Friday’s Fab Five – Fall Recipes

Fall Recipes DIY Vanilla Slow Cooker Chicken Tiki Masala Homemade Apple Cider Beer Cheese Soup Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rollup Bread

I bet you can’t guess this Friday’s Fab Five theme is? Today, I’m featuring fall recipes to get you in the mood for the season that’s just days away. These are my favorite fall recipes that will be in regular rotation until warmer weather comes around again. I hope you’ll share all of your fav fall recipes in the comments below.

  • Every year, I make a few bottles of homemade DIY vanilla for my winter baking and holiday stocking stuffers for my friends that love to bake. It takes about 3 months for the vanilla beans and vodka to infuse, so now is a good time to get started on this easy DIY. Making your own vanilla is such an interesting gift, looks cool on your counter, is WAY less expensive than buying the original, and tastes exactly the same.
  • This slowcooker tiki masala is pure comfort food. I make a big batch of it and freeze the extra sauce so I can just thaw some out when I’m not in the mood for cooking. It’s one of my most pinned recipes and it’s so delicious!
  • Would you believe that I found it nearly impossible to find an apple cider recipe that didn’t include apple cider as one of the main ingredients. I wanted a recipe that was actually from scratch, using apples, instead of just buying apple cider and adding cinnamon and a few other ingredients. Simmer this on your stovetop and your house will smell like fall.
  • Last fall I was CRAVING beer cheese soup in a bad way! I couldn’t find any by calling around to several local restaurants, so I took matters into my own hands lol. I found a good recipe, hit the grocery store, and came home to make a huge batch. It was amazing!
  • Last, but not least, my pumpkin cream cheese rollup recipe. I made several of these last year – it was the perfect hostess gift for all of our get togethers and I also made it for my “pumpkin, cream cheese loving” friend’s October birthday. It just looks cool and people are always more interested when they find out it’s homemade.

What will you be making this fall? I hope you’ll share your recipes in the comments section below. I’d love some inspiration from you all.

Support Your Toddler’s Brain Development With Enfagrow

As a mommy that’s been concerned about my boy John getting the nutrition he needs for proper brain development, I was thrilled to team up with Enfamil to try out their Enfagrow products for toddlers as a part of this sponsored post program.


My boy, my boy! That little stinker is growing up so big, SO fast! It feels like just a minute ago we were starting him on baby food – I sat him on my lap and held his dancing hands so he wouldn’t whack the spoon away from my husband as he went in for his first bite of real food, green beans to be exact. Shortly after, he graduated to a high chair and finger foods, and it just makes you realize how fast they grow up and how quickly their needs change! At the moment, we’re doing our best at a good dose of spoon training, but it mostly entails bowl slinging and what looks like the aftermath of a food fight at every meal lol. He’s getting the hang of it, VERY slowly, but surely!


We were able to successfully wean John off of a bottle a couple of months ago {not easy at all, especially that night time bottle}; however, even though he has finally transitioned to a sippy cup pretty well, he’s just not a big fan of cow’s milk at all. Hopefully that will come with time.

My little picky drinker has me so worried that he’s not getting the nutrition he needs for proper brain development, so I was beyond excited when I heard that Enfamil has created a line for toddlers called Enfagrow. I’ve teamed up Enfamil and they’ve given me the opportunity to try out a couple of their Enfagrow products. I really feel like their Toddler Transitions and Toddler Next Step is going to help fill in the nutritional gaps in John’s diet.


I am so happy that Enfagrow has come through for toddlers that aren’t getting enough DHA in their diet for healthy brain development. In fact, on average, toddlers only get about 25% of the DHA many experts recommend from their diet! DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and a building block for the brain. Since 85% of brain growth happens within the first three years of a child’s life, it is important to maintain the recommended levels through the toddler years to help them reach milestones, yet this building block is found naturally in foods {such as fatty fish} that generally aren’t included in a young toddler’s diet.


John loved the Enfagrow Toddler Transitions and started chugging it right away.

Enfagrow not only has DHA, but it also contains, choline and iron to help support your toddler’s brain development, calcium, vitamin D and 30 total nutrients for growth, as well as a natural defense dual prebiotics blend designed to help support digestive health. This is definitely a product I feel so good about and it has addressed all concerns I had with the nutrition my little man may have been lacking.


So tell me mommy friends, did any of you have the same concerns when your toddler was transitioning from a bottle to a well-balanced meal? We always do our best to make sure John gets plenty of meat, veggies, and fruit in his diet, but I am so happy that Enfagrow will offer up more nutrients that may have been lacking in his meals.

