Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Mini Mince Pies

Friday, November 21st, 2014

To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without mince pies.

I know lots of you American’s have a bad impression of these little yummies, but I’m here to tell you they are a must try, and not scary at all!

Topped with a healthy amount of whipped cream, they are to die for. A perfect, rich treat for a festive evening.

boxwood clippings_mini mince pies

 

To make, simply whip up a batch of your favorite pie crust (l like an all butter one like THIS).

Roll, and cut out the pastry. I used a large glass to cut the base. Then gently place in greased cup cake tin.

Add a teaspoon or so of filling (I used THIS one). Then use a smaller glass or mold for lid. Top with an egg wash.

Cook until golden brown.

 

boxwood clippings_mini mince pies

For decoration I used some pastry cutters similar to THIS, left some plain, and some a basket weave effect. This is the fun part, so it’s nice to have an extra minute and have some creative fun. I loved it when my mum would recruit us for this job when we were little.

The smell alone will convince you they are the ultimate dessert for this season.

Ummmmm!

Festive Meringues

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The season of food is here, and we already can’t get enough.

We’ve posted about THIS meringue recipe several times, but we just love how simple and to-die-for delicious they are.

This time we topped them off with the usual whipped cream and seasonal pears + peaches. We added just a light dusting of ground cinnamon, which really gave a festive zing

boxwood clippings_festive meringues

We swear by meringues because they are the perfect light dessert after a big meal. We’re even having them as part of the Thanksgiving line up this year.

But the really good part is that they can be made up to a week or more in advance and stored in a tin, so there’s very little prep day of consumption…LOVE THAT!

(PS. They are naturally gluten free too, which is a double win win for us!)

 

Sparkle for Less at Walmart

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The time of year to sparkle is quickly approaching and Walmart has you covered in the jewelry department!

You will not believe the deals to be had! These studs earrings were only $2.88!

boxwood clippings_cheap and chic jewery at walmart!gold, black + crystal studs

Just when we thought THIS necklace was a deal, Walmart released a huge selection of statement necklaces for only $5!!!

boxwood clippings_$5 statement necklace

There is no excuse not to shine this season with prices like this, so while you’re picking up your turkey make sure to steer your cart into the jewelry dept too!

How about some costume jewelry for all the ladies on your Christmas list? We love the idea!

Holler Dollar: Stocking Stuffers

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

We just LOVE Target’s Dollar Spot this time of year.

Simple little toys like these make awesome stocking suffers, and for just $1 you really can’t go wrong!

boxwood clippings_holler dollar kids stocking stuffers

The jingle bells are especially festive, bring on the holiday cheer!!!

Holler!!!

Target Tuesday: Christmas 2014!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Can you believe the stores are full of Christmas? On one hand we don’t want to be sick of Christmas by the time it arrives, but on the other we can’t help but get excited when see such new and exciting things for our favorite season!

Here are a few faves from the one and only….

boxwood clippings_target tusday dec 14

1. Faribault wool throw

2. chevron place mat

3. white bottle brush tree

4. pine cone wreath

5. ceramic stag

6. birch bark tree

7. textured place mat

8. antique glass mason jar

Which is your favorite?

Gluten-Free Caramel + Chocolate Oat Bars

Friday, November 7th, 2014

We are so addicted to these amazing oat bars…

boxwood clippings_gluten-free caramel, chocolate and oat bars

INGREDIENTS

Butter (and lots of it! 1 cup)

2 c flour (depending on your gf mix you may need more, we used THIS)

3/4 c brown sugar

1 1/4 oats (we used THESE ones)

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips (our fav HERE)

1 cup caramels (THESE ones are GF)

DIRECTIONS

Stir together softened butter, brown sugar, flour, oats and eggs until mixture looks like crumbs. This is when the amount of flour can fluctuate. If mixture is too sticky and won’t crumb, just add a tbsp of flour at a time until it will.

