Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Hair Ties


{Chain Hair Tie DIY}

I was so inspired by Jenni’s chain hair ties from I Spy DIY that I decided to recreate them myself.  They were so simple to make and so chic that I may never use a normal hair tie again.  I went out and bought a chain necklace for $1, a few hair ties, and grabbed some pliers from my basement.  Using the pliers, I separated eleven links from the necklace.  Then, I opened the first and last links and reattached them to the hair tie (as shown).  Finally, I folded the hair tie in half and wore it around my wrist. Amazing.


{What you need: Chain, hair ties, pliers}


{Take free end of chain and attach it to the hair tie in the same fashion}


{Before & After}


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Classic Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake{Crumb Cake}

Over here in the Tri-State area, we have been buried in snow for what seems to be forever.  Once the snow is shoveled and the ice finally begins to melt, the snow just decides to keep on comin back.  Seriously, what is up with this weather? 

Trying to save myself from another diagnosis of cabin fever, I picked up my Martha Stewart’s Cakes cookbook and began to bake away. (Obviously, the only solution).  Anyway, now that we got the snow drama out of the way, let me tell you about this crumb cake.

I like crumb cake but it is not normally my first choice of yummy treats- put ice cream in front of me and the crumb cake normally doesn’t stand a chance.  BUT, this recipe was sooo good that, unfortunately, I must admit that I ate it for breakfast and dessert.  Yeah, that good.  

Hope you enjoy this crumb cake as much as I did.

Crumb Cake 2

Crumb cake recipe

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 4.44.19 PM

I also would like to mention that I didn’t use cake flour.  I had a ton of all-purpose flour already in my house and wanted to use it up.  So if you have all purpose flour in the kitchen, it is totally fine for this recipe as long as you use the conversion:  1 cup of cake flour = 1 cup of all-purpose minus 2 tablespoons (1 cup – 2 tbsp).  Now you have a cake flour equivalent without having to go out and buy it, voilà!  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to comment & subscribe below!  xo


Source| Template from Love vs. Design , recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cakes

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Liebster Award


I am so happy to announce that the beautiful Bobbi from http://www.productdoll.com/ has nominated me for the Liebster Award! 

The Liebster Award Rules: 
(1) Link back to the blogger that nominated you
(2) Answer the 11 questions requested by the nominator
(3) Choose 11 nominees with small followings – about under 200
(4) You cannot nominate the person who nominated you
(5) You must let the bloggers know they were nominated

Answers to Bobbi’s Questions:

1. What is your most prized possession in your closet?
Right now it is my new Forever 21 shirt.  It is just perfect, so perfect that I have two of them.
2. Who is your style icon?
I love Miranda Kerr’s style.  She is effortlessly fashionable, I love that.
3. What is your favorite magazine?
Glamour & Self
4. Lipstick or lip gloss?
Lipgloss, but lately I’ve been all over the Covergirl Jumbo Gloss Balm‘s which I feel are a happy medium between lipstick & lip gloss. Love them.
5. Since it is almost Valentine’s Day, who would you want to have as your celebrity Valentine?
Since my boyfriend Brian is not a celebrity, I guesssss I’d have to settle for celebrity valentine James Franco.
6. What is your favorite movie?
This is a toughie, I have way too many favorites. But, one of my new favorites is the Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa  McCarthy, which I literally watched 5 times the first week I  saw it.
7. If you could go shopping with anyone, who would you pick?
If I could go shopping with anyone, it would definitely be Tim Gunn. He has such a good eye for style and just seems so sweet.
8. Who first taught you how to do your makeup?
The first time I learned how to do my makeup was when my mom brought me to the Clinique counter at the mall.
9. When was your last fashion purchase and what did you buy?
Oh goodness, let’s see… I believe it was a chain headband.
10. What do you love about being a blogger?
I absolutely love connecting with other new bloggers who are on the same journey as me.  It has been a lot of fun so far.
11. What are your dreams and goals as a blogger for 2014?
I would love to inspire others to find the hidden gems in life because life is a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about.

