Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t know about you, but I love holiday gift guides shared by the influencers that I follow on social media! I do A LOT of my shopping with ideas from these gift guides!

I decided to put together some Beautycounter guides to help you navigate your shopping this holiday season! Not only will shopping these products help you get cleaner, safer, less-toxic items into your world, but you will also be supporting my little business, which I really appreciate!

I was introduced to Beautycounter last year with the launch of the new Countertime skincare collection. Before this I never had a skincare routine. I washed my face in the shower every morning and, if I wore makeup that day, washed my face before bed. EEK! Man, do I wish I started taking care of my skin before now! The difference in the look and feel of my complexion is amazing! I thought that I would NEVER take the time to follow a routine like this, but once I started I was hooked immediately! I now look forward to it twice a day! So quick, easy and important! (Check out my post from when I started at Beautycounter HERE)


Once I fell in love with the Countertime collection, my interest in this company and their products was piqued! Scrolling through Instagram one day, one of the bloggers I follow demonstrated our ‘Flawless in Five’ makeup bundle. This is a set of six products, custom selected by you, designed to get you polished and pulled together and out the door in five minutes or less. Genius, right??? Let me tell you, it works! Even I can do it! I have timed myself several times, I average about 4:18 from start to finish! You’ll love it!

Flawless in Five



(Click on each number below to go directly to its link to learn more!)












A great thing about the gift sets that Beautycounter brings out for the holidays is that many of them are designed to be broken up into smaller gifts or stocking stuffers! Think teachers, co-workers, mail carriers, neighbors, hosts etc. A lip gloss and a candle for a friend, a hand cream and a coffee gift card for a teacher, mini deos and jellies for all the stockings…you get the idea!





I hope you find these gift ideas helpful for your holiday shopping! Keep in mind that the holiday sets are limited edition, so when they’re gone THEY’RE GONE! Remember those upcoming birthdays and special occasions after the holidays and stock up!

Most importantly, Beautycounter’s BLACK FRIDAY deals start 11/16! Be sure to check them out and get some shopping out of the way! Thank you again for supporting my little business, and here’s to cleaner and safer products in the new year!

Top Ten Recipes

I am constantly asked to share recipes with people that they have seen either on my social media posts or here on the blog. I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of the top ten most requested so they’re easier for you to find and enjoy!

Easy Fruit Salsa

Easy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Best Banana Bread

Best Corn Dip Ever

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Easy Chicken Tacos

Buttermilk Scones

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Our Favorite Apple Pie

Just click on each recipe title and it will take you directly to the blog post with the recipe. Keep me posted on which ones you try and what you think! I love sharing our favorite recipes with you guys! Comment below what are some of your family’s favorites, I’m always open to new ideas to make in the kitchen!

Best Buys of 2019

Hi guys! Happy Saturday! We are nearing the end of January already, isn’t that crazy? I feel like it was just Thanksgiving! Speaking of which, last year I found a lot of great products that I am loving so much I’d like to share them with you all!

I find a lot of great ideas from my favorite bloggers, and when things make me happy I like to share with others! Click on each number below or on the underlined words to go directly to each link.


Dyson V8 Cordless Vacuum I know, I know. I’m always talking about this vacuum! Get it and you’ll understand! #bestfriend

Dudley Stephens Fleece The coziest fleece products made in the USA from recycled water bottles. It’s a small company run by two sisters who believe in style, comfort and sustainability! Here is my special code for $25 off your first order over $150. HTTP://RWRD.IO/S67EX67. <Click here to use my discount code.

I kind of love them, can you tell?

Chappy Wrap Blankets Another small company run by two women, mother and daughter. These blankets are super soft and cozy and wash so well! You’ll be fighting over it in your household!

Countertime Skin-Care Collection from Beautycounter. I discovered this collection when it was launched this summer and I have never looked back! An age-defying, antioxidant rich skin-care collection from an amazing company striving to “get safer products into the hands of everyone.” My skin has never been better! I love it so much I became a consultant for the company!

Cassia Dining Chairs from Ballard Designs. We changed up some things in our dining room this year and found these chairs! I have been looking for new dining chairs for years and these are perfect! So sturdy and comfortable and they come with a cushion with a removable, washable cover.

ebags Packing Cubes These packing cubes are magical! Not only do they keep all of your items neat and organized, but, for some reason, when I use them I can fit more into my suitcase!! Unpacking when you get to your destination is easier, too!

