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Old Fashioned {recipe}

Old Fashioned Recipe

We just moved into a new neighborhood a few months ago and we have been really luck to meet some amazing new neighbors.  I was so excited when we saw that the neighborhood was throwing a block party for Halloween so that I could meet some of the neighbors we haven’t had a chance to meet yet.  It was such an amazing time and the kids had a blast – and so did the adults! My husband decided to make one of his favorite cocktails and I thought it would be a perfect recipe to share.  My favorite part of this drink were the ice cubes.  Typically we use an ice cube tray that makes one large ice cube so that the drink doesn’t get watered down, but I had this adorable vampire teeth ice cube tray and I was so excited to use it.  Here is my husband’s simple and yummy recipe for an Old Fashioned.

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Tnee’s Tpees is the bee’s knees

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When we realized that we would have enough room in our new house for a designated playroom, I knew immediately that I wanted to include a teepee for the kiddos.  After lots of searching online (and the amazing power of Instagram), I found the most wonderful company! Tnee’s Tpees is a fabulous family-run company based out of Utah that hand makes all of their teepees.  They employ stay-at-home moms and the quality is fantastic! Their website offers tons of color combinations and different color options.  If you don’t find one that is exactly what you are looking for, you literally can have them custom make almost any teepee that you like (and they even offer personalization).  I knew I wanted a gray and white striped teepee and Courtney (amazing and super helpful) was able to help me design the perfect fit for our new space.

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Coffee Table Style

coffeetable1newOne of my favorite things to do throughout the year is style our coffee table.  It is one of the easiest ways to switch things up for different holidays and it can make such an overall impact in the room.  All of our guests usually gather in our living room and around the coffee table so our priorities are function first and style second.  Here are some of my favorite items for styling our space but keeping it functional for our family and friends!

{1} Trays – We have a huge coffee table (42″ x 42″).  We went with a big ottoman style/tufted piece covered in an outdoor Sunbrella fabric because we have 2 kids under the age of 2 and I wanted something that would be family-friendly and easy to clean.  We love it! The only issue with the upholstered piece is that we do not have a solid place to set drinks.  That’s where the trays come in to play.  We bought two large trays and it is perfect because they act as the centerpiece for the coffee table but they are also functional when we are entertaining.  Guests can pull them apart and they have a ton of space for cocktails and snacks.  I also love trays because they can act as the vessel for all of your coffee table goodies.  They keep everything organized but still look stylish.  I like larger trays so that you can add a few different vignettes inside and make a big impact.  They are also easy to clean so if someone spills, you can wipe the tray clean instead of worrying about the entire coffee table. Bonus!

{2} Flowers – For me, fresh flowers are a must.  They add such life and vibrancy to a living room and can really brighten up a space.  I replace my coffee table flowers each week and change the colors based on the time of year and on my mood.  It is amazing how they can make a room feel pulled together.  I actually use an ice bucket for my vase because I feel that the height is perfect and guests do not have to peek around flowers to have a conversation.  Most of my flowers come from the grocery store so they are super affordable.  Stay tuned for my {ask the experts} post on arranging your own flowers at home!

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{3} Coffee Table Books – Who doesn’t love a good coffee table book?  My husband has been buying me coffee table books for years and I love switching them up throughout the year.  They are also a great way to add height to your coffee table and they provide a place for other decorative items to sit. Coffee table books are such a great way for guests to get a taste of who you are and what you enjoy.  From home decor to fashion and photography, there literally is something for everyone.  I would recommend buying books with great photos and that are larger than your typical book.  That way they really make a big impact on the table and if guests want to flip through them while you are finishing dinner, they will have beautiful images to keep them entertained.

