How To Make A Simple Yet Spooky No-Bake Halloween Ghost Cake

I created the cutest Halloween Cake ever and I am so happy to share it with you. I designed two versions, one in a more black and white color scheme, and also one with a bit more color. You can use the design as inspiration for whatever sort of Halloween decor you may enjoy best.

The most important part of sourcing the Ghost Shaped Peeps. I found mine at Walgreens (not my local grocery store though). I used the Ghost Peeps packs containing 9 pieces each, and two packages fit around the cake with a few to spare. 

Well, let's get spooky and decorate this cake!!! And, please comment below if you're making any special treats inspired by Halloween. I'd love to hear all about them!

Spooky Halloween Cake - it's so easy!
recipe

No baking is required for this awesome cake! 

- 2 Sour Cream Bundt Cakes in Chocolate or Vanilla

Raspberry Jelly

Dark Chocolate Icing (1-2 containers)

Ghost Peeps

Candy Corn + sour Gummy Worms (Optional, only for more colorful cake design)

Silicone Spatula for icing cake

Halloween Cake
instructions

1.) Remove the plastic top of the first bundt cake's container. Using a serrated bread knife, CAREFULLY slice the top off of the bundt cake to make it as flat on top as possible.

2.) Invert the cut cake onto a plate or cake stand and make sure it's level.

3.) Add a thin layer of raspberry jelly to the top of the first bundt cake.

4.) Carefully slice the top off of the second bundt cake, and invert that to sit it on top of the first layer of cake. 

Halloween Cake

5.) Add dark chocolate icing to the entire outside of the 2 layer cake. Make it as smooth as you can! The bottom half of the chocolate icing will be covered with Ghost Peeps, so don;t worry too much about how smooth it is, mainly making sure it's not too messy. Wipe off any excess chocolate icing around the bottom of the cake and the plate as possible, with a wet paper towel.

Halloween Cake

6.) Time to decorate! Open up two packages of Peeps, and keep the Peeps in their sets of three. Support the cake with one hand, and gently apply each set of three ghosts around the bottom edge. I used 12 or 15 Peeps around the bottom plus one extra Peep to fill in the small gap I had. Make sure to keep supporting the cake as you add Peeps or it may fall over! I just LOVE how chic and elegant this cake looks!

Halloween Ghost Cake
Halloween Ghost Cake

But, I had to go a little further with the design. If you're looking for a more colorful version of this cake, here you go.

Cute Halloween Cake

By carefully adding sour gummy worms one at a time, I was able to make a neat pattern out of them, leaving attractive negative space in between each worm. I kind of shaped them as I stuck each one on. I also added candy corn to the top of the cake, and LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?

Halloween Cake

PIN IT FOR LATER:

Check out this awesome Halloween Cake!

Great Fall Outfit Ideas at Kohl's

Fall is quite literally the BEST season ever. When I get a little glimpse of a chilly, cool night, I am practically giddy every time a cool breeze blows through the house. I am one who love to layer up, and put on all the Fall clothes at once :)

I was super excited to get the opportunity to create a series of posts about outfits I find at Kohl's over the next few months. HelloSociety is absolutely amazing, and I could not imagine a more perfect time of year to share some of my favorite fashion ideas. 

This is the first outfit that I found from Apt. 9. I was inspired to curate a look that would be great for a 9-5 office setting, but also look cute after work for a date, dinner, or even running a few errands on the way home too. Keep reading to get links to everything you see here in the post!

I loved shopping at Kohl's both in-store and online. And, it has quickly become my favorite store in town. I cannot believe their large selection of clothing for seriously EVERY occasion, as well as home goods that I have already used in a recipe that I will be posting in the next week (stay tuned)!!

featured products

Note - I created this work as sponsored Pinterest content for Kohl's and HelloSociety. Hopefully this post inspires you to shop Kohl's and their large line of Apt. 9 items this Fall! 

Two Drink Recipes Featured on SoFabFood

I have been a part of the SoFab community since April of 2016, (check out my very first Shoppertunity post here) and since then, I have participated in over 50 campaigns with the, my work has blossomed into something really special! Each month, Collective Bias a.k.a. SoFab offers bloggers the chance to apply to create a SoFabFood inspired recipe that will then be published on their site. I have created two recipes for them so far, and am I always hoping to participate each month. 