Bamboo 6-Light Chandelier When looking for a new chandelier for the dining room I knew I wanted something substantial but airy. I love this style so much!

Saeco PicoBaristo Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Milk Carafe I saw this machine on a recommendation from one of my favorite bloggers. It is an investment, I know, but it has changed the way we do coffee around here! First of all, all five of us love it. I have only been to Starbucks maybe five or six times since I bought it this fall. I used to go 5-6 times a week. We used to make a percolator of coffee every morning and then pour half of it out. This machine makes just about every type of coffee drink there is with the push of a button. It grinds the beans fresh for every cup. I love that there is no pod use which means less plastic waste like with a Keurig or Nespresso!

Rothy’s Another sustainable product, these shoes are knit from materials made from recycled plastic water bottles. All of their packaging is also made from recycled materials and is biodegradable! They are super comfy and you can throw them in the wash if they get dirty! I sized up in the pointed toe version and got usual size in the loafer.

GLOVESTIX Guys, okay, I know most of us have athletes living in our homes! Hockey, lacrosse, track, cross-country, kickboxing, etc. These babies keep the odor at bay!! I got them a couple months ago and put them into my gloves right after kickboxing everyday. What a difference!!! They can be inserted into any stinky equipment you own! Gloves, shoes, cleats, etc.

Best Bra Ever! This bra has no underwire, perfect, light lining for full coverage and no hooks! Goes right over your head and it’s as comfy as your favorite sports bra.

Lululemon Align leggings I have tried more leggings in my day than I can count! I have worn a couple other styles from Lululemon, plus tons of other brands, at all price points. My sister got me to try the Aligns a couple of years ago and I’ve never looked back. Yes, they’re pricey, but oh my goodness THEY.ARE.LIKE.BUTTER! You will be in love!

Flawless in Five Six cleaner, safer, high-performing products from Beautycounter that can get you looking put together and polished in five minutes or less!!! Even I can do that!! Love these cosmetics and love this brand!

Dayna Counter Stool These stools are super comfortable and beautiful in our kitchen! Lightweight yet sturdy, everyone loves to sit on them!

Set of three All-Clad skillets This is such a great deal for three high-performing skillets that can go in the DISHWASHER!!! We love them!

All-Clad 3-Piece Fry Pan Set

LED Make-up Mirror I got this for my mom and my girls for Christmas and I’m really mad I didn’t get myself one! My mom says it’s her favorite thing ever! Lighting and magnification is amazing, USB charging and Siri and Google support! I’m getting one now!

Gucci dupe mules Insanely comfortable, super affordable and stylish to boot! I wore them all over Paris! I sized up half!

Pop-up Straw Cap I use my insulated water bottle every single day, but I always wished it had a handle. It’s also hard to drink out of at the gym with my boxing gloves. This straw topper is the answer to all of that! I throw it in the dishwasher, too!

L.L. Bean Wicked Good Clog Slippers I had my old slippers from L.L. Bean for at least ten years, and they’re still kickin’, but I wanted a clog style and these babies are so perfect! They have a real sole and I wear them constantly! They truly are ‘WICKED GOOD!’

Armed Parsons Chair I chose these as end chairs in our dining room. The slipcovers can be tossed in the wash and the chairs are super comfy and really dress up the room!

So, there you go! Twenty of my favorite purchases in 2019 that I truly think you’ll like! A random list of goodies! Thanks for reading!

If you purchase any items directly from my Amazon links I MAY receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. If you have any questions about Beautycounter products please reach out to me! I will receive a commission if you purchase them through the links in this post. Just wanted to put that out there!

A ‘Clean’ Start for the New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you are feeling fresh and revitalized with the holiday season behind us, and the prospect of a new year and new decade ahead! As always, the new year brings that feeling of starting anew in many ways and ‘detoxing’ and refreshing our bodies and our lives! So, I thought what better time to try a new adventure?

I am so excited to announce that I have joined the team at Beautycounter as a consultant! I became interested in Beautycounter this summer and inquired about a few samples to try.

A blogger that I follow was demonstrating their “Flawless in five” makeup set, six customizable products designed to have you looking polished and pulled together in five minutes! I don’t wear a lot of makeup so this sounded like something I could get on board with!