{4} Candle/Matches – Candlelight is such a great way to set a mood, whether you are at home by yourself or enjoying a fun game night with friends.  There are so many great candle options out there and you can find great candles in all different price ranges.  If you prefer, you can even buy scentless candles and just enjoy the flicker of the candlelight.  I would recommend lighting your candles about an hour before guests arrive so that the smell of the candle has time to fill the room.  If you are planning on serving dinner or food in your living room, I would suggest an unscented candle option so that your candle doesn’t compete with the smell of your food.  You definitely don’t want the smell of roses competing with your salmon 🙂

{5} Bowls – I love adding bowls and anything else that creates storage for all the small items that you have to keep out on your coffee table.  We have a large clam shell that we use for remote controls and other small items we like to keep accessible.  We also have a small bowl that we like to fill with fresh fruit to add color and liveliness.  This is also something that we change out often depending on the season and on our mood.  We love limes and lemons because they last forever and are so bright and colorful!

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{6} Decorative Items – In addition to all of the main items on our coffee table, we also like to add some decorative things to fill the space.  Since it is summer, we have put out a large piece of faux coral and some pink agate drink coasters.  When fall hits we will switch out those items along with our clam shell bowl to items that coordinate with the season.  I also love items that tell a story or that mean something to you.  Since most of your guests will gather around this area, this is such a great place to put items that come with a story. We have a mint julep cup that we received as a wedding gift and we fill it with straws when we have guests over.  I love it because whenever someone comments on it, we get to share the story.

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I like to keep our coffee table as clutter-free as possible, but it still has to remain functional for our family.  But just because it is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and pulled together!  What are some of your favorite items that you like to display on your coffee table? (ps…please ignore the unfinished living room 🙂 this was taken a couple weeks after we moved in)

Shop some of my coffee table picks below!

nacho average cheese dip

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As I mentioned yesterday, a couple of our friends came over on Saturday night for some ice cold margaritas. I knew that I wanted to have a snack on hand and I figured the best thing to pair with the margaritas was a tasty mexican inspired dip! I wanted the appetizer to be a bit heavier than normal since we were all planning a late dinner after our visit and ya’ll, this dip was SO good. Seriously, I am almost embarrassed to admit that we literally ate every. single. bite.  It definitely isn’t diet-friendly, but if you are looking for a great dip for tailgating or a party, this is definitely a crowd pleaser.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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{nacho average cheese dip}

* 1 x 14oz can of original Rotel tomatoes (drained)

* 1 x 1lb box of Velveeta cheese, large-diced

* 2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning

* 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)

* 1 rotisserie chicken (removed from bones and shredded)

* 1/2 cup of sour cream

* 1/2 can of diced green chilies (undrained)

* 2 Tablespoons diced jalapeño (optional – we had kiddos so didn’t use this)

Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the beans.  Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or until cheese is melted and ingredients are combined.  Stir occasionally.  Add black beans in about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!

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Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

 

 

happy hour {frozen margarita}

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Now that it is officially the start of summer, I have been craving frozen margaritas.  The heat index has been hovering around a million degrees outside and when my girlfriend and her hubby decided to swing by last night for cocktails and snacks, I figured it would be the perfect time to whip some up.  This is a new recipe for me and I have to say that I was a little skeptical about the limeade concentrate, but they were SO good.  I used my Vitamix and they came out super tart and yummy.  Cheers!

{marra margaritas}

* 1 x 6 ounce can of limeade concentrate (in the frozen food section of your grocery store)

* tequila

* triple sec

* orange

* 3 x limes

* ice

* 2 T salt

Pour the limeade concentrate in the blender along with the juice of 2 limes and the juice of the orange.  Fill the limeade can 3/4 the way full with your favorite tequila and then fill the rest of the can with the triple sec until the can is full (1/4 of the can will be triple sec). Pour into the blender and add ice until your blender is almost full.  Blend until smooth.  Before pouring, slice the remaining lime into wedges and cut a small slit in the center of each wedge so that they sit nicely on each glass as garnish.  Add the salt to a small plate.  Use the lime wedge to “rim” the glass and dip the rim in the salt.  Pour, garnish and enjoy!

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