Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Your Skin

I underestimated our Paleolithic predecessors. This caveman inspired diet really does have its perks. Since Mark and I have been on a Paleo-ish diet, I have felt increased energy and overall better about what I am putting into my body as we have cut back tremendously on breads, pastas and other refined sugars. And I don't believe in the word diet. It's a healthy lifestyle. To add a cherry on top, my skin is in the best shape it has ever been in. I have minimal breakouts, less oil and a significantly more even tone than ever before. With improvements in my skin I have also noticed a huge difference in my hair! Less oil, more body and no longer damaging it by washing and styling it every day. You can read more information on the hair cult that MOD introduced me to here. (it will change your life)

Complexion smoothies seem to be all the rage right now and as one who never likes to miss a healthy food trend, I have been eager to try this type of concoction that promises to make your skin glow. Jillian Harris is all kinds of wonderful and when she posted this complexion smoothie on her website, I grabbed a post it and stuck the recipe in my planner. I gathered up all of the ingredients at the grocery store yesterday and started my day today with a giant cup of nutrients. I'm excited to add this to my breakfast rotation and even more excited to further improve my "glow".

Greens Complexion Smoothie
recipe adapted from Jillian Harris

1/2 banana
3/4 cup berries (I used cherries and blueberries)
1/4 cup Bolthouse carrot juice
1 handful kale or spinach (or one capful of Greens+ unflavored)
5 ice cubes

Blend everything in a blender and slurp it up with a straw.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peaches & Cream

Guess what? I brought the ice cream maker out to play this weekend. I mixed together sweet cream and fresh peaches which was all sorts of goodness. It made us smile all over our faces and each cold bite warmed our ice cream obsessed hearts. There's something sweetly soothing about that creamy, dreamy goodness that is churned up into a frozen treat and delivered to dance in our mouths by way of a spoon.

This ice cream is simple, Southern and downright good for the soul.

Peaches & Cream Ice Cream

(makes 1 quarts, recipe can be doubled)

1 cup heavy cream
1 pint whole milk
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 fresh peaches, diced

Combine cream, milk and sugar into a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a light boil over medium heat. Watch carefully making sure the mixture doesn't boil over. Remove pan from heat. Beat egg yolks in a mixing bowl and slowly wisk in 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture back into the hot cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the cream coats the of a spoon, or reaches a temperature of 170 degrees. This will take approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Pour ice cream mixture into the body of your ice cream maker. Churn for 20-25 minutes or until ice cream reaches desired texture. Mix peaches into the ice cream during the last 2-3 minutes of churning.

Just treat yourself. Please?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Abe, Pretty Projects and Good Reads

Is it really already Friday!? I have been all over the place like a crazy person and on top of that, we have had family in town since last weekend. Speaking of last weekend, we traveled over to Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, IL with Mark's parents and toured the Lincoln museum. I'm not one to enjoy museum tours (ahem, Andi & Nat!!) but I actually learned a few things I didn't know about the man whose head resides on the U.S. penny. The picture above was too funny not to share. I thought that statue of ol' Abe was going to start moving about at any moment. Call me crazy but those wax statues give me the heebie jeebies.

Much to my excitement, I started, and completed a Pinterest inspired wall art project that I have been lusting over for weeks. It all started with this pillow and I am so happy with the results! I was so excited about this DIY project that I forgot to take pictures while in action. Major blogging fail. Luckily, I am making one more piece for the wall so I will document the process and post a how-to early next week. I also finally have my beloved gallery wall in the works! The frames are hung perfectly in place. Now the real challenge...filling them with happiness. If it takes me less than a week to decide, I will consider it a small home decorating miracle. My blonde sister, Sophie, has been in DIY home decorating mode this week, too- we help keep our creative minds in focus.

In other news, I finished Hoda Kotb's book and The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks in the last week. Both good books to read while snuggled up under a blanket. And now that those pages have been turned, I can dig into The Hunger Games! Teenybopper books? Yes. And I don't care if you judge me.

It's a homemade pizza and movie night at our house! Who wants to come for dinner?