In addition to the Transitions and Next Step products Enfamil sent my way, they are also giving away a fun gift package to one of my readers including one Toddler Transitions 21 ounce can and one Toddler Next Step Natural Milk Flavor 24 ounce can! For a chance to win, leave a comment at this post and tell me what you love about Enfagrow, or why you’d love for your toddler to try this product. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, September 24th.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND D.C. 18 YEARS AND OLDER ARE WHO ALREADY HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AND VALID E-MAIL ADDRESSES ARE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion begins 9/3/2014 at 12:00 AM PST and ends at 11:59 PM PST on 9/17/2014. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Official Rules, eligibility, prize descriptions and odds disclosure are available at Sweepstakes Official Rules page. Sponsor: Mead Johnson & Company, LLC, 2400 West Lloyd Expressway, Evansville, IN 47721.

I received compensation and free Enfagrow for this post. Enfagrow would be happy to help you with your question. Please contact them at 1-800-BABY-123.

Boozey Tuesdays – Mudslide Milkshakes

Mudslide Milkshake - Summer Cocktail Recipe

Happy Boozey Tuesdays everyone! I’m saving my fav summer cocktails for these last two weeks of the season. I can’t believe summer, and Boozey Tuesdays, will be coming to an end after next week! Are you all ready for fall? I’ll have to share a fall cocktail here and there so I don’t go through “withdrawals” ;). I have a few fun ideas lined up already, so I hope you’ll keep checking back :)

Today, I have my fav summer cocktail all time ever for you, a Mudslide Milkshake! I was a bartender in college {if you couldn’t tell}, and this is a recipe I made up as I went along, perfecting it over the years. It’s so delicious! I went to Aruba and drank these daily poolside and at the beach. I’d feed my cherry on top to the iguanas that roamed the island. One of my favorite memories ever, and it involved a frozen mudslide milkshake lol.

Boozey Tuesdays – Mudslide Milkshakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 Mudslide Milkshakes

Boozey Tuesdays – Mudslide Milkshakes


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate powder
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1.5 ounces coffee liquor (I used Kahlua)
  • 1.5 ounces Irish cream (I used Baileys)
  • 1.5 ounces vodka


  1. Dip the rim of each glass into chocolate sauce, and then chocolate shavings or chocolate powder. You can use hot chocolate, or blend semi-sweet chocolate chips or Baker's chocolate. Next, lean your glass sideways, and pour chocolate sauce from the bottom inside of the glass, to the top inside, while rotating the glass so that you are creating an upward spiral of sauce.
  2. Next, blend all remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Mudslide Milkshake - Summer Cocktail Recipe

Mudslide Milkshake - Summer Cocktail Recipe

Mudslide Milkshake - Summer Cocktail Recipe

Mudslide Milkshake - Summer Cocktail Recipe

Win This! Zoya Ignite Collection Giveaway

I just entered to win the newly released Zoya Ignite Fall 2014 collection at #zoya #nailpolish #zoyaignite #giveaway

Happy Manicure Mondays! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today, I have another fun giveaway for you all, Zoya’s just released Ignite collection! Like Zoya’s Entice cream collection, the Ignite collection also creates a palette of lush, deep hues including wines, browns, navy and gray, but this version is all shimmer. One lucky reader will win this entire collection! Check out my swatches below and read on to find out how you can have a chance to win this collection.

In case you missed it, I’m also giving away the brand new Zoya Ultra PixieDust for fall 2014!

Zoya Ignite Shimmer Nail Polish Swatches

Clockwise starting top left – Zoya Remy {indigo shimmer}, Zoya Autumn {copper}, Zoya Yuna {gray with copper and gold shimmer}, Zoya India {red with gold shimmer}, Zoya Sansa {purple with gold shimmer}, and Zoya Teigen {pink cranberry with copper shimmer}.

Zoya Ignite Autumn Orange Gold Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya Autumn is a varnished copper liquid metal.

Zoya Ignite India Dark Red Garnet Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya India is a deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer.

Zoya Ignite Remy Dark Blue Teal Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya Remy is a brilliant indigo with copper and gold liquid metallic.

Zoya Ignite Sansa Dark Purple Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya Sansa is a deep eggplant with a gold metallic sparkle, in the flawless full-coverage, liquid metal formula.

Zoya Ignite Teigen Pink Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya Teigen is a full-coverage pink toned cranberry with a copper liquid metal.

Zoya Ignite Yuna Dark Gray Glitter Shimmer Nail Polish

Zoya Yuna is a full-coverage warm grey with copper and gold liquid metal.