Around the same time, I saw that Beautycounter launched their Countertime Collection, an amazing skin-care regimen of products with age-defying results and antioxidant protection. I am loving the way my skin feels and looks! My wrinkles and laugh lines are definitely softer, and my skin and skin tone have brightened and tightened a lot!

The tripeptide radiance serum, with its retinatural complex, is so good for your skin AND safer than retinol. Retinol is an ingredient on Beautycounter’s Never List, a list of approximately 1,500 ingredients that they vow to NEVER include in the making of their products. The supreme cream and eye cream really seal the deal in this collection!

The United States only PARTIALLY bans 30 ingredients from cosmetics and body care products. Canada bans around 600 and the European Union bans 1,400. Beautycounter excludes approximately 1,500 (and counting) harmful or questionable ingredients from their products, as they are always working progressively to keep their clients safer and healthier!

As I mentioned, what first caught my attention was the Flawless in Five” tutorial, not the company’s mission, which is ‘to get safer products into the hands of everyone.’ The more I learn, the more I regret all the ingredients I have been using on my body all these years! Not to mention on my kids!

Since becoming a consultant I have been studying so much and using a ton of the products! Besides the Countertime collection, I am in love with the Overnight Resurfacing Peel and the Cleansing Balm! I love the thought of a peel at work on my skin while sleeping and the cleansing balm can double as an overnight mask to keep you super hydrated and glowing!

The Countercontrol Collection is formulated for oily and/or acne-prone skin. My older daughter, Ellie, can tend to have oily skin and occasional breakouts. She also has super-sensitive skin and has had reactions to so many products over the years. She has been using the Countercontrol for about a month now and she absolutely loves it!! I think her favorite thing about it, besides the fact that she’s not broken out in hives, is that it’s mattifying, which cuts down on shine! She took the whole collection back to school with her. Here it is on her desk!

Beautycounter has several different skin-care regimens that target all types of skin. You can take the super easy and quick skin-care quiz on the website and find out which collection would be best for your skin type!

Today is the beginning of a new promotion offering a free gift with the purchase of the Flawless in Five” makeup set. This set of six safer, cleaner, customizable make up items is fabulous in itself, but the retractable foundation brush is a game changer! This brush retails for $35, but until January 27th you get it for free with purchase of the “Flawless in Five!”

I am so excited to be going to the Beautycounter store in NYC this week for a special event! They will be doing demonstrations, giving us tips on color-matching and application of the Flawless in Five.” I can’t wait, and it’s just in time to take advantage of this amazing deal!

There is so much more to Beautycounter, too! Sunscreen, hair and body care, and products for children and babies. I’m learning so much and am anxious to try more and more!

I’m so excited about this new adventure with Beautycounter, and the more I learn about the company and their mission the more I love them! I hope you’ll feel the same way!

Let me know if any of you have any questions about Beautycounter or their products, or are interested in trying out some product samples. I have been busy doing drop-offs around town for those of you that have taken the skin-care quiz. I can pop some in the mail if you’re not local. If you’d like to earn some free and reduced products for yourself then you can host a pop-up! It doesn’t have to be fancy, just invite 2 or more friends to get together and check out our products! I’d love to show them off!

Thanks so much for listening!

Holiday Gift Guide 2019

I know, I know…the very few of you that actually read my blog are probably wondering where the heck I’ve been! I haven’t written a post since August! Can anyone say “slacker?” Writing blog posts takes so much time between the documenting, writing and photo editing. I really felt like no one was reading them, so I have been more focused on keeping up with my Instagram and Facebook! I am in complete awe of bloggers that put out content everyday!!

Here and there I get comments from readers about something they saw in one of my blog posts and it is THE.BEST.FEELING!!! I have gotten some questions and comments lately from people that bought gifts last year after reading my gift guides. So, I figured I would get myself back into the writing game by putting a gift guide together!

This guide is chock full of ideas that I either own already or that I want to purchase. I hope it is helpful for you and PLEASE, if it is, or if you have ANY comments, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go all the way to the end and let me know in the comment section. Also, SIGN UP FOR MY EMAIL LIST!!!

Here we go…

I have been know to call this vacuum my best friend. If you get one you will understand why!!! Cordless and so easy to use. Easy to empty and no more vacuum bags! This price is unbelievable! I paid almost $200 more for mine and I still think it was worth it!

