Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Victoria Sponge Cake

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

No summer is complete without a ‘Vicky Sponge’.

If you want to feel British, whip up this cake!

boxwood clippings_victoria sponge

It’s the most basic of recipes and has us once again believing that simple is always best!

We followed THIS recipe

boxwood clippings_victoria sponge

Ooooh I’m off for seconds, anyone want to join me?!

The Perfect $10 Blouse

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

For some reason I’m a little embarrassed that I wear black all the time. People always seem to make little comments and challenge me to wear color.

Somehow, despite efforts to branch out, this black beauty arrived on my doorstep this week.

boxwoodclippings_black crepe blouseIt looks pretty simple and basic, but it is perfection in my eyes!

It’s slight boat-neck, loose fit, exposed zipper on the back and lightweight polyester fabric give it a 60′s feel, and I know it is going to be my favorite thing to wear all fall.

And…it was only $10!

Haters will hate, but I still love black!

boxwoodclippings_$10 target blouse blouse | jeans | bracelet

My first Mommy selfie..uggh. I feel like a poser, but wanted you to see what it looks like in person…right before Jane christened it with spit-up!

If you want to jump on this bandwagon, click HERE for your $10 blouse!

Holler Dollar: 4 Baby Items You Should be Buying!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

There are sooooo many great baby items on the market these days that it’s hard not to get carried away.

These 4 items from the Dollar Tree, (although not all are specifically made for baby) have not only been a relief on the wallet, but have been some of the most used items in our homes this year.

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1. Mini Tubs are sooo freaking handy dandy!

We’ve used them to store binkies, formula, and now rice cereal. They’re 10 for $1…

Holler!!!

boxwood clippings_for $1 baby  items you should be buying

 

2. Plastic Bin, these have been so great for lots of things, but primarily carrying dirty bottles to and fro, upstairs to down.

In the early days we also kept one in the shower with oxyclean in, whenever the girls had a blowout we’d just pop dirty clothing item in their to soak until the next wash. Worked wonders and very proud to report we have very little stained items. :)

boxwood clippings_for $1 baby  items you should be buying

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3. Diaper Bags (see HERE) we opted for these instead of a diaper genie type because we have “diaper changing stations” all over the house. Simply pop the diaper in and tie it up. They actually work pretty well for holding in the stench!

boxwood clippings_for $1 baby  items you should be buying.

4. Mesh Wastebaskets (see HERE) these are perfect for holding all those bagged diapers, and easy to empty every day or so.

boxwood clippings_for $1 baby  items you should be buying

So there you have it! Our very thrifty and handy baby finds.

If you have anymore, please do share!

Lunch For a Working Gal

Friday, August 15th, 2014

I find my day goes so much smoother (and healthier) when I pack a lunch for work. Eating out every day gets really expensive, takes a lot of time and often ends up with an overworked tummy and a sluggish afternoon. :(

Instead, I leave work lunches for special occasions and bring from home a protein-packed salad that helps get me through the day strong!

boxwood clippings_lunch for a working girl

This salad is just arugula and spinach greens topped with rotisserie chicken, cucumber, grapes, craisens, sunflower seeds with one of my favorite GF dressings, see HERE. Another favorite salad is THIS ONE…it never gets old!

I also pack a piece of fruit or handful of nuts for a mid-morning snack, and a little treat for mid-afternoon. And although I haven’t kicked my soda habit completely, I also sneak in a can of diet pepsi. This is my little treat mid-day and is so much better for me than running to the gas station for a 44oz!

Even though it takes a little prep the night before, I’m always so much happier with my day when I’ve planned my meals. Do you have any good tips for thrifty and healthy lunches?

Worth the Splurge: Sophie La Giraffe

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

I’d seen this little Sophie everywhere, but a rubber toy for $25. I don’t think so!

boxwood clippings_sophie the giraffe

Randomly, my little ones both started teething around the 3 month mark. Not having much control over their little fingers they had a hard time holding onto things, so their hands became their only teething toy.

Luckliy, Nanny knew better and turned up one day with a pressy for each of the patients. The toy I swore we’d never own!

boxwood clippings_twin girls with sophie the giraffe

Little Sophie is magical, and my girls are both in love.

I wonder did her creator know exactly what he was doing? Her leg size make it perfect for tiny fingers to grasp, making her the 1st and only toy my little ladies could hold on to for quite sometime.