How To Win

One lucky reader will win this entire Zoya Ignite fall 2014 nail polish giveaway! Follow the directions in the RaffleCopter below to enter. There are no mandatory entries this time; however, some options are worth more entries than others (ex. liking my Facebook page = 10 entries), US and Canadian readers only, giveaway ends 11:59 Eastern on September 23rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me by the merchant or their PR company. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

Johnny Boy’s Look For Less & A Giveaway From Moxie Jean

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Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

I am a bargain shopper when it comes to my boy’s clothes. He grows out of them so fast and let’s face it, kids are just SO messy. A mess that is nearly impossible to control lol. Even though I buy affordable clothes only for John, I can usually get a couple of tops and maybe a pair of pants for $35. That was until I discovered Moxie Jean! I’ve teamed up with them to show you how I was able to stretch a dollar at their “upscale resale” shop!

Moxie Jean only carries your favorite brands and they want your experience to feel like shopping in your favorite boutiques by including only well-chosen pieces in their inventory. They take great detailed pics of all items, have super fast shipping, and responsive customer service. Moxie Jean sent me a $35 gift card and I was able to do some serious damage with so little. In addition to getting amazing discounts on their “looks for less”, I also signed up for their newsletter to save an additional 20% off my first purchase.

My husband works in the sports industry, so he can usually be seen in cargo pants and a plaid button up top. I always think it’s super cute when John dresses in a similar style to daddy, and luckily Moxie Jean had plenty of plaid tops and cargo pants to choose from, including a pair of Ralph Lauren cargos for only $10.99! Since I’m stocking up for winter and it’s still very much summer here in Florida, I picked up a size larger than what he’s wearing now.

Take a look at my Moxi Jean picks for John below and read on to find out how you can win a Moxie Jean giftcard!

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Cheesing with a few of his favorite toys in his Carter’s aqua and white plaid top and OshKosh khaki cargo pants.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

My baby model is ready for his next look!

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

His favorite trick, busting out of his toy bins lol. Wearing his Mark Jason peach, aqua, and white plaid top and OshKosh khaki cargo pants.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

We spend a lot of time throwing footballs and beach balls in this hallway.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Kissing the baby outside {his reflection}.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Peek-a-boo with daddy outside wearing his Children’s Place aqua, blue, and white plaid top and OshKosh khaki cargo pants.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Children’s Place aqua, blue, and white plaid top and Mark Jason peach, aqua, and white plaid top.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Ralph Lauren cargo pants and Mark Jason peach, aqua, and white plaid top.

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Moxie Jean Toddler Boy Plaid Button Down Top and Cargo Pants

Top, left to right: Children’s Place aqua, blue, and white plaid top, Carter’s aqua and white plaid top, Mark Jason peach, aqua, and white plaid top. Bottom, left to right: Baby Gap gray lounge pants, OshKosh khaki cargo pants, Ralph Lauren cargo pants.

How To Win

We will be giving away a Back to School Wardrobe gift card for $177.50 – the winner will be able to get a full back to school wardrobe for HALF of what it would cost new – even with all the BTS sales! This giveaway is shared across all participating blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Moxie Jean. The opinions and text are all mine.

Family Night With Stella Artois

The Butcher, The Baker, The Belgian Beer Maker - Stella Artois, A Thing Of Beauty

My mom moved to the Seattle area over 14 years ago and I miss her dearly! I’m in Florida, so we couldn’t be further apart in the states. The first time I went to visit her, we hit all the tourist hot spots including a super fast ride to the top of the Space Needle and the fish-throwing showcase at Pike’s Market. My mom left the market that day with a massive fish and baked it with lemon and rosemary. It was amazing and she looked like such a chef filleting the fish and stuffing it with simple ingredients.

If I ever cook fish at home or order it in a restaurant, I think of my mom. When my friends (my local family) and I got together last weekend for an evening featuring one of my favorite beers, Stella Artois, we came up with a fun meal that would pair perfectly with the Belgian pale lager that dates back to 1366!

One of our friends is an executive chef at The Governor’s Club and the historic restaurant built in 1926 was an amazing backdrop for our “The Butcher, The Baker, and The Belgian Beer Maker” get together. With my mom in mind, he crafted a fish dinner showcasing Stella Artois as one of the main ingredients. He featured the meal as his special of the night for the entire restaurant, which was so amazing!

The Butcher, The Baker, The Belgian Beer Maker - Stella Artois, A Thing Of Beauty

For a new initiative called The Butcher, The Baker, and The Belgian Beer Maker, Stella Artois featured female creatives, Cara Nicoletti, Aliya LeeKong, and Chrissy Teigen, in a 3-part video series showcasing the role women have played in modern cuisine. The episodes share the importance of heritage and how family traditions have shaped their life’s work, as well as the joy of sharing delicious food with family and friends. When paired with the finest ingredients to compliment the Saaz hops in Stella, the meal becomes #AThingofBeauty.

The Menu

  • Fried Oysters Appetizer
  • Cup of Lobster Bisque
  • Grilled Peach Salad
  • Seared Snapper – smothered in a hollandaise sauce and brussel sprouts over mashed potatoes
  • A side of roasted corn and red peppers
  • Flambéd Bananas Foster – I love a good tableside fire!