Use half of the mixture to press into a greased baking dish (we used a 13×9) and cook at 350 for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Sprinkle chocolate and caramels over cooked base and top with remaining crumb mixture and cook for 30 mins until golden brown again.

Refrigerate for 2 hours to set before serving.

$20 Structured Tote from Walmart!

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

I have been dying over THIS Michael Kors structured tote for months, but now that my go-to bag is a diaper bag I haven’t been able to justify such a splurge!

I can however spend $20 on a similar tote, for the occasional night out with the hubs or any sans Jane outing!

boxwood clippings_$20 tote from Walmart

saffiano tote

I feel like most of my handbags are over-sized and slouchy, and this medium-size and structured tote is just what I needed to help this momma feel a little more up-to-date!

Jane’s Blessing Day: 5 Easy Tips for Entertaining a Crowd!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Last week we blessed Jane, which is a special prayer to put her name on the records of our church and bless her with things to help throughout her life.

Here’s Jane in her little white dress and bonnet, doesn’t she look hilarious?!

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

It was a great day with some of our special friends and family and was the largest party we’ve planned in a while.

Here are five ways we kept it super easy!

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

1. KEEP DECOR SIMPLE AND SEASONAL

We spent nothing on decorations and pulled items around the house that were white, brown and gold. We used gold Christmas paper as a table runner, a simple bronze Christmas garland draped by itself, hung pine cones from the chandelier and personalized the chalkboard and banner.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

2. CHOOSE AN EASY FOOD THEME

We chose a soup and bread bar which turned out perfect for this time of year. I asked a few people to bring a soup and the variety ended up being amazing. We had chili, Italian sausage, mushroom (pic below), cauliflower and spicy carrot. Soups can be prepared ahead, aren’t too expensive, and can easily be transported.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

3. USE DISPOSABLE ITEMS

We rarely use disposible items when entertaining, but when entertating a large crowd it is a must!! We headed to Gygi to pick up items that were clear and white so disposable bowls (above) etc would just blend and not distract. How cute are these little cups we used for milk to serve with cookies for dessert?

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

 4. MAKE SOMETHING ORDINARY, SPECIAL!

We picked up a tin of shortbread cookies from Costco and garnished them with chocolate. This was a huge hit and literally took 30 mins. We used our favorite chocolate, Guittard that is available in bulk at Gygi.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party
5. PREP AHEAD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

We wanted to serve another fall favorite, caramel apples. Although these are super easy, they are a little time consuming, so we made sure to schedule prep time before the party. We were thrilled with how they turned out. See directions HERE.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

Honestly, with these tips this event was zero stress! The soups were warmed, and everything was ready to go for when guests arrived. No fussing about food and washing dishes etc.

Our little pioneer baby with Nanny and Grandma.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

A big thanks to Gygi and for everyone who made this such a special day to remember!

We are being featured on Gygi’s blog today talking about all of their products we used! Please hop over to see us HERE.

Butternut Squash + Potato Side Dish

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween everyone!

Today we’re sharing this delicious side dish for when you want to take your taters up a notch!

boxwood clippings_butternut squash + potatoes

What You’ll Need:

2 lbs potatoes

2 lbs butternut squash

2 c cheddar cheese

2 c cream (half and half would work too)

4 large sage sprigs

3 cloves of garlic (smashed)

Directions:

First makes your sauce by slowly bringing cream, garlic cloves and sage sprigs to a boil over medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble remove from heat and set aside. Next peel and slice potatoes and butternut squash, toss with 1 cup of cheese and salt and paper and place in greased baking dish.

boxwood clippings_butternut squash and potatoes

Remove sage and garlic cloves from sauce and pour over potatoes and squash. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400, for 45 mins until veggies are tender.

boxwood clippings_butternut squash and potatoes

Two words: COMFORT FOOD!

We love this for a special occasion like today, a Sunday meal or Thanksgiving. Hope you love it too!