HUCKLEBERRY HONEY MOJITO

get the recipe

CHERRY BOURBON SMASH

get the recipe

Hey Honey! Let's Party :) Girls' Night In Party + Two Bonus Vegetarian Recipes

I am beyond excited to share a little something for #NationalHoneyMonth. I love using natural products in everything I make, and I have always loved using honey. Honey is an amazing option, and has lots of great health benefits too! Why not celebrate golden moments with friends and good food!

I headed to the Honey.com website to begin searching for recipes to create for the party. I decided upon these two. Keep scrolling down to get the full recipes!

Honey + Nut Glazed Brie and the Butternut Squash + Pomegranate Crostini With Whipped Feta + Honey (Which I titled Fall Harvest Crostini in this post).

honey

As I was photographing and editing this post, I listened to Honeybee by Papa Mali, and it set the mood just perfectly! Listen below...

I was so happy when I received a golden box of goodies from The National Honey Board, to help inspire me to design a beautiful party and create a couple of gorgeous recipes.

 

One of my favorite bloggers, Camille Styles, was featured in this post from Honey.com, detailing all of her ideas on celebrating various Golden Moments lie this one, A Girls' Night In!

The theme is to #SavorGoldenMoments, so the gold box was so perfect! I loved the taste of the Clover Honey that they included, and the paper lanterns, paper straws, and festive napkins set the mood perfectly. It's like they knew my taste or something, because I already had several party decor items that coordinated perfectly with the gifts. 

Honey

ABOUT HONEY

The story of honey is older than history itself. An 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain depicts honey harvesting, and we know it's been used for food, medicine and more by cultures all over the world since.

But honey isn't about humans. It's the natural product made from bees—one of our planet's most important animals. Honeybees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes, making pollination of plants possible and collecting nectar to bring back to the hive.

Lucky for us, bees make more honey than their colony needs, and beekeepers remove the excess and bottle it. Just like they've been doing since the beginning of time.


RECIPE: HONEY AND NUT GLAZED BRIE

YIELD: 16 to 20 servings

YUM!

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon brandy

1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 8 oz. wheel of Brie cheese (about 5-inch diameter)

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine honey, pecans and brandy. Place cheese on a large ovenproof platter or 9-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated 500°F oven 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese softens. Drizzle honey mixture over top of cheese. Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until topping is thoroughly heated. Do not melt cheese.

If you need to, you can always do a Brie-Heat, where you warm the cheese, honey, and pecans up in the oven again for around 5-10 minutes on 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Baked Brie

RECIPE: FALL HARVEST CROSTINI

YIELD: 24 pieces

5DB_0722.jpg

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil cooking spray

1 baguette sliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick (about 24 pieces)

1 pound butternut squash cubed (1/2-inch cubes)

8 ounces feta cheese crumbled

1/4 cup whipped cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

seeds from 1 pomegranate

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves chopped

honey for drizzlling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two rimmed baking pans with cooking spray. Place baguette slices on one prepared pan; lightly spray with cooking spray. Place squash on other prepared pan; lightly spray with cooking spray. Transfer both pans to oven; bake bread 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp (turning once), and squash 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender (stirring once). Allow bread and squash to cool before assembling crostini.

Squash

Meanwhile, place feta, cream cheese and pepper in bowl of food processor fitted with knife blade attachment. Process 3 to 5 minutes or until very smooth; scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

Honey

To serve, spread each piece of toasted bread with 2 teaspoons whipped feta. Divide roasted squash and pomegranate arils over feta. Sprinkle with mint and drizzle with honey; serve immediately.

Honey

THE BEES

Bees Do Big Things

Everyone knows honeybees make honey, but their contributions hardly end there. Although other insects can pollinate plants, honeybees are premier pollinators because they are available throughout the growing season and pollinate a wide range of crops, including almonds, apples, avocados, cucumbers, melons, pears and many more.

In fact, about one-third of the U.S. diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and honeybees are responsible for an impressive 80 percent of that process.

That’s why the National Honey Board currently allocates 5 percent of anticipated revenue each year to bee health research on issues like Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and external factors affecting honeybees.

HONEY & POLLINATION

Why do bees make honey?

Honeybees collect nectar to create honey and store as food because it provides the energy for bees’ flight muscles and provides heating for the hive in the winter. Fortunately, honeybees will make more honey than the colony needs, so it is necessary for beekeepers to harvest the excess, which they bottle.

FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP THE BEES

Let's Make Them Happy

Honeybees, beekeepers and the honey industry are direct contributors to the success of American agriculture. Today, the honey industry faces many challenges, such as hive loss, drought, colony collapse and shrinking forage areas. Here are a few ways you can help the honeybees:

Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering herbs in your garden and yard.