Red Snapper Seared In Stella Artois


  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets snapper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Stella Artois pale lager beer


  1. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, and salt; set aside. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Pour olive oil, lemon juice and Stella Artois into a shallow dish. Dip each fillet into the mixture, turning once to coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with spice mixture, and gently pat mixture onto fish.
  3. Place fillets into skillet without crowding. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn fillets, spoon remaining lemon juice, olive oil, and Stella Artois over each, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining fish.


Having the opportunity to be a part of Stella Artois’s “The Butcher, The Baker, The Belgian Beer Maker” was such a great experience! The amazing beer, delicious food, and good friends will hopefully happen again sooner than later.

View all 3 – “The Butcher, The Baker, The Belgian Beer Maker” episodes.

This is a sponsored post, courtesy of Stella Artois. All opinions are my own.

Room Inspiration – Transitioning From Baby Boy To Toddler

Gender Neutral Nursery Tree Boy Kids Room

Now that baby John is officially a toddler, it’s time to update his room. We were in major transition last year when he was born – we sold our first home together when I was 9 months pregnant, moved into a rental, had a baby 3 weeks later, built a home while in the rental, and then moved again into that dream home all within a year – so I did what I could for his space. While in the rental, the focus on John’s nursery was things that could be transported to the new home, rather than well designed spaces. I did pick up a few framed art pieces, a really nice convertible dresser changing table, a rug that just didn’t work well for us over carpet, and a few other small details. The room was also gender neutral with a celery, coral, and yellow color palette, since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl.

John is now a year and a half and quickly morphing into a little boy. The opportunity for him to have the cutest nursery ever has now passed and I’d like to design a room that will grow with him. I still need to focus on child proofing {he is into EVERYTHING}, but we are past the ultra cute baby details and can focus on well design spaces for a little boy, perhaps a reading/art corner and fun storage areas for toys.

The style I’m going for is a “whimsical meets rustic” boy room! I’m not necessarily sold on a theme, like airplanes or safari, but I do love the idea of the room looking slightly tree-house, like the pic above via I’d love interesting, well designed areas, that make use of vertical wall space for his artwork and books. Maybe even a little reading corner where the book shelves are off the ground leaving room for a little table or chair.

Style {Maybe A Theme?} and Color Palette Inspiration

Boy Room Vintage Airplanes Artwork

I love the color palette and vintage art work repeated in a gallery wall of frames. – image via

Forest Boy Room

This forest themed nursery is adorable. I love the neutral color palette, although I’d love something that works more with shades of tan than gray. – image via

Boy Room Surf Shack

I’m crazy about this little surf shack room from Pottery Barn. Maybe this is the way to go with my theme. John is way too young for a bed and childproofing is key, but maybe I can borrow from this style and have his room morph into this over time as he gets older.

Boy Room World Map

I’m loving the color palette of this room, also from Pottery Barn. We’d be working with a crib, of course, but the style is great! I also like the map mural and the dinosaurs.

Stylish Spaces Inspiration

Kids Room Reading Corner Table Chairs Artwork

I like the idea of an art or reading space. I like that the artwork is hung from a line and that it’s all off the floor enough so that a table and chairs can fit into the corner. John does a ton of artwork at daycare, so it would be fun to display it in an interesting way. – image via

Kid Room Bookshelves Reading Corner Table Chairs

I love the bookshelves. They don’t stick out too much, which is great for conserving as much space in the room as possible, and they are off the ground… John shreds books, so it’s still a monitored situation or cardboard books only lol. I love the corner table and chairs set (not necessarily the color) – image via

Chalkboard Wall Table Chairs Artwork

I’m crazy about this little space. I love that the corner seems built in with the framing, but although I LOVE the chalkboard wall, I’m not sure how I’d work that side in since my interest is on books and artwork. The artwork side is great! – image via

Kids Reading Corner Rocking Chair

This is adorable! I love the rug that defines the space. John already has a little rocking chair that could fit into the corner, unless I was going for a table and chairs set. – image via

Boy Kids Room Tee Pee

I’m loving the teepee trend in boys’ rooms! Somehow the designer of this room made so many different spaces work without it feeling cluttered. I don’t know that I can fit in a teepee and a reading nook, but this is super adorable. John is probably a bit too young for it too. – image via

Kids Room Reading Storage Corner

I love this space, but I don’t know if it would work for us. The corner storage would probably take up too much room and not allow for a table and chairs or a rocking chair. I LOVE the look of this, but maybe storage cubbies are best in the closet area. – image via

Chalkboard Wall TeePee Bookshelves

Here’s another fun space that features bookshelves, a teepee, and a chalkboard wall. So cute! – image via