Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts

November 27, 2018

Cheesy Potato Balls with Stella - The Most Unique & Delicious Way to Use Left Over Mashed Potatoes

This post is sponsored by Stella® Cheese but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Here's the thing, you probably already know that I'm not so traditional when it comes to life, but I'm truly a little off the wall when it comes to the holidays. As far as our most recent holiday, Thanksgiving - well, if I'm being totally honest, it's definitely not on my list of favorites. Mainly because I don't love turkey and I think we should be thankful everyday, among other reasons. To make up for my lack of turkey lovin', I like to get super creative with side dishes.

This year I went totally left field and made something super unique that I've never made before and that my family seemed to really enjoy - even Miss Delainey loved these, once she finally took a break from playing long enough to eat.

What's so amazing about these Cheesy Potato Balls? Well, to put it simply... everything! These little balls of heaven are perfectly seasoned and just the perfect size to "pop" in your mouth during a holiday party or after a family meal as a little snack.

Filled with the most delicious Stella cheese, this is not only delicious - it's a GREAT way to get rid of left over mashed potatoes from a family meal as well. Have the left over potatoes but need the cheese? Find Stella cheese at a location nearby you using the locator on their website!

Enough about how amazing this recipe is though, here's how you make it -


4 tbsp Stella Gorgonzola Cheese
3/4 of 8 oz block of Stella Fontinella Cheese
Half of red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
3 minced scallions
5 cups cold mashed potatoes
3/4 cup + 2 tbs of flour
3 pieces of bacon, diced into small pieces
2 eggs, beaten
Oil (for frying)

Heat oil up to 375 in a deep fryer (or a in a pan).

While oil is heating, mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Form the "dough" into small balls and drop them into the oil a few at a time to not overcrowd the deep fryer or pan. Cook approximately 5 min or until edges look browned and crispy.


November 16, 2018

Overstuffed Mushrooms with Savory Crab & Real California Cheese Filling!

This post is sponsored by Real California Milk but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I can't even believe it's already November... I mean, this year is really just flying by.

The thing is, THIS time of year is pretty much perfection in my neck of the woods. We start out the days with a little crispness to the air and by the end of the day, it's still nice enough to watch the sunset at the beach. It's the best of both worlds... and it also makes me crave some of my favorite savory dishes.

These crab & cheese stuffed mushrooms are just like a Florida day - absolutely perfect in every way! Pairing seafood with savory, creamy goodness - it doesn't get much better than this...

I seriously can't be the only one that instantly feels a chill in the air and starts dreaming of pumpkin spice dishes, chili, mashed potatoes, and "stuffed" everything. I mean, that's what the month of November is about - thankfulness & food... and one of my favorite foods to bring back this time of year is actually one I tend to favor all year round as well - I'm talkin' stuffed mushrooms, y'all & this recipe doesn't disappoint!

These crab & cheese stuffed mushrooms are just like a Florida day - absolutely perfect in every way! Pairing seafood with savory, creamy goodness - it doesn't get much better than this...

These crab & cheese stuffed mushrooms are just like a Florida day - absolutely perfect in every way! Pairing seafood with savory, creamy goodness - it doesn't get much better than this... Except for the fact this dish is made with all Real California Milk Cheeses. That means the flavor is better and it's made with love, with the dairy coming from 99% family owned & operated farms.

That's the thing, when your dairy comes from other families - you know it's going to be good... and the extra spectacular news is, you can buy Real California Milk Cheeses nearly everywhere! I found a huge selection at my local health food store, as well as a decent selection at Publix!

Want to find a place by you, so you can get yours hands on the "good cheese" too? Check out this locator and find out where you can find these delicious, wholesome cheeses with the "Real California Milk seal" nearby you. After all, knowing your cheese comes from real people & it's kissed by the California sun just means there's that much more love going into your holiday dishes this year!

Want to serve up the best of both coasts? Pair my "Floridian" recipe with their California cheese and you have a real winning combo! So... let's get to making those delicious overstuffed mushrooms with a savory crab and cheese filling!