Reduce or limit the use of chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden while plants are in bloom.

Bees are thirsty. Put a shallow basin of fresh water with marbles or rocks in it for the bees to land on outside your home.

Learn how to be a beekeeper with sustainable practices.

Donate to an organization dedicated to helping protect and promote honey bees and other pollinators.

honey, pecans, pomegranate

Sparkling Peach Lemonade Recipe

Trying to squeeze the last few drops out of Summer, and I wanted to share a recipe we shot a couple of months ago. My little garden was so great this year, and I was thrilled to have fresh greenery to add to recipes and photos. I have seen a few delicious peaches around still, s grab some fruit and let's get started! 

Lemonade
recipe

(Found via Southern Lady Magazine, here)

6 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 (33-ounce) bottle sparkling water*

2 cups fresh lemon juice

2 sprigs fresh mint

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Garden Fresh Mint
intructions

1.) In a medium saucepan, bring peaches, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer peach mixture to the container of a blender; purée until smooth. I also added a tiny bit of coconut milk to get that pretty, pastel color!

2.) In a large pitcher, stir together peach purée, sparkling water, lemon juice, and mint. Top with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Notes:

We used San Pellegrino.
Kitchen Tip: Frozen peach slices may be substituted for ice cubes.

Making A Drink

An Elegant Fall Bake Sale {Raise Love for Ronald McDonald House Charities}

Who's ready for Fall? I know I am! The weather has finally cooled down a bit at night here, which means it's time to mix up a few ingredients, get out the decorating materials, and perhaps it's time to get ready to give back by hosting a Fall Bake Sale! If you're here looking for ways to make your baked goods look gorgeous, you're in the right place. 

I'm here today with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to share some Creative and Elegant Bake Sale Tips. Selling food is all about the presentation - we eat with our eyes first! In order to make the maximum amount of money from anything you're selling, make it cute and make it approachable! 

CUPCAKE INSTRUCTIONS:

Above, I baked a box of chocolate cake mix into 24 cupcakes, using metal liners.

I then grabbed a quart freezer Ziploc bag and a rosette icing tip. I placed the tip into the corner of the bag, cut a tiny bit of the bag corner off, then taped the icing tip into the hole with electrical tape. This worked pretty well, or feel free to use a pre made piping bag and metal icing tip. 

I then applied a swirl of icing to each cupcake and placed Fall Leaves sprinkles carefully onto each one. I thin they look like a little swirl of leaves on a windy, Fall day!  

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS

Also, shown above, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, spread it into a baking sheet, and followed the instructions on the packaging for best results. I then cut the cookie bars into squares, and set them on top of a slice of decorative wood and set them on a mint cake stand I got from Target. I love how this display turned out!

Did you know that in 2016, RMHC provided 2.4 million overnight stays to families? And in doing so gave the ability to spend more time with their sick children, to interact with their doctors, and to make important decisions about their children’s care?

Below, you will see the juggling balls that Ronald McDonals House Charities sent me! 

Below, you can see a cute way to offer customers a cute gift bag with a Fall leave glued onto the bag, perfect for gifting that special treat!

Through the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, RMHC provides places for families with sick children to stay just steps from the hospitals where they are receiving critical medical care.

Starting a fundraiser is simple and gives the fundraiser the freedom to do whatever it is they love to do to in order to help RMHC reach our goal of providing 12,500 more overnight stays to families of sick children this year.


1.) Always keep gloves and several pairs of tongs on the bake sale table, so you can serve customers their food without touching it. Also, make sure to keep plenty of to-go bags and containers for customers to bring their treats home in. 

2.) Always use rubber gloves while baking the items too.

3.) Presentation! Presentation! Presentation! I loved the use of this light pink crushed velvet tablecloth material! I headed to my local craft store and spent around $8-10 for 1.5 yards of it. I was so happy to incorporate one of the year's trendiest fabrics into my bake sale display! 

4.) Find a unique location like a popular, locally owned clothing boutique to have your bake sale in front of. Make sure people know to enjoy their treats before they head into shop, and food may not be allowed in the store. Office buildings, malls, and even breweries are also amazing location ideas because there is a larger amount of foot traffic.

5.) Spruce up desserts by adding bakery-style details like icing piped with icing tips, and seasonally adorable sprinkles! I also loved adding cupcake toppers, which can be made with toothpicks and scrapbooking paper or even pom poms! They can also be purchased for around $2.00.

