August 31, 2012

Watermelon Ice Pops + Meet my New Recipe Contributor


Even though I'm longing for fall & the sweaters, scarves & boots that come with it, summer is still here.  And since this is a holiday weekend, and you might need a yummy snack to serve at your family get together, I thought today would be the perfect day to introduce you to my NEW recipe contributor Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny

I have drooled over Kelly's blog for a while now & we have chatted back and forth many a time (she is seriously just the sweetest!) I love eating, but I am not so keen on the cooking part. So I decided it was time to bring in an expert as a weekly recipe contributor!  

The first person on my list was Kelly, she makes the most amazing dishes, she is the sweetest person and her food photography makes me want to lick my screen. (TMI?!) 

On that note, I am SO excited Kelly decided to jump on board as my recipe contributor! So without further ado, here she is:

Hi! I'm Kelly! 
"I'm a 20-something foodie with a true passion for cooking and a love for photography.  My blog "Eat Yourself Skinny" started because I wanted to show that eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle could actually be fun!  I love to put a spin on classic favorites by substituting calorie-loaded ingredients with healthier alternatives that still taste delicious.   I'm super excited to be a recipe contributor for Jessica N' Designs!"

Ok so confession, sometimes my inner kid is screaming to come out and I decide to make things like this.

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Yes summer is slowly coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean we should say goodbye to this bikini-wearing, sunshine-filled season.  And nothing is more refreshing to me on a hot summer's day than fresh cut watermelon, especially at cookouts.  It's healthy, delicious and ridiculously low in calories, so why not freeze it up and put it on a stick??  I didn't use any fancy expensive popsicle makers either, just paper cups, wooden sticks and went to town.  Your kids will absolutely love making these and you'll love eating them!
   
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I used lime sherbet for the rind of the watermelon and mini chocolate chips for the "seeds".  This will probably be the easiest thing you'll make all summer and for only 2 points per pop, go ahead and indulge!  This is the perfect snack to have ready in your freezer to grab when you want something sweet, but don't want to kill yourself with calories.  Oh and feel free to go crazy and add a shot or two of vodka to make these pops really fun, I'm sure your friends will thank you.

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Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 ice pop
Calories: 78
Fat: 1.4 g
Carbs: 16.5 g
Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.5 g
Old Points: 1.6 pts
Points+: 2 pts
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Here are your ingredients:
5 cups seedless watermelon pulp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 pint lime sherbet, softened

Puree watermelon and sugar in batches in your blender or food processor until smooth and strain into a medium bowl.  Cover and freeze until puree is slightly slushy, but not quite solid, about 2 to 3 hours.  Remove from freezer, stir well and add in chocolate chips.

Place twelve 5-ounce disposable cups in a shallow baking pan and spoon watermelon puree into cups, leaving about a 1/2 inch left from the rim.  Place pan in freezer for 2 hours, or until puree is solid, but not rock hard.

Allow lime sherbet to soften a bit, then spread over top of each portion of watermelon puree so that it comes up to the edge of the cup.  Smooth sherbet with the back of a spoon and cover each cup with plastic wrap.  Cut a small slit in the center of each cup and insert a popsicle stick into each pop so that it almost reaches the bottom of the cups.  Freeze overnight (or until solid) and can be frozen for up to two days.

Allow pops to sit at room temperature for about a minute, then gently pull out from the cups.  Serve and enjoy!

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Hungry for more? Here are a few more must try recipes: 

Lemon Curb with Mixed Berries //Caramelized peaches // Skinny beer-garitas

Do I have your mouth watering? Good! Because Kelly will be back each week to share a new, delicious recipe with us! Can you say YUM?!


In the mean time, go say Hi to Kelly on her blog, facebook or twitter! Tell her I sent ya & that you can't wait for more! 


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August 30, 2012

DIY Washi Tape Coasters & A Linky Party

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I have seen so many cute coaster projects floating around the internet & when I found a stray tile in my downstairs bathroom, I decided to make one for my studio.  


What you will need:

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Washi Tape
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush

My favorite places to get my washi tape are:


I like the look of ripped tape, so I decided to rip instead of cut mine.  I started on the edge & wrapped the tape around the tile. Then I started placing the tape on the coaster how I thought it looked pretty.  


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Keep going until you get the entire tile covered & the desired look.  Make sure you wrap the tape around the edges so it is sticking on the back. 



Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire coaster (I did a total of 2 coats) & make sure you apply some to the tape that is wrapped around the back so it does not start to peel off.  


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It's the pretty, little, simple things like this that make me smile! Every time I sit my coffee on it, it makes me happy.

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I'm also kind of in love with the inside of my new mug from T.J. MAXX


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While I had my tape out, making things pretty, I decided to decorate the tape holder my brother in law made me.  I love that little thing! 

Pretty + functional = the best kind of things.


A few of my favorites from last week's link up:


♥ DIY Tile Coasters (which inspired today's DIY) by Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted.


♥ Inspiration Board by Gussy Sews- I have plans to make a similar one for my studio! 