…………………

  Adapted from THIS Rachael Ray recipe.

Style Inspiration: Pendleton Wool

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

We can spot Pendleton a mile away! Are you the same?

boxwoodclippings_pendleton blankets

boxwoodclippings_pendleton fabric

The graphic Native-American style prints and classic plaids and tartans get us giddy this time of year, we want it all!

boxwoodclippings_pendleton ponchochapparal poncho for urban outfitters

boxwoodclippings_pendleton blanketBlanket for Nike

boxwoodclippings_pendleton ponchoPoncho for Urban Outfitters

boxwoodclippings_pendleton blanketblanket for urban outfitters

Oh man…they even make notebooks.

boxwoodclippings_pendleton notebooksnotebooks for urban outfitters

We are obsessed! Brad surprised Emily with THIS classic throw for her B-day and  we are in love!

For a ticket to Pendleton wanderlust see their full site HERE.

 Pendleton’s Pinterest page is pretty phenomenal too! (see HERE)

No-Fuss BBQ Shreded Chicken

Friday, October 24th, 2014

There is nothing as tasty on a brisk autumn evening than a warm, slow-cooker meal .

This BBQ shredded chicken is as simple and delicious as it gets.

No-Fuss BBQ Shreded Chicken

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breast (depending on size)

20 oz barbeque sauce (our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s)

20 oz original Coke

Directions:

Put all ingredients in crock-pot and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred chicken. You can drain the liquid before shredding if you like, but we like to keep it saucy.

Serve on a roll, salad, rice…the possibilities are endless. This is such an easy and inexpensive meal, we love it!

Recipe adapted from HERE.

Food Station for Babies

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Feeding two young babies at the table can be challenging. When Brock’s home, he has one and I have the other, but it’s a constant battle of ‘please pass this” and “are you done with that?”. To help relieve some of the crazy I put together this food station that has helped us out tremendously!

boxwood clippings_food staion for babies

I got a tray that fits nicely on our lazy Suzanne, and then stocked it with all of the essentials. Our goal is to never have to leave the table mid-feed once we’re there with our homemade baby food (link HERE).

Our Go-To Items Are:

Bowls

Spoons

Bibs

Wipes

Snacks

Oatmeal

I must say this system has been WORKING!!! We’re getting the feeding down like magic!

Have you guys been re-organizing or tweaking a problem area in your homes? Do share!

How to Make Homemade Baby Food: Stage One

Friday, October 17th, 2014

We knew making our own baby food would be healthier choice for the girls, but we had no idea would be so easy, fast, and how much money it would save!!!

The girls’ favorite right now is pureed butternut squash…here’s how to make it.

boxwood clippings_homemade baby food, so easy

First prep squash: peel, de-seed, and cube.

boxwood clippings_homemade baby food, so easy

Next, steam until tender.

Finally, blend with a little of the water left from steaming to puree.

THESE BPA-free Munchkin trays are perfect to freeze the puree.

boxwood clippings_easy homemade baby food

Just pop out 1-2 cubes per serving, and you can always mix in a little rice cereal if you want it to be more filling.

We’re sure your babe will be squealing with delight, and you’ll be squealing too!

Lovely Black Leggings for $5

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

These days I keep myself pretty low-key until it’s time to leave the door.

It’s kinda a ‘mummy uniform’ and usually entails black leggings and a tee. Simple and comfortable without looking like a Hobo is my goal!

boxwood clippings_$5 leggings

My favorite pair of leggings are actually from Walgreens (link HERE) and are 2 for $10…holler!

For that price it’s way do-able to have several ‘go-to’ pairs for quick changes after these lil’ munchkins get me all messy cakes!

Do you have a go-to look? Do share!

 

The 5 Minute Stewed Apple

Friday, October 10th, 2014

One of our go-to desserts this time of year are delicious stewed apples…

boxwood clippings_5 mintues stewed apple

Ingredients:

apples (any type)

1 tbsp brown sugar

sliver of butter

dash of cinnamon

dash of ground cloves

Directions:

Core your apple and place in microwavable dish.