6.) Place hand painted price signs at eye level, and make items affordable. Feel free to have a range of prices on the table too. For instance, I thought that .50 cents per mini cupcake, $2.00 per large cupcake, and $1.00 per chocolate chip cookie bar would be appropriate. I really, really wanted to make some caramel apples for this bake sale, and I believe you could get around $4.00 for them! 

7.) Display the charity name for which you are fundraising! I made a hand painted sign for FREE with black paper and white paint to showcase the "Raise Love #forRMHC" campaign info. Shoppers may also want to tag your cause on social media, so that is also what inspired me to create that sign.  

Learn more about starting a fundraiser here, and also get the details on Ronald McDonald House Charities here!

Simply Nice! Revamped Snacking + Boho Decor Ideas For Your Next Party

I was so thankful to be asked by Carusele to participate in the #SimplyNice campaign, sponsored by Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Hosting a casual and elegant get-together is my favorite way to host friends and family. My friends sure know how to snack, so I always make sure to have extras on hand, too. I have always enjoyed the Nice! Products from Walgreens, and I have been noticing a few ch-ch-ch-changes lately in their packaging and ingredients. They are making a huge effort to offer products that have the best ingredients available. I appreciate this so much, because our local Walgreens is open 24 hours, so a lot of people are depending upon them to offer the very best.

5DB_9827.jpg

With the recent change in weather, going from extreme heat and humidity down to nearly 70 degrees, I am seriously using any excuse to have friends over. We all love to let our dogs play outside, which somehow makes us hungry – that’s when I know it’s time to bring out the snacks and get ready to feast! I feel good about snacking with the new line of Nice!® products from Walgreens.

I like offering guests a wide range of options, and if you’re looking for baking ingredients, look no further – the Premium Raw Mixed Nuts, shown above, feature unsalted cashews, almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I love the idea of baking fresh items for guests, that way the house smells amazing when they arrive!

HOW TO REVAMP YOUR SNACKING

If you are looking to replace those unhealthy or rather boring snacks, head to the snack aisles at Walgreens and you won't be disappointed. Their snacks all have great flavors that are unique to their products, and IU just love them! I also cannot believe how many organic options they have!

Begin by reading the labels. The new Nice!® packaging, available among many departments in the stores, showcases easy-to-reference icons at the top right of the front of every item. This nutrition info is right there to help you make the best decision for you.

SIMPLE - HONEST - DELICIOUS

Above, their motto and also mine! 

I could not believe how many new items they have available locally, and I’m sure I will start seeing even more soon. In this post, I featured newly packaged options like Magic Trail Mix, Chili Lime Cashews, Sesame Sticks, Tri-Colored Tortilla Chips (note - WITHOUT yucky food coloring like the traditional tri-colored chips I've seen), and Root Veggie Chips shown below. I just love the variety of colors in the last two options!

HOW TO REVAMP YOUR PARTY DÉCOR

If you want to impress guests with snacks AND décor, then I created a cute party look that would fit into my life and hopefully yours. I love the idea of casually sitting on floor pillows, so I found the cutest rugs ever and used them for inspiration! I laid down two woven style rugs, and one furry white rug. I also laid out a piece of this amazing crushed velvet material, which I thought would be cute to tie even more color into the look.

Next, I added some cute pillows – the more the BETTER, so use everything you can find J I love the Bohemian aesthetic, but you could use a more rustic or woodland look for a cozy and inviting theme.

I wanted a low sitting table, and did not exactly have one, so I created one myself! On top of a large wooden crate, I simply added a piece of stained wood I already had. This could be made from just about anything sturdy enough to hold your food and drinks without tipping over. I then laid a table runner across the top.

For the flowers, and if you’re planning a beer + snack tasting night, I thought it would be adorable to fill some brown glass growlers with water and fresh flowers (they traditional come from breweries so you can travel home with their beers). I also love how the brown glass and the color of the flowers really make it look more like Fall up in here!

Another fun way to dress up your party would be to provide guests with reusable, cloth napkins rolled up and wrapped with ribbon. I love the Eco-friendly aspect of this, and guests will love the oversized tea towels for their snacking adventures.

YUM!

The video below really does a good job of describing the new Walgreens Nice products and makes them very relatable! 

Another fun item I added to the party was a fuzzy, very light pink colored stool. The whimsical nature of it says so much and really compliments everything well.

Hopefully I have given you some insight on how to revamp your snacking and your party décor! For more ideas, visit me on Pinterest or Instagram. Happy snacking, friends!