They really go to town, and I love hearing the soft squeaky noises of their gums while chewing the rubber.

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I guess next time, I should not be so stubborn. And trust that if something has been around for about 50 years, it’s be tried and tested and is still winning…

go Soph!

(see HERE to order!)

Thrifty Black & White finds at Ikea!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Browsing though my pinterest page yesterday I noticed that most of my favorite spaces are black and white. (This wasn’t really that much of a shock…just a realization!) This most classic combination is timeless, chic, modern and all that we love.

Here are some amazing (and cheap) pieces I found at Ikea.

 

ikea_august 2014

1. Dying over this light (see HERE). Replacing the builder grade lighting has always been on our list, and room by room we’re getting there. I just need to find the perfect spot for this.

2. These lamps are PERFECTION (see HERE), and will be a contender for above our nightstands when we re-do our master this Fall…yay!!!

3. These place mats (see HERE) were added to our home the week the twins began solid food. Too cute and handy and only $1.49! Holler!!!

4. Lack tables are a must in any home. Ever so versatile and handy for temporary arrangements like house guests or parties. They’re on sale this month with your Ikea family card for only $4.99!!!!!!! Time to stock up. I’m getting 4! (see HERE.)

5-8. Beautiful cushion covers to ump up the contrast in any room. I’ll be getting some for the Master. Such a great deal from $4.99-$14.99)

(5. HERE. 6. HERE. 7. HERE. 8. HERE.)

5 Minute Pita Pizza

Friday, August 8th, 2014

I’m such a fan of fast, fresh, yummy dinners.

This one has been my go-to lately, because it’s sooooo yummy!

boxwood clippings_5 minute pita pizza

I simply pop a pita in the oven on broil and let it lightly toast one side as I rummage through my fridge for ingredients.

As you know, personalizing a pizza is lots of fun, but it’s also a great way to use up odds and ends from your week of cooking.

For this Pizza I used:

1 pita bread

bbq sauce

mozzarella cheese

tomato

red onion

chicken breast

pepper, basil and parmesan to finish :)

Once the one side is nice and toasty, pop on your toppings and place back in the oven for another couple of mins until the cheese is bubbling.

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I’ve been promising our nephews a sleep over for some time.

One day we’ll get around to it,

and I think this will be the perfect dinner that they can help make.

Very fun don’t you think?

 

Target Tuesday

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

boxwoodclippings target tuesday banner

 

target tuesday_august 20141. This rug would make a statement anywhere.

2. This lightweight scarf is perfect to add a little summer to any outfit. Obsessed with pom-poms right now, and it’s on clearance! $5.94!!!

3. I NEED THIS LAMP!!!

4. It seems like we can never find a good wire basket at a reasonable price when we need one. Perfect for kitchen, laundry and bath. Great price, only $11 each!

5. I have three little babies in mind for these three polka dot bows :) $1.67 each!

6. This lattice pillow is the perfect blend of modern and traditional.

7. Love this summery tote.

Have you had any great finds at Target lately?

 

Simple Soloution: Recipe Book for Printed Recipes

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Browsing through a beautiful recipe book is inspiring and motivating,

but a lot of the time I turn to the web for spur of the moment recipes and ideas.

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It’s no surprise that many of these recipes become favorites and need a home,

and I’m really proud that I have found the perfect one!

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These portfolios (see HERE) are perfection.

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

The plastic sleeves not only protect from flying ingredients,

but also make it really easy to flip through the recipes.

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

I added tabs and made it even more user friendly. :)

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

Now that this problem is fixed, I can see I’m going to go ‘print crazy’.

Maybe I’ll need a book for each category soon.

Oooh I think I like that idea!

Chicken Pesto Panini

Friday, August 1st, 2014

We are so excited to share with you the most delicious, easiest and affordable panini recipe ever.

Honestly, we think it is restaurant worthy!

boxwood clippings_panini

Ingredients:

Sandwich bread (we used Udi’s gluten-free)

Rotisserie chicken

Store-bought Pesto

Cheese slice (we like Harvarti)

Tomato slices

Spinach

Red onion

Olive oil or butter

Directions:

Start with spreading Pesto like you would mayo or mustard on you bread. Layer ingredients, as much or as little as you would like and sandwich bread together. Brush olive oil on sides of bread that will be toasted (or just spread butter). Last use your panini press or grill on a frying pan until cheese melts.

We’re telling ya, this is amazing! Hope you likey!