Hoping everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Let's face it- meatloaf has a bad reputation. We don't hate it, we don't love it and we all eat it. Every family needs a proper meatloaf recipe. I may be in the minority but looking back on childhood dinner plates, I was never excited when the blob of meat made it's way onto our menu. I didn't hate or gag it down bite by bite, but I don't remember ever once requesting that my mother make it for dinner. With that being said, aside from her meatloaf, my Grandma Vera's meatloaf was probably the only other meaty blob I would happily eat. I think it's one of those dishes that is only okay to eat when it comes from your family's kitchen. I do love my mom's meatloaf, it just seems to disappear from my radar. Poor meatloaf has always gotten the short end of the stick.

I have noticed, however, that meatloaf is popping up on menus in chic restaurants and higher end eating establishment. Comfort food has become trendy and well...since I'm all about the food trends, I decided to jump on board. I almost wouldn't feel American if The Moore house didn't have its own meatloaf recipe. Giada makes meatloaf! I think it's okay for me to make it, too.

After scouring recipes online, I found that there were three ingredients that were in almost all of them; ketchup, Worcestershire and breadcrumbs. With my own twist, I created a pretty tasty loaf. Dubbed by my BFF as Manfood, Mark was a happy camper and ate every last bite. I feel as though we have christened our kitchen by partaking in this classic American comfort food meal.

We have our very own meatloaf recipe.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground lean turkey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion
1/4 red pepper, finely diced
1/4 green pepper, finely diced
1/4 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/2 orange pepper, finely diced
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute garlic, onion and peppers for 3-5 minutes. Mix ground turkey in a large bowl with sauteed mixture, basil, oregano, beaten eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Let the meat sit in the refrigerator and soak in the flavors for about 30 minutes. Place the meat onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and form into a loaf. Top with crushed tomatoes and bake for 70-90 minutes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five Kitchen Loves for Friday

One. This mint basil soy candle is happily lit on my kitchen counter. The scent is light, slightly minty and kissed with basil.
Two. Amy tweeted a picture of this coffee months ago and if it weren't for the bright yellow, I would have never recognized it on the top shelf in the coffee aisle of my grocery store. In her words, it's like "a hug in a cup". I second that motion. Best. Coffee. Ever.
Three. It seems that mojitos and margaritas have become our official summertime drink, and my, has this little guy has come in handy! I have tried every juicer on the planet and this one seems to squeeze out every last bit.
Four. Looking for a new Aperitif to add to your happy hour resume? My dad introduced me to this during their visit last month and now I am madly in love. Sweet, smooth and slightly bitter, Cinzano Bianco is an Italian sweet vermouth that when served over ice, is sure to make you smile once it hits your lips.

Five. And since we are on the subject of happy hour, this is what happy hour looked like three weeks ago. I love these sisters of mine so much!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY: Yellow & Gray Damask Canvas

Pinterest is a dangerous place I tell you! i have found 932 dream kitchens, more recipes than I will ever have time for in the next 365 days and enough DIY projects that have been causing me to way trips to JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s multiple times per week. I have now limited myself to only 30 minutes browsing Pinterest each day. If you spend countless hours getting sucked into its beauty like I do, you know that 30 minutes daily is like a blip on the radar. Maybe I will just forgo the rest of my social media usage so that I can up my minute punch card on Pinterest!? I might have to look into that. Sipping a bottomless latte and pinning beautiful things all day sounds almost as good as Christmas morning to me.

Pinterest hits my creative buttons in a BIG way, and I was recently inspired to add a pop of color to our small powder room. I have always loved the gray and yellow color scheme and I couldn't resist adding it to our house in my own creative way. It's amazing what a little splash of color on the wall can do to a small space. I'm so happy with the way it turned out!

I picked up a 16 x 20" blank canvas from Hobby Lobby, along with the perfect shades of yellow and gray, and a pretty damask stencil to use. After two coats of gray paint, I stenciled each section with two coats of yellow, carefully measuring and placing each yellow burst.