What To Pin In September (And What To Post About This Fall)

I just watched an awesome and informative Facebook Live Video from Tailwind, and they shared all sorts of awesome, trending topics that will be important to pin in September. They also shared some incredible topics on what content topics to work on as well. Tailwind is a Pinterest and Instagram Here we go!

(Read Their Full Article Here)

I think the best way to share the topics is to list them for now, and I will share some more photo examples very soon :)

TOPICS + POST IDEAS INCLUDE:

CATEGORY: FALL / AUTUMN

Pumpkins (source)

Enjoying time outside, enjoying the end of warmer weather. (source)

Decorating for Fall (Home Decor and DIY Posts will go over well) (source)

Halloween Treats / Recipes / Decor Ideas / Party Tips and Ideas (source)

Apple Pie Bites (source)

Fall / Autumn / Halloween Dinner Parties (source)

Friendsgiving (source)

Thanksgiving Everything (source)

MORE IDEAS INCLUDE:

Home Decor - Farmhouse Style / Cottage Style / Rustic 

Neutral Decor with Pops of Color

College Tips / Dorm Decor Healthy College Recipes

Fall Fashion


CATEGORY: WINTER / CHRISTMAS

DIY Christmas Gifts

Healthy Swaps For Traditional Holiday Treats

What To Wear To A Dinner Party

Dinner Party Recipes / Tips / Planning

Organic Rustic Grilled Salsa & Hand-Cut Tortilla Chips

A Rustic Grilled Tomato Salsa is a great way to use 100% fresh and organic ingredients in a recipe that is just perfect for summer! Mission Organic Tortillas were the perfect ingredient to use and compliment my salsa oh so well. I am beyond happy with how these cute little hand-cut tortilla chips turned out, and I hope you enjoy them!

Choosing organic ingredients is of top priority when it comes to preparing and serving any recipe. I have been watching a few very inspiring cooking shows lately, and they’re showing me the possibilities of creating everything from scratch, from fresh, local, and organic ingredients, and I just love it! So happy to be partnering with a brand I have loved for years, and I am so glad they have a delicious line of organic products!

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

This post was not sponsored, it was actually one of two ideas I had for the brand. See which post they chose instead. 

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips
Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips
RECIPE

SALSA (Makes 3-4 Servings):

Choose Organic Ingredients When Possible

1 container of colorful or red mini tomatoes

2-3 Jalapeno Peppers, cut in half lengthwise

2 Larger Red Slicing Tomatoes, cut into slices

1 Lime, cut into wedges for the juice

Cilantro, chopped

Garlic (1-2 cloves, chopped)

HAND CUT TORTILLA CHIPS

Mission Organics® Tortillas

Cookie Cutters

Spray Butter, Spray Coconut Oil, or similar

Large Grain Sea Salt (Regular will do)

OTHER MATERIALS:

Toaster Oven or Regular Oven

Grill

Skewer Sticks

Food Processor

Knife

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips
Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips
instructions
Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

1.)  (For The Salsa) Prep your veggies! Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise, and remove any seeds and interior material. Next, add mini heirloom tomatoes (in various colors or in all red) to skewer sticks. Lastly, slice larger tomatoes into slices that are thick enough to handle.

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

2.)  (For The Chips) Simply use any shape cookie cutter and use your palms to press the cookie cutters into the Mission Organic Tortillas. Coat them with butter spray, and toast them in a toaster oven on 300 degrees for about 2 minutes, until edges are browned. Lastly, sprinkle with salt and enjoy, with a side of homemade salsa, guacamole, cheese dip, and sour cream!

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

3.) (To Make The Salsa) Once your veggies are all ready, turn on your grill to a higher heat, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add all veggies to your grill (carefully – I use a pair of tongs to do this step). The sliced tomatoes cannot be on for long, so make sure to keep them on for a minute or so each side. Below, you can see all of the grilled veggies, ready to be blended with the other ingredients.

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

After you have processed all of your ingredients, your salsa should look like the photo, below. What a cute pairing for my little hand-cut tortilla chips!

I also just love how everything in this recipe is organic! I am not sure if the salt I used would be, but everything else is a yes J I hope this post helps you see just how easy it is to use 100% natural and organic ingredients in your upcoming recipes.

Organic Fire Roasted Salsa + Cute Hand Cut Tortilla Chips

Inspiring Bloggers Who Will Get You Ready For Fall

Happy First Day of School for the college students at SIU and more! I love this time of year, when I am starting to see all the Fall clothing out in stores and seeing a small glimpse of cooler nights. I am hoping to se that inspiration of the arrival of Fall for some upcoming posts. I cannot wait to start creating Fall posts, and I am sure a few of you are as well. 

