Let me first start by saying that I was never a Girl Scout. Oh, it wasn’t for lack of wanting to sport the knee socks and join the troop, but sadly our school’s troop was too full to take another member. Yes, the local Girl Scouts turned me down! My little heart was broken, like so many pieces of a crushed Thin Mint cookie. But don’t go feeling bad for me…it was really their loss. Chances are I would have been the best little cookie-sales-girl of them all, master of knot tying, off tune song leader, pro at helping the elderly. I would have definitely earned double patches for craftiness and baking skills for my entire troop.
No, I think I turned out just fine aside from my lack of campfire making skills and my strange obsession with s’mores. No, I was never a Girl Scout, but I do make a mean Boozy Thin Mint Milkshake. Definitely not Girl Scout approved!
photos by Leah Bergman
Boozy Thin Mint Milkshake
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 oz crème de menthe
1 oz vodka
7 Thin Mint cookies- crushed
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
2. Serve in a chilled mug topped with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint.
Of all the at-home body scrubs I’ve mixed up in my kitchen, and there have been quite a few, this Green Tea Sugar Body Scrub is by far my favorite! It’s silky and luscious, ultra moisturing, and smells like a Matcha Green Tea Latte. Thank goodness it’s actually beneficial to my skin because this scrub is likely going to be a permanent fixture in my bath tub.
We all know that green tea has it’s health benefits when consumed but with a little research I was excited to discover that it’s also beneficial in skin care. Green tea is high in a specific type of antioxidant known as polyphenols also found in olives and grapes. Polyphenols can help achieve younger, healthier-looking skin, and who wouldn’t want that? Green tea is shown to help with skin’s moisture retention, defense against sun damage and even new skin cell development.
So, go brew yourself a cup of green tea and mix up a jar of this sugar scrub as soon as possible! You deserve a little pampering and polyphenols.
photos by Leah Bergman
Green Tea Sugar Body Scrub
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/3-1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 Tbs green tea (loose leaf or from tea bags)
1 tsp matcha green tea powder – available at most health food stores
1. In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix until well blended with a wooden spoon. You may want to add more coconut oil based on your own personal preference. I found that 1/3-1/2 cup of oil was perfect and very moisturing.
2. Store in a glass jar or air-tight container.
Storage Note: Because this body scrub has no preservatives it will keep for a 2-3 weeks.
Other Source: Livestrong.com “Polyphenols & the Skin”
Spring is on it’s way and I am already anxious to freshen up my home. For starters I’m ready to turn my cozy sleeping quarters into a light and relaxing escape. It’s time to pack away the wooly blankets and bring out the colorful duvet. Here are a few of my favorite Spring Updates for the Bedroom from airy lamps, to floral pillow covers, and of course fresh cut flowers. What would you update about your bedroom for spring?
1| Zara Home, Insect Vase 2| Wisteria, Gilt Balustrade Lamp 3| Dwell Studio, Modern Border Tangerine Duvet 4| West Elm, Mid-Century Nightstand 5| Zara Home, Poppy Pillow Covers 6| Diptyque, Mimosa Candle 7|
Fresh Cut Flower: Ranunculus (source)
If you’ve ever attended a party where you stalked a particular appetizer plate like a panther…then you can relate to how I felt the fist time I dipped a soft and chewy cube of sourdough bread into a bowl of this Spinach Artichoke Veggie Dip. It wasn’t wasn’t my first time tasting this classic party dip, but something about this specific bowl was simply irresistible. It was the best version I had ever had!
Crunchy water chestnuts, artichoke hearts, and sweet little pimentos add such an addictive quality. Plus nothing can be less than delicious when it’s served in a bowl made of bread. Here’s the secret recipe from the hostesses themselves, my Two Chums.
photos by Leah Bergman
Spinach Artichoke Veggie Dip – recipe by Two Chums
16 oz sour cream
1- 4 oz jar of diced pimentos, drained
1- 10 oz can of artichoke hearts (not marinated), chopped
1- 8 oz can water chestnuts, diced
10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1- packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Original mix
1- large or 3 mini sourdough boules
assorted fresh veggies for dipping
1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight if possible.
2. Just before serving cut a “lid” out of the center of the sourdough bread loaf. Cube the removed bread and reserve for serving.