Paint Used:
Folk Art acrylic paint in Sunny Yellow (#509)
Folk Art acrylic paint in Medium Gray (#425)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lime Cornmeal Cookies with Citrus Glaze

It's all about the little things with me and the small details that take an experience from great to exceptional. You know the hotels that welcome you with a warm cookie when you visit the front desk? I love that. Ever since I was younger, I developed somewhat of an obsession with making my family's home into a "luxury hotel". I left notes on my parents' and sisters' bathroom sinks, folded the toilet paper into a nice, neat point and turned down the beds from time to time, leaving a small chocolate to enjoy before bedtime. I kid you not when I say that while speaking in a British accent, I recorded a five minute infomercial on my tiny pink tape player highlighting all of the "services" the Nido Luxury Hotel had to offer. Yes, I know. Don't even say anything.

At the end of July, the lovies came to visit for what was a glorious long weekend. It was the first time my parents, sisters and I had all been together since Christmas and if you know my family, you can pick up your jaw now. Believe me, we were aching for time together. Given my childhood antics, I only found it appropriate to welcome my family with a lovely spread, personalized koozies included. What better way to kick off a highly anticipated family weekend than with treats, mojitos and the promise that no one will steal your beer all weekend?

These Lime Cornmeal cookies from Giada are crisp, light and perfect for summer. Usine rice flour yields a lighter cookie and the cornmeal provides a surprising and delightful crunch. And the citrus glaze? Well that really deserves it's own post. It's good enough for swimming.

Lime Cornmeal Cookies with Citrus Glaze
recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis

1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large limes, zested
1 egg, at room temperature
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rice flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 large limes, zested
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Also will need: round cookie cutter (I used a 2 inch round for petite cookies)

Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together butter, sugar and lime zest until combined. Add the egg, lime juice and vanilla. Process until smooth, then add the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Process until the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 20 seconds. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (I chilled mine overnight and let it sit out for 30 minutes the next morning before rolling it out to cut the cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, making sure the dough is about 1/4" thick. Using your round cookie cutter, cut the cookies until all of the dough has been used, making sure you are gathering any scraps, kneading them together and rolling those out as well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Smaller cookies equals shorter amount of time in the oven. Mine cooked perfectly right at 12 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lime zest and lemon juice until smooth. Spread 1 tsp. of glaze onto each cookie. Let harden for 45 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vietnamese Coffee Pops

Popsicles are the next big thing. What goes around, comes around and based on all the fun, flavorful and gourmet pops crossing my path lately, the summer treats of our childhood have made a comeback. I don't know about you, but growing up, my mom had darling popsicle molds that she would fill with pudding, yogurt and fresh summer fruits. It was a fun way to eat dessert and something about food on a stick is appealing to pretty much anyone.

My friend Julie reminded me of this tasty childhood memory earlier this summer and off to Bed Bath & Beyond I went to pick up these cheerful molds. I picked up some fresh raspberries and made Julie's Raspberry Lime Popsicles. You can find the recipe here

As the summer has progressed, so has my desire to keep experimenting with different popsicle recipes. A few weeks ago, I found myself daydreaming about the rich, creamy, iced goodness that is Vietnamese iced coffee. You can guess what happened next. A simple combination that works in all of the best ways. Freshly brewed espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice is a food marriage made in heaven.

Pour this heavenly mixture into a popsicle mold... and you just improved your summer afternoon coffee breaks.

Vietnamese Coffee Pops

(makes about 8 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds)

2 cups brewed espresso coffee
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Mix espresso with sweetened condensed milk. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Organization is Bliss

"It's like I feel skinnier and prettier when my life is organized and color coded on paper".

A friend told me this a few weeks ago and while I couldn't stop laughing, I agree with her 100%. Over the past few weeks, it seems as though the girls of my blogging and Twitter circles have jumped on the ultimate organization train in a huge way. I have always been OCD when it comes to having my life and plans organized and although we are living in the age of technology in overdrive, I will choose a quality piece of paper and my favorite pen over a digital calendar any day. When I thought I had a good system going, Erin's recent blog post stopped me in my tracks and I knew that I didn't have to do this, but I needed to! This Home Management Notebook project is beyond brilliant! And best of all, there are so many free resources at our fingertips these days, you can completely make this notebook your own based on what YOU want. This may seem like a "moms only" necessity but trust me, even though there are no mini Moores running around yet, this newlywed household is already benefiting from Organization Fest 2011.