DIY Baby Headbands

Monday, July 28th, 2014

We love babies with a big ole’ bow, but have found them to be quite uncomfortable for little heads. They are usually also so expensive, especially when buying multiple!

We’ve been playing around with making our own simple bows that are soft and pretty for baby.

.Here’s what we came up with. Cute right?!

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

(Left: Elizabeth | Right: Hannah)

Here’s How to Make Your Own:

1. We measured the babies heads and cut our piece of tights to be 4″ smaller. This will be different depending on each pair of tights and how readily they stretch. (You can make multiple headbands from just a pair of tights).

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

2. Fold in half and pin ends in place, ready to sew.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

3. Use needle and thread to sew two ends together (or use sewing machine).

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

4. Trim excess fabric after sewing.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

5. It should look something like this:

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

6. Flip headband inside out, it should look like this on the finished side.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

7. Now for the tricky part! You want to create an “M” shape with your fingers and glue the two peaks of the “M” with a hot glue gun together. You just need a tiny dab of glue.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

8. Next turn the headband inside out again and glue the two edges into the center.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

9. This is what it will look like:

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

  For the Bow:

1. Layer your tulle accordion style, you can use as much as you like.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

2. Gather tulle in center to create a bow look.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

3. Pinch center together and tie with string to secure bow.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

4. Hot glue bow onto headband.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

5. Secure with a small piece of ribbon which is glued underneath the headband.

boxwood clippings_DIY baby headband

This process is actually a lot easier and faster than it looks. It only takes about 10 minutes to make one, and then you’re a pro.

We are working on all different colors to match all the outfits, and have been thinking of them as gift options too. Wouldn’t it be great to gift several of these for a baby shower?! We are loving them!

Let us know if you encounter any problems or have questions, we know it’s hard to understand in a step-by-step like this. We promise, once you start playing with it, you’ll see it’s a piece of cake!

Here’s to happy babies with comfy headbands, and happy mommas saving $$$!!!

Homemade EASY Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Friday, July 25th, 2014

We can not get enough ice cream this time of year.

And homemade is even better than store bought, it’s sooooo easy but you do need an ice cream maker.

We loooove ours, see HERE.

boxwood clippings_homemade peanut butter ice cream

 

 

You Will Need:

1 1/8  cups of peanut butter

3/4 cups of granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups of milk

2 cups of heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of mini peanut butter cups

To Make:

Mix peanut butter and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Add milk and mix slowly until the sugar is dissolved (about 2 min). Add cream and vanilla and stir. Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream maker and mix for about 30 mins until thickened. Then add the peanut butter cups and mix until all blended. By this time your ice cream is like  soft serve, if you want it thicker like our photo above, place in an air tight container and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Be prepared to taste ice cream at perfection!

Enjoy!

Emily’s Maternity Must-Haves

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

I gotta admit, pregnancy has been no walk in the park.

Here are five things I’m so glad I didn’t have to live without during the last 9 months.

boxwood clippings_pregnancy must have's

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1. Snoogle Body Pillow

I thought this pillow was kind of ridiculous before I was pregnant, but it is the best thing ever! You soon discover when pregnant that sleeping is so much more comfortable if you have a pillow between your knees and have some support on your growing bump. Cannot imagine pregnancy without this! I’m also excited to use this like Sarah did, as a pillow support for her babies (see HERE). See more details on this amazing pillow HERE.

 

2. Belli Elasticity Belly Oil

This is worth every cent to keep your belly from feeling like it will explode! With its divine smells of lavender, it is my favorite thing to rub on my belly right before bed. I definitely already had a few stretch marks pre-pregnancy, so thought I would for sure get lots during pregnancy. So far this oil has helped keep them away! Absolute love! You can purchase it HERE.

 

3. Reusable Water Bottle

Pregnancy is literally a battle of the bulge. Drinking H20 is the best thing you can do to eliminate and reduce swelling in ankles, feet, face and hands. This has worked really well for me, and drinking water is also the best way I’ve found to keep energy levels up. Love THESE camelbak water bottles.

 

4. Minty Tums

I now know what heartburn is! I got sick of fruity tums really quick, and Mummy came to the rescue with these mint tums. These rolls of Tums or Rolaids are available at most gas stations and drug stores, but not regular grocery stores.

 

5. Neutrogena Sunscreen

I use this stuff everyday regardless of pregnancy, but with Melasma aka pregnancy mask making its dark appearance early in my pregnancy I have been more religious than ever to apply and re-apply this non-greasy sunscreen on my face every day. Purchase HERE.