My nominees:

1. http://jessisdesign.blogspot.com/
2. http://thelittlespork.com/
3. http://chuzailiving.wordpress.com/ (over 200 followers but totally worth nominating)
4. http://themakeupsaga.wordpress.com/
5. http://www.brittanysjoy.com/
6. http://simplysweetmelissa.blogspot.com/
7. http://the-fashion-blender.blogspot.com/p/about-fashion-blender.html
8. http://cityjulep.com/
9. http://www.sprinklesandstyle.com/
10. http://www.bellesinbows.com/
11. http://tastefullyprep.blogspot.com/

My Questions for the Nominee’s:

1. How did your blog get it’s name?
2. What are three things you cannot live without?
3.  Who is your role model?
4.  Gold or silver?
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world (and money wasn’t an issue) where would you go?
6. How do you make, or plan to make, the world a better place?
7. What is one thing you want to accomplish next year?
8.  Who is your style icon?
9.  What is your favorite dessert?
10.  What is one of your secret talents?
11. What are your blogging goals for 2014?
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DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses


{DIY Gift Set: Monogrammed wine glasses paired with red wine}

Valentines Day is coming up and it is my favorite holiday. Don’t ask me why- it could be because when I was little my mom and dad always seemed to include my sister and me on their Valentines Day “date night.” So, from a young age it was less of the romantic holiday and more of a holiday to express how much we love the family and friends in our lives.

Last week I was in a super crafty mood and made the cutest DIY Valentines Day basket:  monogrammed stemless wine glasses paired with a bottle of red wine.  Etching the wine glasses puts a personal touch on the gift set and was so easy that anyone can do it, pinky promise.

What you’ll need: 2 stemless glass wine glasses (my local dollar store had them- crazy),Glass Etch Cream, paintbrush, stencil, and rubbing alcohol.  Since I couldn’t find any monogrammed stencils I liked in particular, I printed a monogrammed letter and taped it to the inside of the glass and used it as a guide. So if you can’t find what you’d like in stencil form…do what I did, simple as that!

collageNext, following the directions on the class etching cream, I rubbed glass surface with rubbing alcohol, then carefully painted the monogram using the paper guide behind it, let the cream dry for 15 minutes, then washed it off.

I am positive a valentine will love this thoughtful gift set- I mean who wouldn’t.  Don’t forget to comment and subscribe below. Happy Tuesday!


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Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Under $100: For Kids

For KidsFor Kids

1. Seedling Design Your Own Super Hero Cape

2. Melissa & Doug Cloe & Zoe Dress Up Dolls

3. Doodle, reusable, 4-Piece  Placemat

4. Finger Printing Set: Fairy Tales Edition  or  Monsters Edition

5. Fortune Cookie Baby Booties 

6. Seedling Make Your Own Snow Globe

Day 5: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Kids.  I have found the cutest gifts for kids, gifts I kind of want to try out for myself- minus the fortune cookie booties. Gifts like: design your own superhero cape, dress up dolls, reusable/washable doodle placemats, finger printing set (fairy tales & monsters), fortune cookie booties (I died when I first saw these), and a make your own snow globe kit.  Just click the links above to find out where to buy them.

I hope this made your holiday shopping a little bit easier. Happy holiday gifting!


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Strawberries & Cream Scones


As I peered into the fridge this morning all I could look at was the multiple containers of vanilla yogurt staring back at me. I’m a simple breakfast eater but today the yogurt was not making the cut.  Instead, I decided to spring for a new recipe which included the yogurt still sitting in my fridge: Strawberries & Cream scones. Today, as always, I felt like being adventurous in the kitchen and attempted making scones for my very first time! The yogurt paired with the strawberries made it just the right amount of sweet.




Strawberries & Cream Scones

Makes 8 Scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup diced strawberries


To make scones:

1. Heat oven to 425°
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
3. Cut in butter until it makes course crumbs
4. Stir in egg, yogurt, vanilla,  and strawberries until combined
5. Turn onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times
6. Roll into a 9 inch circle
7.  Cut 8 wedges
8. Place on a greased baking sheet
9. Brush tops of scones with milk and sprinkle with sugar
10. Bake for about 13-15 minutes until golden brown
Screenshot (7) (1)

Source| Adapted from Taste of Home

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Frozen Nutella Hot Chocolate


If there is Nutella in my house it doesn’t seem to last even a week. As you may have seen from my other posts or to just simply quote the frank’s red hot sauce lady, “I put that sh*t on everything.”   I try not to keep it in the house because every time I walk into the kitchen I seem to grab a spoonful.

I really love the taste of hot-chocolate but it tends to lose its luster when the summer months come around.  Frozen hot chocolate , if you haven’t tried it, is a funny thing.  I know the first time I tried it I was just expecting a typical chocolate milkshake… but no.  It is totally different; it tastes just like hot chocolate but an icy version.  So anyway, this week I decided to attempt my own version of frozen hot chocolate (or what I like to call a Fro-ho).  Nutella happened to be in the house and before anyone could stop me Nutella ended up in the blender.  These frozen Nutella hot chocolates makes for an amazing spur-of the moment summer treat.


