Friday Favorites 5/13

It’s FriYAY!! We’ll be kicking off the weekend with happy hour tonight (duhh) and tomorrow, I think we’ll finally start tackling our guest room! We’re nearing two years in our house, and I’m embarrassed to say it’s currently little more than a bed(with no frame) and place to store odds and ends we haven’t found time to organize yet (*cough*wedding votives and lanterns*cough*). We want to setup a desk/work area in there, so it’s the kick in the butt we need to finally get ourselves organized! Now I just need to convince the husband that there’s no way around painting…..Not a fun topic, so let’s just move on to my Friday Favorites! 😉

Thing I Ate: We went to one of my favorite lunch spots in Naples last weekend, Old Naples Pub, and I got my favorite artichoke salad. Artichokes + gorgonzola + maple vinaigrette = <3Old Naples Pub Artichoke Salad | Friday Favorites

Thing on My Wishlist: I have a pair of striped keds I got last year and I love them for casual days when I’ll be doing a lot of walking. I’ve been wanting to get a more “neutral” pair and I think these gold glitter ones will fit the bill perfectly..and yes, gold glitter is a neutral!

Thing I Wore: I thought this dress was quite appropriate for watching the Run for the Roses 😉 The blackberry mint juleps were a hit as well!
Lilly Pulitzer One Shoulder Dress | Friday Favorites

Charlie Pic: I’m SO excited for watermelon to be back in season!! Our entire household loves watermelon, including fact, he’s down right OBSESSED. I think it was taking all of his self control to not just steal it out of my hands as I sat on the sofa eating my weight in it after work the other day!
Charlie the Golden Corgi | Friday Favorites

Meme: This is precisely how the hubby and I feel about furniture shopping. Why must I be so picky?!

Happy Friday!

Sunday Style: Lilly Pulitzer Maxi Skirt

I’ve always felt a little intimidated by maxi dresses and skirts. I know many people find them to be comfy and an easy “throw on and go” outfit, but I never know when and where to wear them and was always a bit put off by them. When I found this Lilly Pulitzer Maxi Skirt for a great deal, I figured it was the perfect chance to give one a try!

Sunday Style: Lilly Pulitzer Maxi SkirtIt ended up being the perfect outfit for lunch and a little window shopping: totally comfortable and put together! I didn’t get too creative with my styling: just an easy navy tank, but I think next time I might try it with a tied-front button down.
Sunday Style: Lilly Pulitzer Maxi Skirt

Had to throw in my “pretending to be a fashion blogger” shot…I’m definitely not 😛

Sunday Style: Lilly Pulitzer Maxi Skirt

top: old Lilly Pulitzer (similar|similar), skirt: old Lilly Pulitzer (exact|also fun),
bag: Michael Kors (exact|smiliar)

Are you a fan of maxi dresses and skirts? How do you like to style them?

Friday Favorites 5/6

Can you believe it’s May already?! I’m pretty excited for the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, I love watching all the stories leading up to it, and of course the outfits are always awesome!! Attending has been on my bucket list for a long time, so maybe next year!

Thing I bought: Summer Lilly is always my favorite, and this year is no exception! I snatched up these Pop Pop Buttercup Shorts right away, because the yearly Fourth of July print tends to go quickly, and I just love these!!
Lilly Pulitzer Pop Pop Buttercups - Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

For the Home: I mentioned my awesome new Pineapple Cookie Jar last week, but had to share these Flamingo Measuring Cups and Spoons I also got at World Market. I used them Sunday to make some flourless peanut butter cookies (which were somewhat disappointing, so still on the hunt for the perfect recipe!).
World Market Flamingo Measuring Cups - Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Still Obsessed with Pineapple: Sunday we had a pool day at my in-laws, so we stopped at Target intending to get the Flamingo Pool Float. My app said there were 4 in stock, but of course I get there to find that they were totally out. Luckily I spotted this Pineapple Float and headed to the register…only to get behind a woman that was buying ALL the flamingos!! She seriously had $250 worth of pool floats she was buying..what the heck!! I think it ended up being a good thing though because the pineapple is totally awesome..but it just barely fit in my car to take it home. The flamingo would have been IMPOSSIBLE! Also, I’m pretty sure the giant flamingo head could be a nuisance. So overall a win, especially since it matched my coverup 😉
Big Mouth Pineapple Pool Float - Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

In the Kitchen: My in-laws whipped up an awesome lunch while we were over, complete with fresh sangria and strawberry shortcake. I don’t know why I never think to make this because it’s so easy and so good! Especially when you toast the pound cake in a little butter first! 😀
Strawberry Shortcake - Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Charlie Pic: Just waiting on someone to drop something in the kitchen…
Charlie - Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Churro Waffles with Chocolate Ganache

