the BEST guacamole recipe AND how to keep your guac green for days!

Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm borderline obsessed with guacamole and in my family and social circle I'm kind of known as an awesome guacamole maker. I decided, that instead of keeping my guac-making skills to myself, I'd share my secrets with all of you. Be forewarned, you're going to want to make this weekly AND you might as well make a double batch if anyone in your house likes it and you're not keen on sharing... just sayin'

The BEST Guacamole




Ingredients:

5 ripe advocados (they come in bags of 5 here)
1 clove of garlic
1 lemon
1/2 a lime
1 diced small onion
sea salt
paprika
fresh salsa (or you could get ambitious and chop up tomato)
cilantro (optional)




Instructions:
Cut avocados in half, remove pit and squish the good stuff into a bowl. I use a potato-masher to squish it all up (a fork would work as well). Add diced onion (I like mine very finely chopped) and press clove of garlic (if you don't have a garlic press you can chop it finely) into bowl. Use a lemon juicer to squeeze in juice of lemon and lime. Sprinkle in paprika (half a tsp ish but I usually eyeball it) and add sea salt to taste (I twist a few times - how's that for specific?). Add 2 tablespoons of fresh salsa (you can used jar stuff, it's just not as good) OR 2 tablespoons diced tomato (I usually use salsa because it adds a little extra flavor). Chop and add cilantro to taste (I'm hit and miss with cilantro so it doesn't always make the cut). Mix all together with a spoon and sit in the corner with the chips and eat the whole bowl serve.

**most people add lime only to their guac, big mistake, HUGE! Trust me on the lemon, it's delish!

if you've got little ones, they LOVE mashing the avocados up!!



Alright, now you've got a giant bowl of guacamole and you're thinking "if any survives snack-time won't it turn brown?" Yup, it would have but I'm going to help you with that too!!!!


Two ways to keep your guacamole green:


Option 1: slowly poor a small layer of water over your guacamole prior to refrigerating. Simply pour off water before you serve. NOTE: I find this doesn't work well unless you have fairly thick guacamole, otherwise, the water doesn't pour off easily and no one wants watered down guac, trust me.


Option 2: My preferred method. Cover your guac with saran wrap but press the saran all over the guacamole so that plastic wrap is touching the whole top layer (no air bubbles). I typically use a container with a lid and put the lid on after I've done my thing with the plastic wrap. Once you're ready to serve, simply remove the plastic wrap, give a quick stir and enjoy. My guac stays green a solid 3-4 days in the fridge (well, if I can keep my hands off it that long).



Enjoy your guac :)










Styled by... Annabelle

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I remember when we (the Blended Blog ladies and I) started talking about the "styled by someone else" series in Vegas... I pictured myself letting Annabelle go wild in my closet. I imagined her picking out a hot-mess, techno-color, multi-pattern (and not in a good, fashion-forward 'pattern-mixing' kind of way) disaster. I highly suspected that whatever pics I would end up sharing, would be humbling at best.


didn't hesitate once I told her to start picking stuff

Naturally, I waited until the last minute to actually prepare this post, so when I finally let Annabelle loose, well... guys... she surprised the heck out of me. Also, it was like setting a kid free in a candy shop. This little miss was more than excited to play with all the things in mom's closet.  The only directions she got from me were: 1. pick a shirt 2. pick some bottoms 3. pick some shoes 4. pick some jewelry if you want.



apparently she's had her eye on this shirt for a while, she pulled it out so fast



I am VERY surprised she 1. picked coordinating shoes and 2. didn't pick heels. This little miss is ALWAYS wanting me to wear heels so I was shocked when she brought these flats out.

ta-da!


honestly, I'm pretty impressed with how well she coordinated this outfit. Minus the pearl-like bracelet, this is totally something I would wear on the regular. Maybe I should just start letting her dress me on the daily? Someone's gotta do it.


when she saw me taking pics she came over to "fix" me... girl is taking this gig VERY seriously


how cute is this?! I was dying laughing as she made sure I was "just perfect". Love this kid.