Blend sugar and spices. Play around with amounts and different spices, to make your own special blend.

Layer inside cored apple teeny dabs of butter and sugar blend.

Microwave 4-5 mins and allow to cool a little before serving.

This is a perfect and warm dessert that isn’t too heavy or calorie-ridden. Although…you could always serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for extra deliciousness ;)

Holler Dollar: Fairy Wings

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I was undecided on the girls’ Halloween costumes this year, but knew I wanted something easy and adorable.

The Dollar Tree came to my rescue again with these fairy wings (link HERE). Matched with clothes they already had: a onesie, cardigan, tutu, leggings and ballet shoes…Elizabeth transformed into one pretty cute fairy!

boxwood clippings_holler dollar fairy wings

boxwood clippings_holler dollar fairy wings

I think the only thing cuter will be when we double the fun on the actual night. Hannah was asleep for the dress rehearsal!

 Do you have any quick and thrifty costume ideas? Do share!

Target Tuesday

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

For a shopaholic like myself, the change of season always brings a little heart palpitation when I see the new things at Target! The store is packed full of cozy goodness right now! Here are just a few things I am dying over…
boxwood clippings_target tuesday

 Aztec Weekender (link HERE).

In love with THESE copper bar stools.

I love copper measuring cups! See HERE and measuring spoons HERE.

Bark wreath (link HERE).

Lovely Threshold plaid throw HERE.

 Have you had any great Target finds lately?

 

The Easier and Tastier S’more!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Did you know that in England we don’t have Graham Crackers?

Our husbands think it’s nuts that we grew up without this simple cookie, but we don’t feel deprived because the English equivalent is much better! The Digestive. The name really doesn’t do it justice but trust us…they’re delish.

Anyhow, the milk chocolate version are perfect for s’mores because the chocolate melts fast and is the perfect amount paired with the roasted marshmallow.

boxwood clippings_the cheating way to make a delishous s'more!

boxwood clippings_the cheating way to make a delishous s'more!

I’ve been craving a campfire up the canyon all summer but it didn’t happen. However these little babies made at home over my stove where honestly just as great.

YUM!

Luckily, you can find Digestives at Walmart for about $3, and also at World Market.

Enjoy!

$10 Statement Necklace

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Grocery shopping becomes so much more exciting when you find a pretty little something!

I spied THIS necklace at my local Walmart for only $10!!!

boxwood clippings_$10 statement necklace from walmart

It’s perfect to jazz up my basics, and would make a wonderful present too. Anyone Christmas shopping yet?

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip + Crasins Granola

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Our sis-in-law, Kimberly is the most impressive cook. She makes things from scratch whenever possible and is always spoiling us with her yummy treats.

One of our favorites, is THIS Ina Garten granola recipe:

boxwood clippings_yummy chocolate chip and crasin granola

Ingredients:

4 cups old fashioned oats (we used these GF ones)

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups sliced almonds

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

craisins (amount to taste)

chocolate chips (our variation! amount to taste)

Directions:

Toss dry ingredients together, then in a separate bowl whisk oil and honey. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir until coated. Pour onto a 13×18 inch baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees. Sir occasionally until the mixture turns a nice even brown, 30-45 minutes. A lighter brown will result with a chewy granola with more clumps, a darker brown will by more crunchy.

Remove the granola from the oven and pour into a large bowl, allow to cool and then stir in anywhere between one to 4 cups of craisins and chocolate chips. Makes about 12 cups. Store in an airtight container.

boxwood clippings_homemade granola gift

This is the epitome of decadence, and the perfect way to start an autumn day!

It would make a perfect present for this time of year too!

Chocolate for breakfast is so not diet friendly, but is so very good for the soul!

Three words…nom, nom, nom!