 

Buy Buy Baby has been my favorite store while being pregnant. They have 100% satisfaction return policy, which gives me comfort in my new world of pregnancy and mommyhood. Sign up for awesome coupons and offers HERE.

Welcoming Another Lady!

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Baby Jane surprised us all last week and made her healthy entry into the world a week early.

She’s stolen our hearts too easily, and we’re smitten.

boxwood clippings_baby

 

Congratulations Emily and Brad!

I can’t even tell you how much fun we’re going to have.

Aunty Sarah x

Easy Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Don’t we all try to get a little fancy when it comes to the grill?!

Marinades and seasonings sure are fun, but sometimes it’s also great to stick with delicious basics.

We have been loving these simple skewers this year:

boxwood clippings_easy pineapple and chicken kebabs

Ingredients:

One Pineapple

1/4 c brown sugar

squirt of lime juice

Four chicken breasts

Seasoning salt

Directions:

Core and cube pineapple and toss with brown sugar, and lime juice. Cube chicken breasts and add seasoning salt or even just salt and pepper to taste. Arrange cubes on skewer and grill for 15 mins, turning occasionally.

The juice of the pineapple, as well as the sugar and salt combo make this one yummy and easy, easy meal! Serve with a side salad and barbeque sauce, for your whole family to enjoy!

Holler Dollar: BBQ Kettle Chips

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

 This is a yummy Holler Dollar, BBQ Kettle Chips from the Dollar Tree.

Need I say more…trust me, they’re amazing!

boxwood clippings_bbq chips

Go get some.

Nom nom nom!!!!

Functional Carts

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

When we came home from the hospital we set up camp in our master bedroom, it became major ‘baby central’ as EVERYTHING happened in there: sleeping, eating, nappy changing. Everything! We were in survival mode and it was just easier to keep everyone and everything in one room.

The twins migrated to their nursery when they were 8 weeks old, but we still found it very handy to keep a set up in our bedroom. It isn’t the prettiest, but having a baby station near by still helps big time in the middle of the night, and pretty much all day long.

boxwood clippings_baby station

 

If I’d had my time again (and maybe next time round) I think a cart would work perfectly for this job.

If you find yourself with too many essential but messy items, you may want to get a cart too, things look so much tidier when they are contained.

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Here are a few budget friendly ones:

boxwood clippings_world market cartThis one (click HERE) is from World Market for $150

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boxwood clippings_ikea cartThis Ikea beauty is only $50 (see HERE) is.

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boxwood clippings_crate and barrel cart

Crate and Barrels all business with this, but I always love the industrial look (click HERE).

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PS. Did you notice my snack bin next to the baby bottles!?

BEST. IDEA. EVER.

It may just stay forever!!!

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Friday, July 11th, 2014

My craving for chocolate cake started last summer with the twin pregnancy.

One year later it’s still here, and in full force!

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I seriously feel like I could eat the whole chocolate cake at Costco…it’s that bad.

(Yes, the one that’s bigger than a small country!)

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One day, when the craving was particularly strong, I came across this recipe (see HERE)

and fell in love.

boxwood clippings_chocolate sheet cake by pioneer woman

Topped with a strawberry, it gives the illusion of being semi-healthy.

It’s so sinful, it’s heavenly.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s made from things I bet you already have.

Love that!

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Go ahead and try it…I dare you!

A Very Happy 4th

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Wishing you all a relaxing 4th from our homes to yours!

boxwood clippings_twins 4th of july

These ladies were all smiles in their festive outfits until I pulled out the camera…typical!

Wish me luck on capturing smiles today!

Patriotic Food

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Maybe it’s the hungry girl inside of me, but take the American flag and associate it with food and I am 100% invested and ready to sign up for American citizenship! Here are a few patriotic ideas I’ve seen around Pinterest to get you all excited for the upcoming holiday:

boxwoodclippings_patriotic cupcakes

Screen shot 2014-06-22 at 3.13.53 PMsparkling spritzer

boxwoodclippings_patriotic yogurt parfaityogurt parfait

boxwoodclippings_flag fruit platterfruit + cake platter

boxwoodclippings_flag cakeflag cake

boxwoodclippings_patriotic toast

So fun and festive, right?! Does your family make any special food for the 4th? We’d love to hear your American ideas!