Alright, messy closet aside, I had a lot more fun with this post than I imagined I would. I'm also pretty impressed that mini-me picked out something I could actually wear in public. It was also really sweet to see how much fun she had with it and how seriously she took her responsibility. Sure, there was some playing around which including putting on belts and some heels of her own, but otherwise, this experiment went off without a hitch.

I'm still surprised I didn't end up in a dress and heels as little miss is perpetually insisting on herself being in a dress, "dance shoes" and a crown. Kids surprise you sometimes I guess.

At this point I'm considering letting her pick out my outfits more often, who knows, maybe I'll be helping inspire one of the next great fashion designers... or, at the very least, I'll be sporting some more interesting outfits in the not-so-distant future.



So, how do you think she did?


Make sure you go check out how Whitney was styled by her niece :)


Monday Moments of Gratitude - August 22, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016


I'm so happy you're here!! 

I'm making a point to post on Mondays about moments I am grateful for in the past week. We can all use a little more intentional thinking about things we're grateful for. With that said, I hope you'll continue to join me in gratitude on Mondays :)



Here are a few moments from this past week that I am grateful for:

mini-me's visit with grandma and grandpa - Sunday night, after my nephew's baptism celebrations, mini-me headed home with grandma and grandpa (my dad and stepmom) for a 3 day sleep-over!! The most she's ever been gone anywhere is one night and she wasn't far. My dad and stepmom live just over 2 hours a way so it was a big step for all of us (okay, mostly me). The trip was awesome for a number of reasons: mini-me had a blast and was spoiled rotten, Oliver loved the one-on-one time and Mr. B and I enjoyed a few evenings free of toddler bedtime struggles. I won't lie, I was definitely ready for her to come home at the end of the three days. Our house was strangely quiet without the little miss.

Facetiming with our sweet girl and grandpa (is it just me or does she look crazy old here?)


food-prep with friends and NO cleanup - one of my girlfriends and I met up at this amazing place called Olivia's Freezer (if you're local you MUST check this place out. I've mentioned it before but basically it's a place where you go, prep a bunch of freezer meals and leave without having washed a single dish. You can go solo but things like this are always more fun with friends. I've loved all the recipes I've tried so far and might make it a monthly thing. You simply can't go wrong with having a girl's night AND prepping a ton of meals for your family. Then there's the whole no cleaning bit... 

keeping busy - now that I'm back at work I'm totally down for a low-key weekend BUT when Mr. B is out of town for work ALL weekend, I like to keep busy so that the kids and I don't miss him too much. Thankfully, one of my besties was in town and happened to be watching her niece. We spent Saturday playing at the splashpad, enjoying a pizza, followed by a dance party on the deck and then some after bedtime (the kids) wine and Netflix (Becca is in full support of my Nashville addiction lol). Sunday was lots of laundry (have I mentioned how little I like laundry?) followed by a family birthday party and daddy's homecoming. As much as we all hate having daddy gone all weekend, there's nothing quite like seeing how excited the kids are when he walks in the door. They literally come running from the furthest corners of the house, smiles stretched as wide as possible across their adorable faces, arms out as far as they can reach with a space only daddy can fill. We miss him when he's gone but his homecomings are so sweet.

splashpad fun!

basketball AND a dance party? yes please!


Off to spend a few min with my hubby and enjoy a much deserved glass of wine! Cheers to an awesome week :)


What moments are you grateful for this past week? Linkup your gratitude posts below!!


Linky Rules:

  1. Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page). 
  2. Please link posts related to gratitude.
  3. Check out as many links as you can.
  4. Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here.


Monday Moments of Gratitude - August 15, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016



I'm so happy you're here!! 

I'm making a point to post on Mondays about moments I am grateful for in the past week. We can all use a little more intentional thinking about things we're grateful for. With that said, I hope you'll continue to join me in gratitude on Mondays :)



Here are a few moments from this past week that I am grateful for:

Can I tell you a little secret? These Monday posts are usually the easiest posts for me to write. Truthfully, it doesn't take too much effort to reflect back on the week that was and come up with some moments I hope to not soon forget.