2 cups crab meat
4 oz freshly shredded Mozzarella Cheese made with Real California Milk
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp garlic
1/2 tbsp black pepper
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
4 large portebella mushroom
olive oil
4 oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack Cheese made with Real California Milk
1 tbsp bread crumbs

Step one - Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & get your filling started: mix the crab meat, Real California Cheese Mozzarella, spices, green onions, bell pepper, and grated parmesan all together in a large bowl. Place to the side.

Next - take your mushrooms and apply a thin layer of olive oil to the top of the caps. Flip over & place on pan, overstuffing the mushrooms with the crab mix.

Now - add 4 oz of Pepper Jack cheese made with Real California Milk on top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake or 18 minutes at 375, then turn your oven to broil for 3-5 minutes.

Garnish with parsley, if desired & enjoy!

December 30, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year...

It's the most wonderful time of the year... Delainey and I agree. We both love the holidays.

The thing is, we have been slightly off lately, battling with a cold for what feels like forever... So things haven't been as cheery as they could have been over the last few weeks. I had all these plans and well, none of them really played out.

I was going to share how we made these awesome homemade ornaments.. then life happened. So instead you get this photograph of them right now and maybe the tutorial for how to make them at a later date.

We had plans to visit Santa again before Christmas, but our colds put that idea on hold and now Christmas has already passed. Oops! So... we'll take our precious photos from a random visit with Santa at the zoo this year and embrace them, even if she is being feisty in them. That's a true depiction of my girl, after all.

That's the thing, sometimes you just have to go with the flow, embrace the change, and just deal. So that's what we're doing this holiday season... and I'm okay with that.

With that said, in 2018, I'm hoping for great things - from myself, for my daughter, for my blog, for my business, for my circle of friends and family, for our country.

So cheers! Here's to the holiday season and all the greatness to come in 2018. I hope the best for you & yours in the coming year!

November 29, 2017

4 Ways You Can Help Eliminate & Reduce Holiday Anxiety

It's officially the holiday season. We call it "the happiest time of the year" and it is, for some... and for others, this time of year brings on anxiety and causes stress. As for me, I love spending time with family and friends, but I'll admit I'm one of many that still gets anxious when it comes time to get festive.

While I used to let anxiety overcome me, over the years I've pretty much mastered how to deal with holiday related anxiety and today I want to share a few tips with you so that all is calm in your world.

4 Ways You Can Help Eliminate & Reduce Holiday Anxiety

1. No Expectations - Instead of anticipating the perfect event, go ahead and take a deep breath and remind yourself it's okay for things to not go as planned - it's okay for things to just happen. Allow yourself the time to be present and stop stressing about the small stuff. It doesn't matter how you responded to your cousin's snarky remark or how your brother-in-law will react to the gift you've chosen for him... instead of thinking of what could happen, think about what you're doing now.

If you start feeling that stressful feeling again, take a second to absorb the beauty of the lights around you, listen for the live music playing from down the street, feel how soft these new Kleenex are, and stop stressing about the small stuff.

2. Plan for Peace - Okay, while things may not always go as planned, that doesn't mean you can't make an itinerary and hope to follow it. A big part of my anxiety is triggered by the "unknown" so planning ahead provides some peace of mind. If you're like me, you can plan days ahead for fun events, from looking at lights at the park to browsing the aisles for toys for your niece, plan when you'll be going and doing these events and you'll find them a lot less anxiety-inducing.

Also plan your family time ahead, so you aren't spread too thin on time or torn between groups... and well, it's important you do this so you don't run out of paper items either.

That's right, planning ahead to have enough paper towels and toilet paper is a MUST around the holiday season when you're expecting company.

And you can't forget Kleenex hand towels either, especially if you have a big family.

With extra company coming in to town, the last thing you want to run out of is the necessities and lucky for you can use Ibotta to snag a rebate on the Scott, Viva, Kleenex, and Cottonelle goodies you bought at Walmart.

I personally despise grocery shopping and I ordered all my goodies online at --with home delivery, free 2 day shipping and same day shipping options, who needs the hassle of going in-stores to shop? Not this girl! But, if you're the type that likes to shop in-stores, you're also in luck because all of these goodies are stocked on the shelves too!