(Note: You can click on the links under each picture to take you right to the items, that is, if I’ve set the links up correctly! If the items are from Amazon and you purchase directly from my link I MAY receive a small commission. This is only for Amazon items. I do not receive anything for items from other sellers, but if they’re in this gift guide I think they’re THAT good!)

If you follow me at all you are probably so sick of me talking about my love of Dudley Stephens fleece products! Head to their website and find out about this small company that produces fleece made in the USA. Two sisters run it and the fleece is made out of recycled water bottles. Sustainability for the win!! If you click on the link above you will receive $25 off your first purchase!!!

Another sustainable product, the uppers of these shoes are made from recycled water bottles. They can be thrown in the wash and they’re actually comfortable!! Click on the link above to check out the website and look for discounts for teachers and students!

Our family loves to do puzzles! Amazon has a huge variety to choose from. Not going to lie, I stayed up a few late nights working on this one, along with my kids! Great for family bonding!!

YETI products never disappoint and this bag is perfect for day to day use!

These shoes are an amazing Gucci dupe! So comfortable and super affordable! I walked all over Paris in them in total comfort!

This game is the best! One of our favorites at family gatherings. Hilarious laughter is inevitable and good times will be had by all!!

Those of you that know me personally know that I don’t wear make up that often. One reason for that is because I despise the feel of foundation on my skin! I have tried several different brands that claim to be light but I still feel like I have a ‘mask’ on! This one I love! It’s light and easy to blend!

My eyebrows are disappearing by the second!! Anybody else with me? I love this ‘Brow Set.’ The color I use is ‘Beguile’ but it comes in a variety of colors ,or clear if you prefer!

I have been sharing my new coffee maker on my IG stories lately. Some bloggers that I follow swear by it and I can see why! It is fully automatic and makes just about every kind of coffee and espresso drink you can think of! Our whole family is obsessed with it! It froths milk on it’s own for your coffee or cappuccino or hot chocolate, and dispenses hot water for your tea or americano. You keep the milk pitcher in the fridge and attach it when you want a beverage with frothed milk!! You keep the top of the machine filled with water and fresh coffee beans and it grinds the beans for each beverage. That means no waste from coffee pods like some other machines! Yes, it’s an investment, but it’s getting quite a lot of use in our house! It’s so easy to use and a hot, fresh cup of coffee at the push of a button is divine!! Right now it’s $600 off!

These blankets are beautiful and super cozy! They offer a large variety of patterns and wash like a dream. They are a small company run by a mother/daughter duo. I love the story on their website about how they started their company based on a favorite blanket from years ago. Your family will be fighting over this one!!

This cute set of headbands are a great idea for stocking stuffers! Perfect for face washing or makeup application to keep your hair held back and look adorable at the same time!!

Do you have a hockey or lacrosse player or a kick boxer in your house? If so, do you enjoy coexisting with their stinky gloves? Yeah, I didn’t think so! These sticks are designed to help dry out and eliminate odor in athletic gloves, or shoes or whatever else your loved ones may stink up! Definitely getting these for my boxing gloves and quite possibly for some other people in my life!!! (WINK! WINK!)

I think this gadget looks perfect for keeping your phone in place while driving and easily accessible for all those business calls!

Many are claiming that a weighted gravity blanket has helped them in so many ways , including calming their anxiety and helping with sleep!

I have my S’well water bottle with me at all times, but I have alway wanted an easier way to carry it! These straw topper lids are so convenient with the attached handle. So much easier to get a sip of water at the gym with my boxing gloves on! Great stocking stuffer for the S’well bottle lovers in your life!

I ordered this charger before we went to Europe in October and it really came in handy! We also used it a lot on our trip to London last month! It comes with a light and it charges your devices in a jiffy!

These pans are so awesome!! Great non-stick surface, even-cooking and they can go in the dishwasher!!! On sale for a great price for this kind of quality cookware!! We use them constantly!

Here is another stocking stuffer idea. I am a stickler for getting every last drop out of my beauty and skincare containers! My Mom got me one of these and they work so well. They also come in handy for filling your travel toiletry containers!

Anyone else have this?? I’m seeing it everywhere and think its hysterical! I really want one, but will Teddy just stand and stare at it the entire time we’re gone? Thinking about going for it!