Well, this past week is one for the books. It was literally jam-packed and my only worries in recapping it are that I'll bore you with details or that I'll forget one of the very many moments that I treasured so much.

For the sake of my sanity and in an attempt to keep you moderately interested, I'm grouping the events of this past week into categories.

Here's a taste of the week that was (awesome):

My nephew's baptism - my sweet little nephew was baptized Sunday and what a celebration. We walked into my brother and his wife's home to the most amazing spread of delicious food, followed by the ceremony at the church and reception at a wonderful restaurant. I'm still full (hours later) but my gosh it was a great day (and the food delicious). We got to hang out with our family (and my sis-in-law's amazing family) and the kids had a blast. Plus, we got to witness our cute little nephew get baptized. 

me and my nephew
how sweet is this little guy?! Happiest little dude!

family pic
You know what's a task? Getting any kind of family picture with two young kids... seriously, it's like they take turns looking at the camera at opposite times. We'll try again... in like 5 years.


Hanging out with my bloggy bestie AND her family!!!! - two days with the lovely Deena and her family and what a way to start the week. I can't even adequately summarize our short time together because I know I'll miss something. In short we got to hang with each other's kids, eat lots of delicious food, see sharks and other under the sea creatures, play Pokemon (okay, that was more me and Deena's kids than anyone else), get super close to the Blue Jays, have some drinks, go up the CN tower (scarier than I remembered) and enjoy each other's company. Deena (and fam): you're welcome to move this way ANYtime!

shaunacey and deena
Reunited!!!! Like our photobomber?! Cutest!

pic at Jay's game
I probably should have posted a pic of Willis teaching me the ways of Pokemon but we also had fun watching baseball :)

Girl's day/night - one of my best girls and I planned a girl's day for Friday. We chatted, hung out in the distillery district, ate way too much food and enjoyed lots of beverages. We nearly melted in the heat but reveled in the air conditioned bar where we did our paint night. I'm clearly no artist but it was a ton of fun. I sometimes forget how good for the soul it is to spend time with certain people. I'm lucky to have friends that I leave feeling so recharged albeit tired and moderately hungover.

tiny door distillery district
Loved everything about this random little door and the hearts on the wall in the distillery district.

girls at paint night
Wine and painting... obviously a great idea!


I would have made this longer... it would have been easy, but I'm absolutely spent after this past week/weekend. That, and I kind of have a new Netflix addiction that might need fueling (Nashville)... so ya, I'll be watching tv.

Happy Monday. Hope you all had an amazing week and here's to the moments we'll make this week :)

What moments are you grateful for this past week? Linkup your gratitude posts below!!


Linky Rules:

  1. Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page). 
  2. Please link posts related to gratitude.
  3. Check out as many links as you can.
  4. Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here.





Monday Moments of Gratitude - August 8, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016


I'm so happy you're here!! 

I'm making a point to post on Mondays about moments I am grateful for in the past week. We can all use a little more intentional thinking about things we're grateful for. With that said, I hope you'll continue to join me in gratitude on Mondays :)



Here are a few moments from this past week that I am grateful for:

An extra weekend day - last weekend was a long weekend and the holiday day just happened to be Mr. B's birthday. We had a great day as a family and it meant a short work week so that's always a plus.


Sibling love - for as many moments this past week I had to say "HANDS OFF your brother/sister" there were equal number of moments were I thought "I'm so glad they have each other". This was at a birthday party we went to where Annabelle was very proud to tell everyone that Oliver was her brother. #sweetest


SNUGGLES - my babies are extra cuddly this week. Might be that they're missing momma or that momma is missing them, either way I've been soaking it up.


Fun with chalk - brought the kiddos outside to play with chalk Sunday afternoon. They both had a blast and my driveway is now technocolor. Perfect. Oh and kids that have played outside always go to sleep faster - SCORE!