Happy Cinco de Mayo! In college, Cinco de Mayo was one of my favorite ‘holidays’ was kind of the last hurrah before everyone goes their separate ways for summer break. Even now I get excited about it even though, we don’t really do anything to celebrate..maybe a burrito bowl for dinner, maybe a margarita, but that’s about as far as we’ll go for the holiday these days (at least when it lands on a weekday). This year I decided I wanted to make something a little creative and fun, and so, the Churro Waffles were born!
Churro Waffles | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

My first thought was to brush the waffle in butter then dip in the cinnamon sugar, but that mostly just made a mess of the cinnamon sugar mixture and really didn’t stick all that well anyway. Turns out it was easiest to either just sprinkle a super generous amount on, orrrr you can sprinkle it all on when you add the batter to the waffle really can’t go wrong here! Either way you end up with a delicious cinnamon sugar concoction that although not a churro at all, it is quite reminiscent!

Churro Waffles | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

The chocolate sauce and whipped cream are MUSTS though! They definitely take these Churro Waffles out of the breakfast category and into dessert, but that’s just fine with me. Sometimes you need a little sugar to jump start your day 😉

Churro Waffles | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Feel free to use any waffle recipe you want for your Churro Waffles, but I highly recommend this Yeasted Belgian Waffle recipe from King Arthur Flour. I have yet to find a waffle recipe that even comes close to the crisp outside that this one produces!

Churro Waffles

For waffles:
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ts cinnamon

For Chocolate Ganache:
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream

To make the waffles:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, that leaves room for the mixture to expand. It’s ok if mixture isn’t perfectly smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour, at which point the mixture will have begun to bubble. Either cook the waffles at this point, or refrigerate the batter overnight to cook next day.
When ready to cook, preheat the waffle iron and spray with non-stick spray. Pour ⅔ to ¾ cup batter into the center of the iron and cook according to manufacturer instruction. I find 5 to 6 minutes is usually good.
Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200°F oven. Serve topped with a generous coating of cinnamon sugar, a drizzle of chocolate ganache, and whipped cream. Ice cream is never a bad idea, either.
Alternatively: Once pouring the batter into the waffle iron, sprinkle a generous amount of the cinnamon sugar over it before closing the lid and cooking as usual.

To make the chocolate ganache:
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50% or on defrost setting, removing to whisk every 30 seconds for approximately 1:30, or until it is smooth and all the chocolate is melted.

Print Recipe
Do you have anything excited planned for Cinco de Mayo? Or are you more excited for the Derby coming up this weekend?

Friday Favorites 4/28

Happy Friday!! This week has really flown by! Work has been the good kind of busy, so that always makes the days fly by quicker, plus Wednesday I got to have a girls night out for Mexican food and Margaritas, which are ALWAYS a good thing! This weekend there is a BBQ competition here in town and being the huge BBQ fans that we are, we are quite excited!! Hope everyone has had a great week, and has an even better weekend! Now onto the Friday Favorites..

Favorite Recipe: I made pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes (loosely based of this recipe) Tuesday night and they were such a hit! I know they’ll be making their way into our regular rotation because they were so quick, easy, and delicious! The pulled pork was already cooked and ready to go, so I just microwaved the potatoes, sauteed diced peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and mixed it all up with an enchilada-esque sauce. A definite winner!

Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

For the Home: Sorry for the dark picture, I was just so excited to take a picture when I got this home last night! World Market is having 30% off for their friends and family sale right now, so I bought ALL THE THINGS! Well all the pineapple and flamingo things anyways 😉 This pineapple cookie jar is sold out online, but you can search nearby stores and opt to do instore pickup if you can find it nearby! Plus it’s on sale online, so I ended up getting it for only 6 bucks! It has already found a home at our coffee station to hold the kcups I like to keep on hand in case of emergencies!

World Market Pineapple Cookie Jar | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
In the Kitchen: I pulled out my favorite Sailboat Popsicle Molds for the first time in quite awhile and made some chocolatey banana popsicles. Perfect healthy way to satisfy my sweet tooth and they’re just so cute!

