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Friday Favorites 6/24

Happy Friday! I’ve been slacking big time on my Friday Favorites lately, but I’m trying to get back on the blogging wagon! Have a wonderful weekend!

Puppies!: On Thursday, an animal rescue came to our office with some adoptable puppies and kittens. Best. Work. Distraction. Ever. They were all SO cute, I hope they found new owners 😀

Friday Favorites Adoptable Puppies

Thing I bought: We have been wanting some Adirondack chairs for our patio for awhile now, but haven’t been able to find any for a reasonable price. So of course, when I walked into Target and saw these for $5, I put two in my cart immediately. Yes, they’re plastic, but they’re still pretty good quality, and they’re FIVE DOLLARS. I think they’ll do for now. I’ll share pics when the space is done!
Friday Favorites Adirondack Chairs

Thing I’m Eating: My first jar of Wild Friends Peanut Butter was the Cinnamon Raisin, and I was immediately hooked. I grabbed this one the other day and I just want to eat it by the spoonful! Chocolate and coconut are two of my favorite things, and this does NOT disappoint!! Perfect in oats, yogurt, or just by the spoonful..I can’t wait to try more flavors!
Wild Friends Peanut Butter Friday Favorites

Making Lists and Checking Them Twice: I found this adorable notebook at TJMaxx the other day and just love it! It’s perfectly for jotting down thoughts and notes while at work!
Friday Favorites Dashund Notebook

Charlie Pic: I just about died when I got an email at work yesterday saying that the first 30 people to respond could bring their dog to work today. Not even kidding, my coworker and I had a bit of a moment!! Charlie is very shy around people, but he’s very well behaved, so I thought it would be fun to participate. Did I get any work done today? Probably not, but it was so much fun having him there, and he was quite popular and SO well behaved! I guess going to work is not so bad when you can take a nap for most of the day!

Charlie at Work Friday Favorites

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!

Friday Favorites 2/26

In the kitchen: A local grocery store has a huge produce sale on the last Thursday of every month with some awesome deals, but of course we can never make it. My husband knew he was going to be in the area this time around, so I made him a “wishlist” of things (apparently things run out). Well it turns out he managed to get most of my list, so I’m definitely going to be busy finding uses for all of this! The pineapples will go in the dehydrator for dried pineapple, which we’re both obsessed with! The cauliflower will be made into cauliflower rice and frozen to have on hand. I think I’m most excited for those two artichokes, it’s one of my favorite vegetables, but not something we buy to decide what to do with them!!

Produce from Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Thing I bought: I’m so obsessed with these Jack Rogers Chantel Flats. I’m a sucker for scallops, so I could not pass them up when I spotted them on Amazon for a steal!

Jack Rogers Chantel Flat

Thing I didn’t buy: I LOVE this print and the colors are so gorgeous that I am seriously tempted by this top, but let’s be honest..when am I ever going to wear a tasseled caftan?!

Lilly Pulitzer Caftan

Around the house: The vertical blinds in our living room were starting to fall, it was embarrassing how bad they were. Of course we didn’t want to take them down until we were ready to replace them, so we were kinda just making do. This past weekend we finally made the switch to curtains and wow, what a difference it makes! It really helps to bring the whole room together and make it feel warmer and more “homey.” Next up is our bedroom!

Living Room Curtains from Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Dog pic: He’s the cuddliest little nugget!

Charles Dog|Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Happy Friday!

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos

My first thought after making this recipe was “Why have I been buying these all this time?!?!” which was quickly followed by “What else can I pickle?!” Not only are homemade pickled jalapenos way better than store bought, they’re also highly addictive. I find myself ‘sampling’ one or two here or there and telling myself that I’m just checking to see how they’re progressing.

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

For the first batch I only made one jar, but I definitely plan on making more next time…I’ve already got a few requests from people who would like a jar of their own.

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Since they’re pickled, they’ll last pretty long in the refrigerator, just be sure and tell anyone you give them to to keep them refrigerated.

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

So far I’ve eaten them alone and on a burger, but I’m definitely looking forward to finding new ways to enjoy them!

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos

from: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
4-4 large jalapenos, sliced in rings
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tb white sugar
1 Tb kosher salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 ts Italian Seasoning

Prepare jalapenos and put in an 8oz jar.
Mix water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once mixture comes to a rolling boil, pour over jalapenos. Let sit until cool, then move to the refrigerator.

*If you don’t like them too spicy, I would recommend increasing the amount of sugar.

Have you done any of your own pickling?

2013 Resolutions and a Welcome to My Blog!

I’m a few days late on this one, but when the new year came, I decided that it’s about time I start a blog. I often find myself wanting to share a new recipe I’ve just tried, new outfit I’ve bought, or a new beauty product I’ve found.. so I’m excited to have a way to share them, and hopefully eventually people to share with!

A little more about me:
I graduated college in August and moved back to my hometown in Southwest Florida. I have a job I love here, as well as my family and my wonderful boyfriend! I love baking and cooking, and have a bit of a sweet tooth when it comes to chocolate and ice cream! My pinterest is filled with recipes (both healthy and ohhhh so bad for you) that I hope to actually test at some point..although I know I’ll never get around to many of them. I love exercising and finding fun new healthy recipes, but my current work-life schedule has left little time for either, maybe this little blog will help me keep myself accountable a little better?

New Years Resolutions:
Rather than the obvious, “Lose weight” resolutions, I wanted to go with a few specifics that would be easy to follow, and even easier to hold myself accountable for.

1. Run 3x a Week – I used to run just about every day, but have definitely fallen out of that habit, so I thought 3 days a week would be a great place to start!

2. Bring Lunch to Work at Least Four Days a Week – The restaurant at my work has great food, when I just eat there once a week! Not only does bringing my own lunch save me money, it saves a whooooole lot of calories too! Just because they call it a salad, doesn’t make the Cobb healthy :/

3. Eat Healthier Snacks and Less Ice Cream – My boyfriend has a serious ice cream and gotten me hooked…no bueno!

4. Make more time for friends and fun – I’m sorry to say that since I’ve moved back to my hometown, I’ve been VERY bad about making time to see old friends, so I really want to change that this year!

5. Read 55 books this year – I love to read and am so happy that I have time to read real books now that I’m done with school. I read 53 books last year and am bumping it up to 55 for this year.
*Most of my books I read last year when I had a lot of free time in the summer, so I’m beginning to second guess my goal, but here’s to hoping!

What are some of your resolutions for 2013?