Friday Favorites 7/1

Happy July!! Can you believe the year is halfway over?! This has been a long week and I am SO looking forward to a three day weekend, and it promises to be a good one! July Fourth is one of my favorite holiday weekends: BBQs, pool time, friends and family time, lots of beer, and of course fireworks! And on top of that, I’m only working two days next week before I head to Jacksonville to see a friend, so I’m doubly excited for July!

Things I Bought: WAY too much!!! I’ve been pretty good about keeping my shopping in check lately, but these July 4th sales really got the best of me! So many good deals on work clothes, which I honestly never seem to have enough of! These are a few of the things I picked up from Ann Taylor and LOFT:

Friday Purchases

 Hibiscus Pencil Skirt($13!!!),  Safari Jacket, Tie Waist Wrap Skirt, Battenburg Lace Tank

Thing I’m Eating: ALL. THE. BERRIES. They’re so good right now, I just can’t help myself!! I find myself eating them on yogurt, in smoothies, mixed with sliced bananas, and of course…just by the handful. I think berry pancakes will be on the menu at some point this weekend, probably these Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes from Smitten Kitchen, which look AMAZING!

Friday Favorites Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

Thing I’m Loving: I’ve been getting the Sephora Play box for a couple months now and loving it! One of the recent beauty products I received was this Korres Wild Rose Advance Brightening Sleeping Mask. I love face masks, but I don’t think I ever would have looked twice at this in-store, and even when I received it I was only passively interested. Go figure that it’s my favorite item of all and I have to buy it now! I have been using it every few nights, and my skin looks SO good when I wake up! It’s seriously so much smoother and brighter!
Friday Favorites Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Mask

On the Internet: Kyla’s post about Traveler’s Journals has me so inspired to start one! We traveled a ton when I was growing up and I would always try and keep a journal, but a few days into the trip I would find myself too tired at the end of the day to even think about doing so. I think the key is to really just keep it as simple as possible. I wish now that I had something to look back on for all those trips, but I definitely want to start going forward. Plus, I love any excuse to buy cute stationery!

Around the House: Yesterday, I shared the DIY Tile Coasters that I made recently, and am slightly obsessed with. I also recently finished making over some chairs for our dining room. I was SO happy to finally be done with these chairs!! They’ve been in my garage for months, as I found time to sand, prime, and paint them here and there. In the end it was all worth it though, because I love how they turned out!! Now onto the next project 🙂

Friday Favorites Chair Makeover

DIY Scrapbook Paper Tile Coasters

Now that I’ve started upgrading to big girl furniture, taking care of it all has become even more important. I didn’t spend all this time looking for the right coffee table, only to have it ruined by water rings! I quickly realized that half decent looking coasters are harder to find than you would think! Of course there are the Anthro agate coasters that everyone lusts after, but I can’t imagine spending that much for four measly coasters..even if they are gorgeous! So of course I turned to Pinterest and found these fun DIY scrapbook paper tile coasters.

DIY Scrapbook Paper Tile Coasters | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Every time I stop at Papersource, this Beer Run wrapping paper would catch my eye, and I would rack my brain trying to think of something I could make with it. As soon as I saw this tutorial for DIY scrapbook paper tile coasters, I knew it would be PERFECT. I wanted to do 5 with that and 5 with something else, so I grabbed this super cute goldfish paper. I love that you can see the fish when you look down the glass. So fun!

DIY Scrapbook Paper Tile Coasters | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

There are a ton of similar DIY tile coasters on Pinterest, but I really like that these have a very shiny finish when done! Hot coffee does tend to stick just a teeny bit, but for beer and cocktails they’re perfect! My only other advice when following the directions is to cover them while they dry. I didn’t plan ahead and just assumed it would be fine…now I have a teeny tiny fly forever preserved on the surface of one of my coaster. OOPS!

DIY Scrapbook Paper Tile Coasters | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I absolutely love how these turned out! Although 10 coasters is more than plenty, I’m still tempted to make more with all of the cute scrapbook and wrapping papers I come across at Michael’s, Homegoods, etc. I think they’d be adorable with a mongram right before the modge podge. Maybe I’ll start cranking some out now to give as Christmas gifts!

Here’s the DIY Scrapbook Paper Tile Coaster tutorial…let me know if you make them!

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

Friday Favorites: Sun Awareness Week

Did you know that this week is Sun Awareness Week? Living in Florida, it’s especially important to stay protected in the sun, so I thought I would share some of my favorite things to help me stay sunburn free! In high school, I spent way too much time in the sun with way too little sunscreen. My goal every summer was to get TAN. These days, I really regret that mentality and work hard to help make up for any damage already done.

Sun Awareness Week 2016

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m naturally pale, and I’ve learned to embrace it. Once upon a time, you would have found me at the beach laying out with SPF 8, trying to soak up every bit of sun. These days, I’m more likely to be found under an umbrella with a hat, sunglasses, and cold beverage, soaking in nothing but the scenery. I’ve realized that you don’t need to be tan to look beautiful, especially if you hope to still look great down the road! These are some of my favorite beauty products for sun protection:

Sun Awareness Week 2016 Life, Love, and Cupcakes

MAC Studio Fix SPF 15 – My favorite foundation has the added bonus of built in SPF. In the winter SPF 15 is usually fine, but for the summer I prefer to layer on some of these other products.
Laura Geller SPF 30 Spackle Primer – This is more of a sunscreen than a primer, but I love how it’s not sticky and leaves no residue or white cast! I apply this most days after my regular moisturizer.
Mario Badescu SPF 30 Moisturizer – On days when I am keeping my makeup simple, I’ll opt for just this followed by a little foundation, or will just mix a bit of foundation right in!
Kiss My Face Face + Neck Protection -This is my favorite face sunscreen for the beach and pool.

If I’m going to be outside for a long time, I usually try to take further precautions to stay protected. A light gauzy beach coverup and a hat can go along way to help keep you from getting sunburned!

Sun Awareness Week Favorite Beach Items

Vineyard Vines Hat – My husband doesn’t understand my love of white hats, but they go with everything! Just wash occasionally to keep them nice and white.
Polarized sunglasses – Your eyes need protecting too! I didn’t understand paying $200+ for a pair of sunglasses until I got a pair of really good polarized ones. Believe me, they’re life changing!
Beach Coverup – Light and airy, but still offering some protection from the sun.
Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic Shirt – These UPF 50 tops would be perfect for active days outside. I’m eyeing this one for the boat!
Lilly Pulitzer Sophie Dress – These UPF 50 dresses are perfect for days when you know you’re going to be in the sun, but still want to look cute!
Columbia PFG Fishing Shirt – These are my go to for days on the boat or windy days at the beach.
Umbrella – Get one that screws into the sand…trust me!
Floppy hat – For when you want to look a little more fabulous

If you’re going to the beach, pool, or spending any time outside this weekend, I hope you take an extra minute to reapply sunscreen. I promise 20 years from now you won’t regret it!

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!