♥ Hutch re-do by Rustic Living- I just ADORE how she took the bottom doors off & added wire baskets!
Did you make something or complete a project this week?
Grab a button, Link up & share!

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August 29, 2012

Mint pants & flowy tops. Yes, I actually got dressed.


I don't link up to the 'What I wore' posts often because well, I don't get out of my sweats often!  So when I do, it's a monumental occasion and I make the hubby take pictures to document it! He LOVES it. (Yes Sheldon, that is sarcasm) 


Flowy tops are a staple in my wardrobe. They are fashionable & they make me feel comfortable, which in turn makes me feel confident.  Everyone knows a confident woman is a beautiful woman! 

Forever 21 is my favorite store! I admit, walking in the door is a bit overwhelming at first, but I soon feel right at home.  Their clothes are cheap, trendy and just my style! 


 Top: Forever 21
♥ Tank: Forever 21
♥ Mint Pants: Kohls
 Flip Flops: Kohls
♥ Personalized feather necklace: jessicaNdesigns
♥ 'do all things with love' wrap bracelet: jessicaNdesigns

What's your favorite store? 
What's a staple in your wardrobe? 

pleated poppy

 Like the wrap bracelet I'm wearing? I'm giving one away over on Heather's Blog

♥ Like fun fashionable accessories & beauty products? I'm giving away a LOVE CLUB box! 

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August 28, 2012

Join the Club: Stalk your Mail Lady + love club giveaway.

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Have you heard of Love Club? Well if not, you should get on over there and get your booty on the wait list! 

Love Club is the baby of Heather Smith, my hero, friend & fellow indie biz owner/super woman/do it all/entrepreneurial wiz. Seriously, she amazes me + is my inspiration. I guess you could say I want to be her when I grow up. Even though I am older. You get the point!

Love Club is a monthly subscription service that supports handmade businesses & gives you the opportunity to sample an "assortment of accessories, beauty products, paper goods & unique items from a handful of our favorite businesses each month."


FUN right?! RIGHT! 


I joined the club and received my first Love Club Box this month! I literally stocked the mail lady! True story: I was on the way to my mail box when she pulled up with the box! I think I might have ripped it out of her hands (sorry Shelly) 

I took a deep breath & snapped a pic of it before I dug in...I didn't know I had so much self control.



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What was inside my box:


  1. Pretty from Justlove.ly:  She must know me by now, because this is SO me...ok yeah, I know she didn't make that especially for me, other people PROBABLY got it too...but still. Perfect.
  2. Little notebook from Jotters and Journals
  3. Heavenly scented lotion from O.P.I.
  4. Chevron Nail decals from Made by Munchies Mama
  5. Knotieties hair ties (Again, I am SURE she put those in especially for me b/c I've always wanted to try them)



You also get exclusive offers, discounts & freebies inside!

JOIN THE CLUB:

Blog  Facebook  Twitter ♥ Instagram

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Heather is awesome + she's giving one of you the chance to stalk your mail lady win a love club box!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED 

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 
Here's how to enter:
*must be a jessicaNdesigns follower - Does NOT count as an entry, however.

Leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each of the following things you do:

Pin, facebook, tweet, blog about this giveaway (1 entry for each one you do)

Follow love club on facebook. (tell Heather you came from the giveaway!)

Follow love club on twitter. (tell Heather you came from the giveaway!)

Follow love club on instagram. (tell Heather you came from the giveaway!)

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Oh & you should definitely go take a peek at Heather's blog today...I just might be giving away a Custom Silk Wrap bracelet! (you're welcome)

Good luck! The winner will be picked via random.org & announced on 9/3/12.

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August 27, 2012

Monday Mash Up + American Baby & Bella Magazine Features!

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Color makes me happy + I am feeling very HAPPY today!  

Earlier this summer I was asked by American Baby Magazine to send them samples of my hand stamped Vintage Baby Silverware to possible be included in an upcoming issue.  It was a huge surprise!

Stunned silence followed by little girl screams of excitement ensued!

I obviously sent off some samples & sent up a humble prayer of thankfulness for the opportunity. 


Months went by and I did not hear anything back, so I figured I was not chosen.  But the other day I received the most amazing email letting me know that my silverware was featured in the September issue of American Baby Magazine


I am pretty sure I re-read the email a few times before it actually sunk in!


I received a copy in the mail the other day & I was so excited, thankful, happy. proud & humbled.  It was a happy day! 


Earlier this spring, my i do, me too forks & custom server were also featured in Bella NYC Magazine! (STUNNED)

I will be honest, being featured in a magazine has been a goal of mine for a long time.  I feel very blessed that that goal has become a reality! 

It's important to have goals! Sometimes it can be discouraging if we don't reach them right away.  

Here's some encouragement for you:

  • Write it down: it makes it so much more real.
  • Don't give up, it may take a while to reach your goal.
  • Put yourself out there. Make connections in the blog + handmade world.
  • Don't be afraid to dream big. 
  • Have a support system: everyone needs cheerleaders!

I want to say THANK YOU to American Baby Magazine, Bella NYC Magazine & all of you for your constant support & encouragement! It means so much to me! 

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