I am constantly inspired by other bloggers, and I wanted to share a few top-notch bloggers who I think you will love! These bloggers create some of the most creative and awe-inspiring posts, and I rounded up a few of my faves for Fall!

Celebrations At Home

If you are excited for Fall, you're probably also excited for Tailgate Season. Check out this creative post, shown above and below, sharing ideas on how to enjoy a day with the girls - because why not?!

For an Earthy and approachable look, grab some Fall treats and apple cider, and utilize brown elements like burlap, paper straws, cute plates and napkins, and more. 

Jenny Cookies

I love the color scheme used in this amazing Fall Ladies Lunch post that Jenny Cookies hosted. She used her famous collection of Cake Plates, 

Below, Jenny Cookies put together a more rustic look for a multi-level dessert table. I also just love the simple wooden boxes, brown and white foods, and simplistic leaf buntings. 

Are you excited for Fall, or are you holding onto the last warm month or so of Summer? 

Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe

If you are looking to incorporate more vegan meals and more colorful ingredients into your routine, then here is a delicious, healthy meal you can make in just a short amount of time! Grab your veggies, and fire up the grill.

Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe
delicious vegan recipe
Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe
Instructions

1.) Head to the store, or to your garden, and grab an assortment of sweet potatoes, red or yellow potatoes, and Chioggia beets. Below, I found an image of the beets, so you can see how "normal" they look on the outside, and how they appear to have rings or stripes on the inside. 

2.) Turn on your grill to medium high, and thinly slice all root vegetables, and set them on a baking sheet, so they are not overlapping. Brush on a light coating of olive oil or melted coconut oil, and add a generous sprinkle of seasonings to both sides. Use a pair of tongs to flip the slices if you do not want to get your hands messy. Make sure seasoning is applied evenly. 

Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe

3.) Take your baking sheet and pair of tongs out to the grill, and use your tongs to add each slice of root veggie to the grill. Try to make sure not to let the oil drip down into the grill, or it could be a bit messy and cause larger flames. Feel free to let the veggie slices touch, but not overlap, so they get those beautiful grill marks on them. Close the lid of the grill, and wait 4-5 minutes until the pieces have a nice grill mark on them. Flip them and let them over for another 2-4 minutes, until soft, and they're ready to eat!

Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe

4.) Transfer slices back onto the baking sheet, and bring back in to serve. These are amazing by themselves as a vegan meal option, or serve them as a side dish. They're absolutely delicious!!!

If you're new to eating beets, then try to slice up 1-2 beets for every 5 potatoes, so you have more potato than beet. Enjoy!

Delicious Root Vegetables - Vegan Recipe

How To Keep Your Skin In Top Condition With Mederma

This summer, I am all about embracing the warmer weather and wearing cuter clothes! That may mean showing a bit more skin, so I want to make sure my legs are smooth, and scar-free! I often forget to put triple antibiotic cream on a scrape or cut until it’s too late, and I get a scar. I am not sure if certain people scar more so than others, but I feel like every little scrape turns into a scar.

I have been a long-time fan of Mederma and their line of amazing scar-care products. A while back, I used it to improve the appearance of a scar on my face – front and center on my forehead, and now there is barely anything to be seen thanks to Mederma. My dermatologist actually recommended it, and I used it every day until I couldn’t see the scar anymore..

When I had the chance to collaborate with Mederma, to share this amazing Quick-Dry Oil, I was so excited! To be able to get familiar with one of their other products had been a very successful journey – I am SO pleased with the results! For the past couple of weeks, I have been using the Mederma Quick Dry Oil 2-3 times a day and this scar on my ankle (which I got while hiking and forgot to treat initially), and my scar has drastically improved!

No one should have to be self-conscious of a small scar, and Mederma is a great option!

Glowing Skin with Mederma

I know a lot of us also suffer from stretch marks and other little imperfections, and luckily, Mederma’s Quick Dry Oil helps with all of that! It takes very little Mederma Quick Dry Oil to  improvea small scar, and would not take much more to cover an area that contains stretch marks. The product is also great for dry skin, and even after I have just shaved my legs, and apply the oil, it is nice and light, and keeps my legs from being dry all day! I just love it, because although it’s very humid here in southern Illinois, it’s a dry oil, so it’s not adding anything to that “lovely” sticky humid feeling, like lotion does sometimes.

Mederma Quick Dry Oil

Another fun way I love to enjoy summer is get together with friends over some sweet treats and good conversation. I tend to decorate with sunflowers in late summer, and these cupcakes were absolutely delicious!