So there you have it, my gift buying ideas for the season! Please let me know if you make any of these purchases and what you think! Again, if you click on the descriptions under each picture it should take you directly to the links.

Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to sign up for my email list and to leave me some comments!!! Happy shopping everyone and Happy Holidays!!! I truly appreciate you visiting my blog!!!

Easy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I posted this pizza to my insta stories last night and had many requests for a blog post with the recipe, so here goes! One of my biggest pet peeves about Pinterest is the ridiculously long, extremely wordy recipe posts that take a month of scrolling through to actually get to the recipe!!!

I’m going to attempt to make this as short and to the point as possible! After all, no one’s got any extra time on their hands these days, am I right? I think you will find it super easy and very delicious, whether you are following a low-carb lifestyle or not!

After reading (actually just scrolling quickly and impatiently) through several Pinterest recipe ideas, I kind of just made it up and, you should note, I rarely measure things accurately unless I’m baking! Sometimes my cooking is a bit of a crap-shoot as I go along, but this turned out so well you need to try it!

You will need:

2 – 12 oz. packages riced cauliflower

Olive oil

I tbsp butter

1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)

1 tsp black pepper (optional)

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

2 eggs

2 cups grated parmesan cheese

pizza sauce

Alfredo sauce (if doing a ‘white’ pizza)

shredded pizza cheese

pepperoni (optional)

crumbled sausage and/or bacon (optional)

You can totally play around and use whatever ingredients you like on your pizza. I forgot to buy a red pepper, which I usually top our pizzas with, and also forgot the crumbled bacon that I planned on using, too!

I was making this a Keto-friendly meal, so I shopped for toppings with higher fat and low sugars and carbs. Buy whatever suits your fancy!

We like pizzas with red sauce and white pizzas, so instead of making one of each, like I usually do, I just made a half and half kind of situation! Worked just fine!

Here is a recipe from Pinterest that I probably followed the most. What I liked the most about it was the suggestion to stir-fry the cauliflower first! So much more flavor and better texture for the crust.

Here’s what I did:

I stir-fried the cauliflower in a non-stick pan with about two TBSPs of olive oil and a TBSP of butter. If not doing Keto you could use less. I sprinkled the pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in while cooking. Didn’t time it but let it get soft and browned a bit. Then I burnt the crap out of my hands because I wouldn’t wait until it cooled to squeeze all of the water out in a kitchen towel over the sink!!! If you are smarter than me, or not in such a hurry, I would recommend letting it cool!

In a medium bowl I whisked the two eggs and added the grated parmesan. Then I poured the cooked, drained cauliflower into the bowl and stirred gently to mix. I just smoothed it into a semi-pizza-ish looking shape on a large baking sheet covered in parchment paper. If you cook with a pizza stone I bet this would be even better!!

I preheated the oven to 400. Halfway through the 20-ish minute cooking time I turned the heat up to 425. Why, do you ask? It is because, at this point, I decided to scroll back through the recipe and read to THE END, where it states you have to cook the crust BEFORE topping it! GRRRRR!! Impatience does not pay off!! (hee-hee!)

As I said before, I made a half red/half white pizza. Spread the sauce on top of the crust (which, if you’re smarter than me, you will have already cooked for 20 minutes!) Then add whatever toppings you like and bake for 15-20 minutes or til everything looks nice and melted and bubbly!

I let the pizza sit for about ten minutes after removing from the oven. Then I cut it with a pizza cutter and we dug in!

We had to eat it with a fork because, although it did hold together, the crust wasn’t super crispy. I think if you cooked the crust before topping it would eliminate this problem!

Here is a very boring picture of my plate because I decided not to make a salad to go with it! After all, a cauliflower crust is a built-in salad, right??

You’ve GOT to make this pizza! It was so delicious, even without a flaky crust! Let me know if you try it!

Amazing Zucchini Bread

Last week at the Farmer’s Market it was evident that zucchini season is upon us!!! I jumped at the chance to grab some to make our favorite, easy, delicious zucchini bread!

We grabbed three of the biggest ones from one of our favorite vendors and I got to work right when I got home. I just wash the zucchini and cut off both ends. Then I do a large dice, just small enough for several pieces to fit into my food processor at a time. If you don’t have a food processor you could use a grater!

