immediately thought- well I need to bake something for them and I can deliver it.  Scones.  Chocolate chip scones to be exact.  Ever since having them at a tea room locally they have been on my list to bake, plus an awesome friend gave me a special baking dish. The next morning I bake up these delicious scones, even with a little help and cooperation from my mini.  I package them so nicely, tie a bow and write out a simple thank you note. I pop the kid in the strolled for a quick walk around the block to find no answer at the door. Ok. A few hours later, just after dinner we give it another try. No answer! Maybe they went out of town for the weekend, or have many errands… Fortunately, I run into the neighbor right next to them, and come to find out we just missed these guys on their way back up north for the summer! Ahhhh. I thought they were snow birds, but wasn’t sure.  You bet I am sure now, and now my scones… Have no mouths of purpose to enter. Of course, I ate two. I gave some to our fabulous neighbors across the way, but even then I had no dates with friends for now so into the freezer the rest went.  I will report on how they hold up.

But as for FRESH- they rock. I added a splash of almond extract which really stands out nicely. And as for my gifted scone dish- it’s nothing short of amazing.  Now, let me be clear, I have baked scones at least a handful of times before this dish was in my possession and had success at doing so BUT I lalalalove the scone dish- I do. See below for the full recipe and directions if you’d like to give it a go at home, please let me know how it goes!

Chocolate Chip Scones

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Or spray your scone dish- if you have one.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and salt. With a fork, blend together while mashing the butter until you achieve a coarse-crumb consistency. Then add in the chocolate chips.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and both the extracts. Then add to crumbly mixture while trying not too over mix. 

  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top and gently work the dough together into a large round disc 1 inch thick.

  5. Cut into 8 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between.  Or just scoop into the scone pan. 

  6. Bake for 10 minutes (possibly a couple minutes longer depending on your oven). Watch for the scones to brown just slightly. Transfer to cooling wrack. 

Let's Be Friends
error

Two Cute Birthday Party

Hello all- and hello April… HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

So, things have been crazy. We recently celebrated little miss Peach turning two.  We had a fun day at a local park and it worked out well. The weather was nice; it was perfect for the kiddos to run around the playground. My dear friend, Sarah, moved her work schedule around to help me prepare and set up for the party- while her husband helped mine by running errands for us.

The mini lalaLoves purple and elephants, really she loves colors and animals in general but those seem to be among her favorites. So I focused on those ideas when creating everything for the party.

The menu consisted of three different types of slider-style sandwiches compiled of hawaiian sweet rolls, sliced turkey, ham, or chicken with cheese. We also tackled cucumber cream cheese tea sandwiches, those came out great and were so refreshing.  I purchased individual bags of chips as well as a prepared veggie tray for convenience and made deviled eggs. For the sweets, mini gluten-free and peanut-free cupcakes with chocolate covered marshmallows. Now, while this may come as a surprise to you (as it did to many of my friends) I did not bake the cakes, instead I left the heavy lifting to Publix. The bakery at Publix never (and I mean NEVER) disappoints with taste. As for drinks we went with bottled water and juice pouches, this way no need for cups! I borrowed a gorgeous white cake stand and an assortment of platters.
As for the goodie bags, I purchased three-packs of small gift bags from the Dollar Tree and mixed between white and lavender. Using my Silhouette Cameo, I made white and purple elephant stickers from vinyl to give the bags a more themed look. Sarah and I stuffed the bags with elephant squeeze toys (that I ordered online from Oriental Trading), mini purple bubbles (also from Oriental Trading) and bags of animal crackers (from Target).

The remaining details consisted of items from Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby, which includes letter and number-shaped balloons in gold, table cloths, plates, napkins, etc.  I did grab a roll of craft paper from Dollar Tree that I used to cover the top of one of the picnic tables for the kids to color on (crayons provided) and some of the kids had fun. The guys kindly picked up a selection of flowers to put at each table in large (64 oz.) mason jars. I lalaLOVE fresh flowers, they add a really nice touch.

I still cannot believe that our girl is two, and I realize I may not get used to this feeling anytime soon. haha. Wine please.

Looking for some birthday party inspiration? Have any useful tips, tricks or ideas- share for all the mamas out there!

Let's Be Friends
error