Mederma’s Quick Dry Oil contains sunflower oil and smells absolutely amazing – so light and fresh! Apply it with a cotton ball or even rub the oil into your skin with your fingertips – it dries in a few seconds, and your skin really benefits from it.

Mederma Quick Dry Oil

Mederma offers this amazing product at a variety of retailers, nationwide! It’s “the only oil that combines Cepalin wish nourishing botanicals in a fast-absorbing, paraben-free formula.” The Proprietary Cepalin helps to improve overall appearance scars and stretch marks while the sunflower and coconut oils help the product absorb faster.

Mederma Quick Dry Oil
Mederma Quick Dry Oil

Rose hip oil, a natural skin brightener, helps maintain the true beauty of your glowing skin. Sweet almond oil helps nourish and moisturize, as well as Chamomile and ginger extract which helps to reduce redness and blotchiness.

What are some of your favorite ways to keep your skin feeling and looking great each summer? Does this Mederma Quick Dry Oil sound like a product that you could benefit from? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. SO happy with the results! I am extremely happy to have this wonderful product to incorporate into my skincare regimen now.

Mederma Quick Dry Oil

Pasta Carbonara With Chicken Recipe

My friend Becky is one of the best cooks I know. She loves making big meals for her friends and guests, and she recently made us a delicious Pasta Carbonara with Chicken and I had the pleasure of eating it and also documenting the steps so I could share it with you today!

Pasta Carbonara With Chicken Recipe
RECIPE

12 ounces, weight Pasta, Any Variety

8 pieces Thick Cut Bacon (diced Small)

1/2 whole Medium Onion, Diced Small

2 cloves Garlic, Minced

3 whole Eggs

3/4 cups Finely Grated Parmesan

3/4 cups Heavy Cream

Salt & Plenty Of Black Pepper

1/2 cup Peas

INSTRUCTIONS

1.) Cook pasta according to package directions. 

2.) While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the bacon grease, but don't clean the pan. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Set aside. 

3.) In a bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth. 

4.) When the pasta is done, reserve a cup or two of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl. While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time. The sauce will become thick and should coat the pasta. Splash in a little hot pasta water if needed for consistency.

5.) Halfway through, add the peas, bacon, and sautéed onion/garlic. Finish adding the sauce, stirring until it's all combined. 

6.) Serve immediately with extra Parmesan. Delish!

Bacon, please!

Vegetarian Pizza Pinwheels Recipe

This post was sponsored by RAGÚ, and all content and opinions are my own.

Some of my all-time favorite memories throughout seem to revolve around food and making meals with those I love. Sometimes, I will smile as I think back at the delicious homemade spaghetti and meatballs my grandmother made. Other times, I will think back to those meals my mom prepared for us each night, and insisted on us eating together as a family.

More recently, my “good food memories” would be related to my own exploration into making food look beautiful and taste equally as beautiful for a group of our closest friends. I also love adding a few special touches to meals that impress guests, like these Pizza Pinwheels I created in this post.

Luckily, home cooked food has been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember, and when I learned that RAGÚ is celebrating their 80th anniversary, and wanted me to personally create and share a recipe featuring their sauces, I was instantly nostalgic for my Italian heritage (from my grandfather and father’s side), and also at the same time, excited about future recipes I will create, inspired by their culture.

A great pasta sauce starts with great ingredients. RAGÚ Homestyle sauces are made from a bold combination of vine-ripened tomatoes, onions and fragrant herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, fennel and ground black pepper, the ingredients are peeled, chopped and simmered to perfection.

 

I browsed the RAGÚ site extensively, in order to gain a bit more insight about their long-standing brand name, and I also loved seeing all of the rave reviews people give their products. On their site, I found this incredibly stunning yet relatively easy-to-recreate recipe, and I am so excited to share it with you today.

This fun recipe can be customized to suit just about any of your favorite pizza flavors, from just plain cheese, to piled high with veggies (like I’ve shown in this post), to meat-lovers and beyond!

All you need is a few simple ingredients! Makes 8 pinwheels.

1 Jar of your favorite RAGU Homestyle pasta sauce (I used the Thick & Hearty Four Cheese)

2 cans of refrigerated pizza dough (in the tubes)

1-2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Toppings such as thinly sliced red onion, chopped green peppers, pepperoni, etc.

Other Materials:

Foil To Cover Baking Sheet (optional)

Oven or Toaster Oven

Knife to cut dough

Floured work surface like a cutting board

1.) On a floured work surface, lay/roll out one tube of pizza dough.