3. Serve with fresh veggies for dipping and cubed sourdough bread.
Of the many martini variations to chose from, this Sake-tini is a real stunner. Elegant, sleek and just Hollywood enough to serve at any awards show or Oscar party, this blend of sake and chilled vodka shaken over ice is the perfect classy-sipper. Served with a simple garnish of peeled cucumber, I plan to have a shaker of Saki-tinis on hand this Sunday. What drink are you serving during the Oscars?
For more visit Style Me Pretty Living where I’m sharing the recipe and more red carpet ready shots of my Oscar Saki-tini. Cheers to the weekend, friends!
photo by Leah Bergman
2.5 oz chilled dry Sake
1 oz chilled Vodka
1 cucumber thinly peeled with a vegetable peeler for garnish
1. Combine sake and vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with chipped ice and shake well.
2. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a ribbon of cucumber on a martini pick.
A girl can never have too many bags, right? I’m always dashing out the door in a hurry juggling way too many little items and wishing I had a cute tote to grab on my way out. These DIY Painted Totes can go with you to the grocery store or beach, and are still stylish enough to carry around town while running errands. Get out the paint and some tape and you will have custom totes in no time!
To make these totes, you will need:
Chipboard / thick paper
Metallic Gold Spray paint
Martha Stewart foam pouncers
Let’s Get Started:
1. Iron tote bags before starting to even out any creases.
2. For a gold bottomed bag, carefully tape off the bottom third. Shield the remaining top two thirds of your bag with thick paper or chipboard to protect it and tape that down as well. Spray paint the exposed bottom gold. Don’t forget to get the base of the bag!
3. To create a striped bag, use washi tape and evenly spaced out a striped template. Using a small paint brush, paint thin lines in between the tape guides. For larger stripes paint right over the tape.
4. To create a polka-dotted bag, use a foam pouncer from Martha Stewart Crafts. You can eyeball the dots or evenly mark them out first with pencil before stamping.
5. Let dry, peel your tape off, and voila! Personalized painted totes.
As spring approaches, I’m thinking of all the brunch parties to be thrown and attended—and I can’t wait. I totally have a thing for breakfast foods. They’re just so cozy and simple!
I always struggle, however, to find the perfect “starter” for a lazy, morning party (besides mimosas, of course). There just aren’t many AM appetizers out there. That’s why I’m dedicating this week’s “5 Ingredient Recipe” column to tiny French toast bites. Make these minis up to 2 hours ahead, reheat in the oven and set ‘em out for guests to graze on as their filling up their coffee mugs and/or champagne flutes.
To give this recipes a sophisticated twist, I paired sour dough bread and tart Granny Smith apple applesauce (Mott’s has a great one). The barely-sweet combo compliments both sweet and savory menus, so you can easily insert the bites into whatever brunch plan you have in store.
Want to talk about toppers? I like these miniature French toasts plain or sprinkled with a little granulated sugar (a pantry staple, so it doesn’t even really count)! Other options: Top with good-quality honey, maple syrup or fresh chopped Granny smith apples, tossed with a little lemon juice.
Q: What’s your go-to brunch appetizer?
Miniature Apple-Sour Dough French Toasts
serves: 4 to 6
6 to 8 slices sour dough bread, crusts trimmed off
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple sauce (or other applesauce)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
PANTRY STAPLE: Granulated sugar (optional)
1. Put the bread on a cutting board. Spread the apple sauce on half of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread slices to make 3 to 4 sandwiches; cut into small square (about 1 1/2 inches).
2. Whisk the eggs, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar (if using) in a small bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, shaking off any excess, and add to the skillet. Cook 1 minute per side, or until golden. Transfer to a serving platter.
4. To make ahead, transfer to a baking sheet and tent with foil. Reheat at 300˚F until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Do you make a habit of traveling to warmer climates during the winter? Recently I was on the hunt for a few cold weather clothing items and noticed all of the lovely resort wear that is currently in stores. Large straw hats, bikini cover ups, and sandals have me thinking; we may not all have the opportunity to jet-off to some tropical resort destination this winter but there is no reason why we can’t treat ourselves to a resort-esque vacay at home! Here are few ideas to bring the luxury of a winter vacation to you. Do you travel during the winter months?
St-Germain Margarita or Coconut Creamsicle Margarita.
2. Relax at the Spa: Give yourself an at home spa treatment with this Coconut Ginger Body Scrub or Coffee Sugar Body Scrub.
3. Eat Tropical: Treat yourself to a summery meal with Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche and for dessert Rum Glazed Pineapples Foster.
What else would you add to your resort vacation?