I am NOT a soother fan (for my own kids) but Oliver is all kinds of obsessed with this thing. His oh-so-thoughtful sister kept finding this and giving it to him.... at least he wasn't trying to eat the chalk lol


ICE CREAM!!!!!!! - this past weekend was filled with more ice cream than probably appropriate but I can't say that anyone was complaining (my thighs and ass clearly don't count). Not only did we go to a birthday party that had an ice cream truck show up (BRILLIANT) but I decided, that same night, to take the kids for ice cream after dinner. 

yes PLEASE! Nom nom nom

pumped to order her own ice cream

not happy about this ice cream situation at all... not at all


This past week was busy. It was a short work-week but really felt like a full one. Brent worked a LOT more than normal and it was just the kiddos and I most of the time. I tried my best to fill our time with fun things and obviously lots of ice cream. It's not that I dislike spending time with my children without Mr. B, but we miss him when he's not around. When he's not here we're all just a little more cognizant that a piece of our family isn't where it should be. But truthfully **earmuffs Mr. B** we kind of had an awesome weekend just me and the kiddos!

The good news? Despite Mr. B having had to work all weekend, we are ALL spending the day together tomorrow doing some super fun stuff AND meeting but with my blogging bestest Deena and her family!!!!!!!!!! EEEKKKKKKKkkkkK!!


What moments are you grateful for this past week? Linkup your gratitude posts below!!


Linky Rules:

  1. Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page). 
  2. Please link posts related to gratitude.
  3. Check out as many links as you can.
  4. Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here.


what I wore back to work

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This week marks my second week back working at the office and as much as I'm missing my babies I have to admit, I kind of like getting to wear business casual wear. I'm basically forced to make myself look somewhat put together on the daily which wasn't exactly a requirement while home with the kiddos. I must admit, days where I was home with the kids and we had no where to go, I stayed in my pjs as long as possible (so did they, for that matter) and kept the makeup to a minimum (which usually meant nothing or mascara and lipgloss). Sometimes I brushed my hair... other times... not so much.

Where was I going with this?

Oh ya, back to work and the requirement of getting 'ready' every day. Now that I find myself intentionally setting aside outfits, putting on a little makeup and doing my hair (read: using a brush) I'm reminded how nice it feels to leave the house feeling somewhat put together more days than not. So hooray for the getting dressed part of working lol

Anyways - here's what I wore my first day back:

print dress summer office wear

found this super cute dress at Winners for under $30!
I don't always have the patience for Winners but I lucked out and found some great and inexpensive pieces lately! YAY

print dress summer office wear

Remember my new floral skirt? Well, it made an appearance at work too. I dressed it up a little with a sleeveless button-down top I had (that just happened to perfectly match the pink in the skirt) and called it an outfit. I'm thinking I might need to order this skirt in every available color... I really love it that much.

floral skirt summer work wear


As much as I am enjoying making sure I'm dressed and work-ready every day, I'm also treasuring my PJ-time tha tmuch more. I may or may not be writing this post sitting on the couch in my pjs while sipping on a glass of red.

Oh and the pjs are essentialy for binge watching Netflix shows (on that note - watch Stranger Things RIGHT NOW!! Sooooo good).

Alright, I'm thinking my brain is a little fried and I'm not feeling overly interesting so I'm gonna call it a post.

Happy Wednesday!





**this post may contain affiliate links so if you click and/or purchase I may receive a small % so thanks for that!**

Don't forget to link up with The Blended Blog below:


what's in my... makeup bag

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hi friends!

I have to admit, the ladies at the Blended Blog come up with some pretty awesome ideas for new series to keep things fresh and fun on the blog. I love this "what's in my..." series because it helps satisfy the inner snoop in all of us.


Seriously, who doesn't want to know what people keep in their purse/junk drawer/makeup bag/pantry?

This week we're focusing on makeup bags and as excited as I am to share the goods of my makeup bag, I'm probably more pumped to see what the other ladies are packin'. I LOVE me some new ideas when I head to Sephora (aka my happy place).