2.) Cut in 4 squares, and cut about 1 inch into each corner – do not cut all the way to the center.

3.) Put a dollop of RAGU Homestyle Pasta sauce in the center of the dough squares and top with your favorite toppings. I added quite a few toppings, and it baked extremely well.

RAGÚ’s Homestyle sauce is summered in tradition, because RAGÚ believes a great sauce starts with great ingredients.

4.) Begin to fold the pinwheel. Take one corner and fold to the enter, repeat each corner and press relatively firmly on the center, and pinch the dough together if need be.

5.) Bake in a 350 degree F° oven for 15-20 minutes. Make sure not to burn the ends of the pinwheels, and feel free to cover the pinwheels with foil for the last few minutes of baking, and always ensure the middle is fully cooked.

6.) Serve with a small dish of extra RAGÚ Homestyle sauce. I had SO much fun dipping the pinwheels into the sauce – WAY better than anything I’ve had at a restaurant! Enjoy!

Also, three lucky readers will win this adorable, reusable tote bag plus two sauces of their choice! Three winners will receive the prize, and can then hopefully use this post as inspiration for their next recipe!

PIN IT FOR LATER:

Delicious Vegetarian Pizza Pinwheels

Fall Tailgating With Coleman


Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Coleman but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. #TailgateWithColeman

Gearing up for some Fall Tailgating with Coleman! I am excited to head to Walmart tomorrow to grab all the necessary items. I am going to give this tailgating post a more upscale experience by thrift shopping in the adorable town of Bozeman, Montana for lots of soft textiles, cute plates, dishes, and fresh foods to enjoy during the day. I will also head to Walmart to grab some tailgating essentials from Coleman, like this 25-piece set of red Enamelware Plates, mugs, and flatware. I have had my eye on it for a while now. I would also love to find the perfect cooler, so I can transport food and drinks to the tailgate, as well as a portable stove or grill, to make the best food imagineable! Hmmm....what recipes shall I make? We will see soon :)

Shop the entire collection here. 

Fall Tailgating with Coleman

Thank you so much for helping me prep for the best Fall Tailgate experience ever! Cannot wait to share everything with you soon. 

Easy Delicious Nutritious Weekly Meal Planning (Breakfast Edition)

This post has been sponsored by Dannon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a way to treat yo’ self with a quick and delicious breakfast or snack idea? Looking for a way to spend less time making breakfast throughout the week but would never want to compromise on taste and quality? I am so excited to share a delicious meal planning style recipe with you today, that you’re truly going to love! Busy families, students, and anyone who is trying to eat healthier will truly benefit from this recipe.

Dannon Single Serve yogurts are an amazing way to start the day. If you are looking for a way to save time by incorporating meal prepping into your week, here is a wonderful way to do so.

INGREDIENTS:

Per serving: 1 Dannon® Single Serve Greek Yogurt in varieties like Oikos® Triple Zero, Oikos® Nonfat and also Light & Fit® Greek. I could NOT believe how many flavor varieties they had available. I found that the coconut, vanilla, banana, and even the caramel flavors were all divine and the flavors blended perfectly with the other parfait ingredients. Also, you will need several plastic containers with lids. Also feel free to include peanut butter and honey in their own containers, ready to grab on the go!

I was luckily able to find all of my ingredients at Walmart. Check the dairy aisle for the yogurt, the cereal aisle for your favorite flavor of granola, and of course, as much fresh produce as possible.

This makes the perfect breakfast or snack on the go. Being able to eat healthy while you’re busy is extremely important to keep energy up. Unhealthy options are truly no match for this delicious recipe!

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) The night before your work weeks begins, I recommend prepping everything.

2.) Get your fruit toppings ready! Lay out your plastic lidded containers, and in different ones, add blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

3.) Also, add flavored granola to the other side of each container.

4.) Put the lids onto the containers, and store in your fridge next to a selection of Dannon Single Serve yogurts.

5.) I recommend trying to eat the raspberries first, then strawberries, then blueberries because they last the longest. Raspberries have a very short shelf life, so eating them first helps.

This gourmet style breakfast or snack rivals something that can be grabbed at a drive through. Fresh fruits and whole grains are so delicious!

The best part is really once you begin to create your parfait! Find your perfect balance of ingredients by adding just a little bit at a time. You can always add more as you go. I found that when I added way too much granola, the parfait was not as easy to enjoy. But, a ton of fruit on top and mixed in was a winner. I really hope you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to leave a comment below if you wind up trying this out.