As you can see I set my food processor to a smaller dice setting and just pulse until it is sufficiently shredded. I dump each batch of shredded zucchini in to a bowl and then set about portioning.

The two things that I make when I have zucchini are zucchini bread and turkey burgers. My zucchini bread recipe uses three cups of zucchini. My turkey burgers usually use about a cup, depending on how many I am making. The zucchini, along with other fresh herbs, make the juiciest, flavor-filled burgers!

I got ten cups of grated zucchini out of the three I bought this weekend, so I bagged three cups at a time and then did the last cup separately for burgers. I just stick the bags in the freezer and I’m all set when I need them! When I pull them out I just set them on the counter and they defrost in no time. If you’re in a hurry you can defrost in the microwave.

Chuck and Grace both love my zucchini bread, so I had to make some right away! Three cups of zucchini make two loaves with my recipe. It only calls for 1.5 cups of sugar, which, in my opinion, is not a lot compared to most recipes! It is so easy to make and truly delicious!

Zucchini Bread

3 C Flour

3 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

3 Eggs

1/3 C Canola Oil

1 tsp Grated Lemon Zest (or more, the flavor makes such a difference!)

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 C Sugar

3 C Grated Zucchini

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together.

Lightly beat or whisk the three eggs in a separate bowl. Add oil, vanilla, lemon zest and sugar. Stir until mixed. Add grated zucchini and stir until just combined.

Gently mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Spray two bread pans with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between the pans.

Bake 65 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted into center is clean. Let cool on racks for ten minutes or more. Then remove loaves from pans and let completely cool before slicing. Full disclosure… we usually can’t wait and slice right into it!!!

It’s so good! Please leave me a comment here on the blog if you make it by scrolling down all the way! I hope you like it! Have a great weekend!

Welcome to Our Back Porch!

Our back porch is, by far, one of my favorite places on earth! It is the perfect little sanctuary for summer entertaining, reading, relaxing, playing games and just hanging out in general.

It spans the length of our house and we have perfect views of our yard and swimming pool. Starting a summer day with a cup of coffee on the porch sets you off on the right foot!

When we designed it, my goal was to give it the look of a big southern porch, with pillars and railings all around. I also knew that, to really be able to enjoy it, it needed to be screened in! We do live in upstate New York after all, and swatting mosquitoes in the summer could be a sport!

We have added and taken away through the years, upgrading furniture, knick-knacks and decor here and there, but no matter what, it is always a great place to hang out!

My husband and I have been together for 25 years, and he has never been a napper. That changes when we get the porch put together for the summer. One of his goals every weekend, after all the chores are done, is to take a nap on the back porch!

Recently, my friend Kelly and I had the idea to do a photoshoot on the porch so that I could share it with all of you here on the blog. We are shopping partners-in-crime! She has recently upgraded her kitchen collection, changing out her dishes and kitchen/dining room decor.

Last year we did a big upgrade on our porch by adding a beautiful teak dining set by Royal Teak. We had talked about purchasing a teak set for years but just never got around to it.

I went to our favorite local porch and patio store, Sports Page Ski and Patio. As always, they were so knowledgeable and super helpful! I was planning on something pretty traditional, but when I found this set that easily converts from an eight-seater to a twelve-seater, with navy blue sling chairs, well, I was sold!!! The chairs fold up for winter storage and the conversion of the table, with hidden leaves, is so convenient!

Kelly and I decided to showcase her new kitchen table decor, along with some other fun, new purchases from our annual trip to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, so that we could feature both my teak set and her new purchases!

Once we got everything set up I wished we’d planned a luncheon! She started out her design choices with THESE dishes. After she received them she set off to create around them!

As luck would have it, she found the cream floral polish pottery at another one of our favorite places, TJMaxx. That is also where I purchased the woven chargers.

The navy and white striped runner, which I would have liked to steal, was from Pier 1. It was a great price, on sale, so I’m definitely going to try and snag one!

The beautiful green glasses, and all of the rest of the table decor were from one of our new, favorite stores! We first discovered Blue Bird Home Decor at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. I bought the bark plant holders and some of the faux plants and Kelly bought the green glasses.

When we discovered that their store was pretty close to home, in Schenectady, NY, we made a road trip down to shop and have lunch. It was then that we purchased the rest of the items on the table. This store is amazing! We were so surprised how big it was and the variety of items, from home decor, jewelry and gift ideas was awesome! You’ve got to check them out!