Cuispro Sailboat Popsicle Molds | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Meme That Perfectly Describes My Life: Need I say more?…

Charlie Picture: Charlie digs the beach 😉
Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Weekend Recap: Sanibel Island

Summer is officially upon us here in Southwest Florida. We got our first “summer rain” last night, and woke up to find it nice and HUMID! Luckily, we made the most of our last fair-weathered weekend with a trip to Sanibel Island! It’s only about 30 minutes from our house to the Sanibel Lighthouse, but we really don’t make it there nearly enough. Now that season is over and the traffic is gone we decided it was time to take a trip. They are dog friendly as long as they’re on leashes, so we decided to get there early and bring along Charlie!
Sanibel Island Weekend | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
He found the waves a bit scary and wouldn’t go more than paw deep into the water, but he definitely enjoyed sniffing around and people watching from under the umbrella! We enjoyed the fact that the beach was nice and quiet early in the day!

Sanibel Island Weekend | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Afterwards we went to a pet friendly restaurant that has been on our ‘To Try List’ for quite awhile, The Island Cow. Wow! We loved this place!! It’s definitely going to be a regular stop for us whenever we’re out on Sanibel Island. I want to come back for breakfast next time!
Sanibel Island Weekend | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
They give you muffins to start with but we devoured them too quick to even think about taking a picture. They were so good! The crabcake salad was excellent as well!
Sanibel Island Weekend | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
After lunch we headed home to rest a bit before heading to our first Fort Myers Miracle game of the season. The score was still 0-0 when we left in the 10th inning, but for us the games are really more about hanging out with friends and having a few beers, so we didn’t mind to much!
Sanibel Island Weekend | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Sunday was the usual: brunch and preparing for the week ahead, a nice and relaxing way to end a fabulous weekend! Happy Tuesday, friends!

Friday Favorites 4/22

Happy Earth Day! The weather here has been gorgeous all week, but I have a feeling that will be the last of it. Rainy season is due to start any day now, which means the return of heat, humidity, and hopeless hair 🙁 We’ll be making a beach trip this weekend to enjoy it while we can! Now on to my Friday Favorites:

No More Cable! We’ve been discussing cutting the cord with cable TV for awhile, but finally took the plunge this week! The only show we watch regularly is Modern Family and other than that it’s just reruns and the news so we figured it was time. I really haven’t missed it at all, and it’s been nice to start catching up on a few shows on Netflix. Plus the $100 a month I can now put towards shoes doesn’t hurt either 😉

Friday Favorites Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Favorite Recipe:I made this Turkey Meatloaf on Sunday and it was SO good! I’m not a huge meatloaf fan, but this one was a winner! I skipped the breadcrumbs entirely (was going to do a substitute, but just plain forgot), and did tomato sauce instead of ketchup inside. I definitely insist on the ketchup balsamic glaze though!

Friday Favorites Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Outfit of the Week:I found this Raj Paisley JCrew Pencil Skirt at a thrift shop last week and fell in LOVE! You know it’s a good one when you get into work and within the hour have already received multiple compliments! I finally understand the No. 2 Pencil Skirt obsession!

Friday Favorites | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Earth Day Meme: I’m sure we’ve all felt this way at some point or another…

Weekend Recap: Exploring Punta Gorda

This past Saturday we made a quick trip to Punta Gorda and did a little touristy exploring. There’s a brewery there that we’ve been wanting to checkout for quite awhile, so we decided to make a day of it. Fat Point Brewing is about 45 minutes away from us, but I seriously wish it was closer, because it would definitely become a regular spot for us!! I had a beer flight so I could sample a few beers, and we split a tasty pizza. The Big Boca Ale was definitely my favorite, and I was happy to hear they can it as well, so I’ll be on the lookout at the grocery store from now on.

Fat Point Brewing, Punta Gorda | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Love that they label each beer since I can NEVER keep track!

They have a fun little outdoor area with all my favorite things: Adirondack chairs, corn hole, and even bocce! Like I said, we would totally be enjoying this place often if it were closer!
Fat Point Brewing, Punta Gorda | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Afterwards, we headed over the Punta Gorda’s waterfront shopping area, Fisherman’s Village to browse the cute little touristy shops.

Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

They even had spots for cheesy photo ops..that had my name all over it! 😉

Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda| Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Tripadvisor recently came out with a list of the best ice cream shops in America, and it’s just so happens that #1 is located in Punta Gorda. We’re pretty much the worlds biggest ice cream fans, so we knew we had to go! The view was great, but I have to say the ice cream didn’t compare to my beloved Love Boat Ice Cream :/
Harborwalk Ice Cream, Punta Gorda | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Even though I grew up in Southwest Florida, there are still so many nearby places and things on my list to do and see! Hoping that over the next few months, we can check off a few more things!

Friday Favorites 4/15

Happy Friday! This week was busy, but moved fast, so I definitely can’t complain! We have a fun little weekend planned, but I’m also looking forward to relaxing and sleeping in!

Gingham Love: My JCrew Factory order I mentioned last week arrived! Unfortunately the polka dot pants didn’t work out, but everything else is perfect! I wore these gingham heels to work yesterday and I am in LOVE! They were comfortable all day, and of course brought lots of compliments!
JCrew Factory Gingham Heels, Striped Boater Tee, Straw Fedora | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Summer Lilly: I had to stop at the Lilly store and pickup an order, so of course I found myself trying on the new arrivals! This print didn’t really catch my eye online, but it’s so pretty in person!
Lilly Pulitzer In A Pinch Willow Sundress | Life, Love, and Cupcakes  Willow Dress in In A Pinch

New Sunnies: I’ve had a pair of Costa del Mar South Points for a couple years now, but unfortunately had to send them in to be fixed right before heading to the Keys. I decided it was probably time to order another pair to have as backup and now I’m thinking these might become my daily pair! If you’re in the market for some new sunglasses for summer, I highly recommend Costas, their quality and repair service is amazing!
Costa Anaa Sunglasses | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Favorite Outfit: I’ve been trying to add more colorful skirts and dresses to my closet, and this LOFT skirt fits the bill perfectly! The front pleat and pockets really make it unique, and the color is just perfect! So perfect that one of my coworkers bought it too…guess we’ll have to make sure when don’t show up as twins!
LOFT Circle Lace Top and Red Shirt Skirt | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Lace Tee//Red Shift Skirt

Bottomless Mimosas: Harry Potter and Bottomless Mimosas…need I say more?
Bottomoless Mimosas Hermione Harry Potter meme

Happy Friday!

Islamorada Weekend Recap

This past weekend my husband and I went to Islamorada for a friends wedding and did NOT want to come home. Great friends, awesome food, and absolutely perfect weather made for an amazing weekend! We’re already planning our next trip back!

We left early Friday morning and since our room wasn’t ready when we got to the Island, we decided to stop and meet up with a couple friends for lunch. They had seen Islamorada Shrimp Shack on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives a couple weeks ago and had bookmarked it for the trip. Apparently they are well known for their Shrimp & Grits, and for good reason..they were AMAZING! The shrimp was in a cheesy cream sauce that was too die for!
Islamorada Weekend Recap Shrimp Shack Shrimp and Grits

The restaurant was just a few minutes from a spot my husband had been to last time he was in the keys, called Robbie’s. There are a few spots here in Southwest Florida where you see big tarpon, but nothing like this! It’s obviously a very touristy destination, but we had a lot of fun feeding the fish (and a few pelican as well)!

Islamorada Weekend Recap- Tarpon at Robbie's

Islamorada Weekend Recap- Tarpon at Robbie's

The wedding was at the hotel we were staying at, The Postcard Inn, and it was seriously the best spot for a beach wedding! Picture perfect palm trees, blue skis, and the waves splashing gently in the background! The reception was in a pavilion right next to the wedding spot that overlooked the water as well. Perfection!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Postcard Inn Wedding

The next day was spent…recovering 😉 The hotel had a great beach as well as kayaks, paddleboards, aqua cycles, and a floating trampoline that we definitely took advantage of!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Postcard Inn

We decided to check out a popular sunset dinner spot, Lorelei’s, for drinks and dinner. I can definitely see why this place is so popular, it’s got the perfect sunset view!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Sunset at Lorelei's

After that we headed over to Islamorada Beer Company. I’ve started seeing their beers locally, so it was fun to get to see the brewery. They definitely do a good job with branding, which made for a fun brewery atmosphere!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Islamorada Beer Company

We shared a flight so we could try them all! My favorite was the Sandbar Sunday, so I’m looking forward to finding it here in Fort Myers!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Islamorada Beer Company

The next morning we hit the beach for an hour before check-out. On our way off the island we stopped at the The Rain Barrel Artisan Village to take a selfie with the giant lobster out front (duh!) and browse the art a bit. We didn’t leave with anything, but it was a fun little pit stop!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Islamorada Artisan Village

I ended the weekend strong: with a nice, carb-laden breakfast of Island Pancakes from Key Bites in Key Largo. We kinda chose the spot on a whim after seeing an hour long wait at the first place we stopped, but I’m so glad we ended up here. I rarely order pancakes out because they always seem to disappoint, but these were awesome! Topped with banana, pecans, coconut, and powdered sugar..I will definitely be recreating at home!

Islamorada Weekend Recap - Island Pancakes

Driving home afterwards was bittersweet, but we definitely want to make this a yearly tradition!