Per Serving: Calories {206} Total Fat {10 g} Protein {6 g}


Frozen Nutella Hot Chocolate

Makes 2 Fro-ho’s/Serving Size 1 Fro-ho

1 Cup Ice

1 Cup Milk

6 tablespoons Nutella

1 Packet instant hot chocolate

To make frozen hot chocolate:

1. Put all in a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency
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Blueberry Muffins


I found a local farmers market tucked away behind store fronts on a local highway. On my way home from the gym today I caught a glimpse of the sign and went on a journey to check out this hidden gem. As I walked inside I was in produce heaven with beautiful fruits and vegetables at ridiculously low prices.  On my way out, I picked up some blueberries and decided to make some blueberry muffins.  I love muffins but I don’t enjoy when breakfast muffins are dense and feel like they weigh me down. These muffins are perfect for breakfast and snacking. They are light, airy, fresh and just the right amount of sweet.   They will definitely become part of my recipe repertoire.



Blueberry Muffins

Makes 18 Muffins

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2 Eggs  1/2 Cup whole milk 2 Cups all-purpose flour 3/4 Cup sugar  2 Teaspoons baking powder 1/2 Teaspoon salt 2  Cups fresh blueberries  

To make blueberry muffins:

1. Heat oven to 375°
2. Wisk together milk, butter, and eggs
3. In a separate bowl mix together baking powder, salt, flour, and sugar
4. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture then fold in blueberries
5. Pour mixture into 18 lined muffin cups
6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown
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Source| Adapted from Taste of Home

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Strawberry Nutella Pop-tarts


This past weekend was a bit chilly and slightly gloomy.  I’ve been having a hard time trying to gauge the weather as it has been a roller coaster this whole month of April.  Our house was oddly chilly and it was lacking the warmth that normally radiates from our kitchen.  I found a great recipe for homemade pop-tarts and I was on a mission to bring the homeyness back into our home.  Pop-tarts are a pretty neat thing.  They are these little pastry-like breakfast treats with yummy gooey filling.  As the pop-tarts began to turn golden brown in the oven, and they emitted a decadent aroma, it began to feel more like home.

Per Serving : Calories {203} Total Fat {12 g} Protein {2 g}


Strawberry Nutella Pop-tarts

Makes 6 Pop-tarts/Serving Size 1 Pop-tart

1 Teaspoon water

1 egg yolk

1 Package refrigerated pie crust

6 Heaping teaspoons Nutella

6 Heaping teaspoons strawberry jelly

Sugar to sprinkle

To make pop-tarts:

1. Heat oven to 350°
2. Wisk together egg yolk and teaspoon of water and set aside
3. Roll out pie crust until relatively thin (about 1/16th of an inch thick)
4. Cut pie crust into 12 (2.5 x 3.5 inch) rectangles
5. Take 6 rectangles and spread 1 teaspoon Nutella and 1 teaspoon strawberry jelly on each
(make sure to leave a 1/2 inch boarder around the edges)
6. Top with other pie dough rectangle
7. Seal pie dough together with the prongs of a fork
8. Brush the pop-tart with egg wash mixture and sprinkle with sugar
9. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until they are golden brown
10. Let cool and eat up!! YUM
Screenshot (7) (1)

Source| Adapted from Quick & Easy Recipes

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Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie


My family and I share a beach house with our entire family.  There are a lot of us and a lot of cousins.  Cousins are normally the first friends we have as children and I have come to the realization that no one will ever understand my crazy family like my cousins do.  Since we have shared a beach house from the day we were all born, my cousins and I have, in a way, grown up together.  Every summer we would head down the shore and spend days upon days at our house building memories.

This past summer I woke up to my cousin (25 years old) bouncing on my bed saying “hey mands get up we are all getting smoothies on the boardwalk for breakfast.”  This kind of stuff is completely normal for our family, we are so close some people just don’t understand it.  But we are Italian and live for family and food.  I rolled out of bed and within ten minutes all my cousins and I, who were still in the clothes we went to sleep in, were walking down the boardwalk on a mission to get breakfast smoothies.

After that day I have always had a thing for breakfast smoothies.  Today, I am sharing my very own breakfast smoothie recipe, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and great for you.

Calories {341} Total Fat {6.6 g} Protein {10.3 g}


Serving size: 1 Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

1 Cup whole strawberries

1 Cup ice

1/2 Cup whole milk

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 Cup rolled oats (I like brown sugar flavored for an extra kick)

To make strawberry smoothie:

1. Using a blender, blend all ingredients together until smooth
2. Enjoy!
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