The white wicker furniture on my porch, also from Sports Page Patio, was purchased several years ago. I can tell you that they made several calls to scrounge together enough of this fabulous Ralph Lauren blue and white fabric to cover all of my cushions, as it was being discontinued! Sorry! I love it so much!

Rug from Tuesday Morning

As we were finishing up our fun photoshoot, I picked up Kelly’s Draper James bag and just HAD to get it in the shot. It looked like it was designed to go with the porch!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my sweet little back porch sanctuary, because we had so much fun staging it!! Here’s to many relaxing summer nights for you all, wherever your “happy place” may be!

Sofa Table Makeover

Recently I decided to paint this old sofa table that we bought with our first house. It has been in our upstairs hallway for the past few years and I am so over it!

We bought our first house in 1996 and back then I was all about the country colors of burgundy and hunter green. EVERYTHING we had was some version of those colors!

These days I am embracing lighter, brighter colors in our home. I love a good DIY project so I thought I’d paint it, and I’m now so in love with it! I was in our local Ace Hardware perusing color ideas for another project and I bought one of their sample cans to try.

As always, I got too excited to start this project so I forgot to take a before pic!! I had already started sanding it when I remembered to take a picture!

I ran my sander over the surface and cleaned off the dust before starting to paint. Then I removed the drawers and the wooden knobs. After turning the table upside down on a drop cloth in my garage, I set out to work!

There are no pictures of my next step. Again, I get too eager, but I used a primer to cover all the knots in the wood that were bleeding through the paint. I did a couple coats of my favorite primer, with plenty of drying time in between, just on the knots.

Remember my last DIY paint job? (scroll down to find this post!) It was a cabinet that is also located in this same hallway. I didn’t want to paint the table the same color but wanted them to look nice together.

Ace Hardware is one of my favorite places to pick up supplies for my many projects. They are super helpful and very knowledgeable about paint! When I was at Ace buying the green for this cabinet I decided to buy one of their sample cans to paint the table, too!

The paint was actually made by Valspar but the color I chose was Heirloom China by Clark+Kensington. One mistake I made was not noticing that this was a satin finish. I painted the green cabinet with a semi-gloss finish, which is what I meant to buy!

Here is my finished table! I love it! It looks like a completely new piece of furniture. Brightened up the hallway and goes perfectly with my decor!

Did I mention that I get over eager? Realized I also forgot to take a picture of painting the drawer pulls. I just spray painted them with the same paint I used for the green cabinet!

Here is a pic of the paint I used. These are the knobs and hinges from the green cabinet.

How about you guys? Do you love to tackle projects around your home? I’d love for you to share some of your DIY’s with me!!! Let’s inspire each other!

Best Corn Dip Ever!

I want to share one of my absolute favorite party recipes with you that is ALWAYS a huge hit wherever I bring it!! If you have an upcoming party or picnic then you’ll want to make this!

Hot Corn Dip

I found this recipe on Pinterest (click on link above) years ago and I have made it A LOT! It’s super simple, you just dump everything in a bowl and bake!

This recipe only has ten ingredients and it’s vegetarian, so it’s a win-win for everyone!! Now, for the recipe…

Hot Corn Dip


2 tsp cilantro

1 (11 oz.) can of corn, drained

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 small can (4 oz.) diced green chiles, undrained

2 tbsp green onion, sliced thin

1 small tomato or 8-10 cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I usually use one whole pepper from the can, diced small and about a teaspoon or so of the sauce. Depends on how spicy you want it.)

1/2 cup mayo

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix both shredded cheeses, chipotles and green chiles, mayo, garlic powder and corn in a bowl.
  3. Spray a baking dish (I use a pie plate) with cooking spray and pour mixture in.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes until it’s golden brown on top and bubbly.
  5. Top with diced tomatoes, sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
  6. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and fresh veggies.

What to do next

Sit back, relax and enjoy all the compliments you’re going to get!! Believe me, there will be many!!

My favorite chips for this dip are multi-grain scoops; they are perfect for scooping up this gooey deliciousness! You can also serve fresh veggies for a lighter choice. Celery stalks are great and I like to buy large carrots and cut them into wedges that are perfect for scooping!

Go ahead and make this dip and then let me know what people think! I know you, and they, are going to love it!!