Without further adieu, here's what's in my makeup bag

the bag: yes, that is, in fact, a bag I got as a result of a Clinique bonus. Am I the only one that can't resist those? Please tell me I'm not. Also, I may or may not have another of this exact same bag sitting in my closet... still full with all the free stuff. Ya know, just in case. As if I don't have enough random makeup bags all over the place... thank YOU Ipsy!

makeup bag


must-haves for makeup bag
the contents: I try and keep my makeup bag relatively trim. Mostly because I like to be able to actually close the thing but also because if I pack it full, I can't find what I'm looking for. The contents of the bag are what I need for days where I decide to wear makeup lol (aka work days). 

There's enough in the bag so I feel pretty enough to leave the house but not like I look like I'm about to go on stage in a Broadway musical. The perfect medium really.

must-haves for makeup bag
Brushes - MAC - I bought this as a Christmas set years ago and they've been my go-to brushes ever since. They're not available any more but I'm sure most of the MAC brushes are of this quality. If you like makeup I HIGHLY recommend investing in decent brushes. With good care they'll last ages.

Eyebrow tools - I'll be honest, my eyebrows are naturally pretty light and sparse so I definitely need some assistance to make them look a little more... um supple? Anyways, these are my go-to tools. This universal brow pencil from IT Cosmetics is the perfect tool for outlining the shape of my brows (thank you again, Ipsy lol) AND this Madison Reed root touch-up is amazing for adding some more color without my brows looking like a toddler got carried away with a brown crayon.
Good pluckers are also key because you're always gonna find a rogue eyebrow hair right before date night. ALWAYS.

must-haves for makeup bag

I don't always wear foundation, especially if it's hot and I'm spending lots of time outside but I really like how lightweight the Dior Nude Air foundation is. It's super fragrant (read: perfumey) and light on the coverage side so I just use it for evening out my skin tone. I'm in the market for a new moderate to high coverage foundation if anyone has any recommendations!
Mascara is a must for me ALL the time. I'm using Diorshow mascara right now but I'm probably going back to the Younique mascara once this one is done.
IF I use foundation then I usually throw on MAC bronzing powder and MAC mineralize highlighting powder to add a little color.
For my eyes, I keep it simple and use Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candlelight as my base (which provides a nice, overall shimmer) and I also have a couple MAC shadows that I use regularly... and about 10 more that I keep in my makeup drawer (because, one small bag clearly isn't enough!). I'm a HUGE fan of MAC eyeshadow. 
Let's talk eyeliner for a quick second, if you love the look of liquid liner but are a hot mess actually lining your eyes, the Clinique Skinny Stick is about to be your new fav. Honestly, I kinda wish I was getting paid to say this (I'm not) but this eyeliner is all kinds of AMAZING!! For real, I will not buy another eyeliner. EVER. And to think, I originally added to my order just so I could qualify for the Clinique bonus - true story.

must-haves for makeup bag
You'll also find hair clips and elastics because, well, I have hair and it's in my face which is kinda not cool when you're trying to do your makeup/hair.

It doesn't end there folks.

Nope, that's JUST the wee bag of essentials. I've also got a makeup drawer... just in case.


makeup drawer
\
Wondering what you're looking at? Ya, it was kinda hard to capture and, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly a photographer extraordinaire (I leave that to my pal Nicole). My makeup drawer consists of a couple eyeshadow palettes (the Naked Smoky Palette - which is probably the best combo of shadows EVER), a bag of lipstick/lipgloss (which is primarily Lipsense as my addiction is kinda sorta out of control), some fake eyelashes, powder, a bunch of blushes, more bronzer etc. 

Soooooo there you have it... my makeup bag.

I know I didn't give notice, but feel free to either linkup the contents of your makeup back or tell me (in the comments) your makeup bag essentials as I'm always looking to add to my collection!

NOW make sure you go check out what's in Christy's makeup bag!!!




- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -