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 ūüėČ 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 ūüėČ
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 ūüėČ

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! ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ 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!

Friday Favorites 4/8

We’re headed to The Keys this weekend for a friends wedding and I’m am SO excited! We’re definitely overdue for a mini vacation, and the weather is supposed to absolutely perfect! Looking forward to as much beach time, seafood, and island exploring as we can squeeze into our three day weekend! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

New Favorite Beauty Product: I’m seriously obsessed with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. I have a million nail polishes, but haven’t really been using them lately because it’s so frustrating to paint my nails only to have them look terrible in two days. This stuff though!! It seriously still looks good a week later, but you don’t have to use any specials lights and it’s super easier to take off! Highly recommend!

sally-hansen-miracle-gel-love-pink

Things I Bought: One of my goals for the year was to be more mindful of the things I buy because it’s just ‘too good of a deal.’ It seems like Loft, JCrew and all of my favorite stores have some sale every other day and it’s so easy to get sucked in! I’ve been good all year, but when JCrew Factory was having 50% off their sale they truly had some great deals I could not pass up! I got all of this for $100, and they’re all things I love! Can’t wait to get the package next week!

JCrew Factory Favorites  | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Crystal Sunflower Necklace//Isabelle Gingham Bow Pumps//Ribbon Fedora//Printed Skimmer Pant//Side Slit Tunic

Thing I Didn’t Buy: Its pretty much summer here in Florida, hot and super humid! I don’t think I can wear pants to work much longer, so I’m on the never ending hunt for cute, work appropriate dresses that aren’t too heavy. I have a million and one sundresses, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to find business professional dresses for a reasonable price that are Florida summer friendly (aka NO polyester!). If you have any recommendations or favorites please send them my way!

Outfit of the Week: I found this Tommy Bahama top at Goodwill a couple weeks ago and am loving it with white jeans or shorts! Lifeloveandcupcakes.com 

In the Kitchen: This Chicken Pot Pie Soup from Skinnytaste is one of our very favorites! I know summer isn’t really the time for soups, but I was craving it this week. It’s super easy, healthy, and there are a ton of leftovers for lunches. Definitely recommend!

skinny-chicken-pot-pie-soup-550x768

Charlie Pic: I don’t know how I even get anything done with this little nugget around..

 

Happy Friday!

10 Pineapple Things You Need In Your Life Right Now

I was a Hospitality Major in college and since pineapples are the symbol of hospitality, I have been a fan for quite awhile now. Pineapples have become crazy popular lately and I am¬†loving it! If you love pineapples as much as me, you need to add these to your wishlist, stat! There’s even an amazing dupe for the super popular Lilly Pulitzer Pineapple Tassel necklace I shared last week (that sold out in just a few weeks!).

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Lilly Pulitzer Flamenco Tassel Necklace

10 Pineapple Things You Need In Your Life Right Now | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Clockwise: Gold Pineapple Throw Pillow (have it and LOVE it!) // Gold Pineapple Classic Toms (at the top of my wishlist!) // Racerback Tank Dress // Pineapple Trinket Dish // Beach Towel // Pineapple Embroidered Dress // Pineapple Tassel Necklace (under $40!) // Pineapple Earrings // Phone Case // Straw Tote

Are you loving the pineapple trend as much as me?? Well just in case, here are even more…aren’t those sandals TDF?!

Friday Favorites 4/1

Sugarcane Lime Candle: I picked this up at Homegoods recently after being attracted to the fun label and I am obsessed!! It’s hard to describe, but it’s seriously the perfect scent for spring and summer: clean and refreshing. The sugarcane is not too sweet smelling and the lime balances it out perfectly. I’m going on the hunt this weekend to find more, because unfortunately the brand doesn’t seem to have a website right now :/

Sugarcane and Lime

Pure Barre:¬†I signed up for one month of unlimited¬†Pure Barre¬†and tried my first class yesterday! It was much harder than I was expecting and a HUGE change of pace from Crossfit, which I’ve been doing the past year. I’m looking forward to trying new classes to see if this is something I would be interested in doing past the first month! Any other Pure Barre fans? I know they seem to have a cult following!

In the Kitchen: I made King Arthur Flour’s Braided Lemon Bread¬†Easter Sunday and it was definitely a hit! Instead of lemon I did one with raspberry and one with orange marmalade and both were wonderful, despite the fact that I overcooked them just a bit while drying my hair…oops! I definitely recommend this recipe if you want something impressive to put out at brunch!

Thing I Bought:¬†My very first Lilly dress was a shift in this print and I loved it, but unfortunately shift dresses are just not a flattering fit for me. I’ve been wanting something in this print ever since, and this weekend I FINALLY found it! I love the shell print, and the detail on the front make it even better..can’t wait to wear it with white shorts all summer long!

And of course, here’s Charlie…

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie definitely falls on my list of top 5 favorite pies, but it’s definitely an easy one to get wrong. Just a couple weeks ago we went to a restaurant that supposedly had some of the best in town. So imagine our surprise when we opened our to go box to find that it looked gelatinous and even a little green..yuck!!

Coconut Cream Pie from Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Some recipes online called for frozen “whipped topping”…but when the whipped cream layer is almost thicker than the pie, you definitely need the real thing! I made a few tweaks to the recipe from Add A Pinch, but it’s definitely perfection as is. It’s creamy and very coconut-y, and the thick layer of whipped cream on top really balances it all out so well. Seriously though, MAKE THIS PIE NOW! I accidentally burned the first pie crust, so I had to whip up this¬†Easy Pie Crust¬†from Chowhound, and I think it’s going to be my new go to.

Coconut Cream Pie from Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I would eat this every day for breakfast if I could!

Coconut Cream Pie

Adapted slightly from Add A Pinch

For the Coconut Custard:
1 can coconut milk (13.5oz)
1 cup half-and-half
5 egg yolks
¬ĺ cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
¬ľ teaspoon salt
1¬Ĺ cups flaked, sweetened coconut
1¬Ĺ teaspoons vanilla

For the Whipped Topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¬ľ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pie crust recipe
¬Ĺ cup flaked, sweetened coconut (to top)

Instructions
Blind bake your pie crust according to recipe (or instructions here)
Set over to 350¬ļ F. Spread coconut out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until coconut is just beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
Pour coconut milk and half-and-half into a bow, add egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
Put sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly add the egg and milk mixture to the sugar and cornstarch, stirring constantly.Bring custard mixture to a boil and continue to stir constantly for one minute with a heat proof spatula.Remove from heat and add butter, coconut, vanilla and salt. Let cool a bit for 15-20 minutes.
Spread custard into pie crust. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 30-45 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and whisk just until combined.
Spread whipped cream on top of coconut custard. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, top with toasted coconut.

Print Recipe

Enjoy!