3. Respect Differences -  Have a family member that picks on you and just drives you bonkers? Accept that you can't change others, but you can change your own mindset and focus on those that make you happy. Do your best to respect that your differences are what makes your family beautiful and again, try to be present in the moment and enjoy the other good things about the holiday!

4. Budget & Be Giving - Instead of spending too much on gifts people don't want or need, think about a unique gift idea instead.

Make a handmade baby book for your nephew or send your niece something you drew for her. You can surely come up with a creative way to spoil your family without the added price tag.

This year some of my family will receive blooms from my new small shop, Bloomology. I'll be making each creation specially for the individual receiving it so I hope they know how heart-felt these gifts are... no pun intended.

With that said, how do you reduce anxiety around the holidays? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below! But don't forget to snag your rebates on your next Walmart run with Ibotta!

October 12, 2017

Frida Kahlo Baby Costume Inspiration in Honor of International Day of The Girl
As an "artist" and a lover of all things colorful, creative, and fun, it probably comes as no surprise that there are some artists I truly admire in the world.
I think it's likely pretty obvious to you that I adore art so much that I appreciate the opportunity to share that passion with others - hence my blog, it's name, and it's original purpose.
While I blog about all kinds of stuff now, I'm proud to say that I've shared my love of art with my sweet daughter, Delainey.

She may not know much the names of artists and their work, what techniques they are using, or what she's doing with a brush when I hand her one, but the girl seems to appreciate art as much as I do... She points at works of art she appreciates, she coos and talks about our paintings around our home, and when we play with paints, she is ecstatic... so I'm happy as a clam sharing this passion with her.

On that note, as we were brainstorming Halloween costumes and getting super creative, I knew that paying tribute to some of our favorite artists was something that had to happen!
After coming to this conclusion, I sat there thinking of some of our favorite artists, their looks, and how we could dress her up as them (on that note - no promises... but there's still a chance that she rocks a Dali-esque mustache some day later this month) and I just knew she had to be Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo, for those of you who may not know yet, was a Mexican painter with a passion for love and a unique style, all her own. She lived an interesting, creative, passionate life and her artistic work is definitely worth admiring... as was her one of a kind style.
That's why Delainey is rocking this look today, the International Day of the Girl. While Frida isn't physically here to cheer on women's equality and young women's human rights today, WE are... and this tiny Frida is certain that she deserves the right to create and live as she pleases.

And, since Frida was the queen of self-portraits, I thought paying homage to her via our costume photos was a nice gesture.
For this costume, I made D a custom Bloomology crown, which you can claim one of these beauties over in the group THIS weekend! Her shirt is second-hand, and her icings pants are from Sew Sassy Boutique!
Loving this costume idea? Don't forget to check out the other 31 days of Halloween!

October 10, 2017

DIY Baby Bank Robber Bandit Halloween Costume Inspiration

This little lady is a criminal.

Well, okay... maybe she's not really a criminal...

But she's certainly guilty of stealing my heart.

And by the looks of it, she may have robbed a bank in her day. 😁

I feel like I need to share, her daddy may or may not have said she's stealing funds for our shared shoe shopping habit... and well, his "confession" may be true.

Are you a fellow shoe-aholic looking to fund your habits? Maybe you are you looking for a super cute costume for your kiddo that's easy to put together? This is it - This DIY Bank Robber Bandit Costume is the perfect last minute getup and so easy to put together!

For Miss Delainey's bank robber costume she wore an Oakleigh top from Little Sass Boutique. Her Black Distressed & Embellished BOSS shorties are from Baby Bottoms. And the finishing touch, the little Bandit mask with a bow was created by Bloomology! For her loot bag we just used an older reusuable grocery bag and attached a little piece of paper with $$$ on it.

That's it, now you're a "smooth criminal"!

While you may not be able to score these exact items last minute, feel free to "steal" our idea and make it your own!

But, here's the thing: This costume is super adorable, so be careful not to get busted and always be ready for a quick getaway... You don't want your babe to catch any excessive cuteness charges while on the prowl.