To get started, I picked up a cute printed binder from Target, some dividers, a few 3-hole punched pockets and convinced Mark that a label maker would be a good addition to our home office supply stash. Win! The pocket in the front of my notebook is a nice little storage compartment. Right now it's holding post its, notepaper and a killer inner thigh workout I printed earlier this week. Ouch!

I keep a daily planner (more on that life changing purchase in a bit) so I didn't really need a weekly or monthly section. Instead, I just have a "Our Home" section where I can keep track of household chores, and running lists of household items and toiletries that we may be running out of so that I can grab that list the next time I'm out. I printed out The Project Girl's weekly chore schedule printout to keep track of keeping this house fresh and clean.

The Cooking section is my favorite. Obviously. I already had a great system going for our meal and grocery planning so having it in my binder is like sprinkles on top. I really liked the meal planner printout from The Project Girl and the grocery list on the side as a reference for what we might need for our specific weekly dinners and anything we have run out of during the week. I can then fill in the list with anything else that we need and I'm good to go for my weekly grocery trip.

We're trying to be better about keeping track of what we spend. It's always some peace of mind when we know where our money is going and how much of it is going where. I found this Monthly Spending Buttoned Up worksheet that I will be using for now. I found a few other great resources online so I'm in the process of making my own spreadsheet specific to us.

I am constantly sending cards to loved ones via snail mail so this section for an important dates calendar was a must. My mom found this darling year at a glance printout on Susan Branch's jewel of a website. It's been on our refrigerator for the past few months but into the notebook it went!

With so many weddings and life events popping up these days, I always seem to end up taking on the task of being the designated planner- and I love it! This party planning worksheet from momAgenda was recommended by Nina. It's simple, concise and a great go-to reference sheet for upcoming parties. First up- my BFF Meghan's Bachelorette weekend on Pawley's Island, SC next month!

A few other tabs I included:

- Gifts (to be purchased and ideas as I come across them)
- Projects
- Inspiration (for ideas I find or those creative moments when I want to jot something down!)
- Notes (as in my running list of fall 2011 wardrobe essentials)

I used several of the online resources that Erin and other bloggers posted, found a few on my own and created the rest. What used to be several spiral bound notebooks, random lists and post its all over my house and in my car can now be found in one single spot. I can now breathe a sigh of relief.

As if the Home Management Notebook wasn't enough to get my adrenaline pumping, I joined the Erin Condren Life Planner-aholic society. Over the top I tell you! I have always drooled over the dreamy designs and bright, happy colors of Erin's paper products but never really did much research in the planner department. I am Miss Persnickity when it comes to planners. I'm almost embarrassed to say that two years ago I purchased and returned FIVE planners until I found the right one. Well, my Life Planner arrived on my doorstep just a few hours ago and I am already in LOVE. The orange and pink candy lace print is even happier in person. It kind of reminds me of rainbow sherbet. As in, if you could lick the cover and it had a flavor, that would be it! Erin Condren makes a phenomenal product and I couldn't be happier with how the rest of 2011 and 2012 will look in it's color coded, handwritten glory.


Thanks to Erin of Blue Eyed Bride for posting this fun Home Management Notebook link up!

If you want to link up and see what others are saying about their Life Planners, visit Meredith's blog!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Half Baked Co.

In my world, there is always room for dessert. This is both a good and a bad thing. But when I can indulge without feeling guilty, it's a winning combination in my book!

A few months ago, a high school friend and I reconnected. I had no idea that Carolyn had been reading my little blog all the while I had spent internet surfing moments drooling over the cupcakes and sweet treats she was posting from her California based bakery on Facebook. Cupcakes, cake balls, cupcakes on a stick, cruffles (delicious cake truffles and some of the most darling cakes I have ever seen. It was after a trip to the kitchen to curb my sweet tooth that when I sat down to finish reading, I happily found out that everything was baked using healthy baking substitutes!

After many months of drooling every time I saw a post from Half Baked Co., a lovely little package appeared at my doorstep and I was able to sample the goods. I am big on presentation and packaging and my package from Half Baked was as sweet as can be. Wrapped in hot pink tissue, each treat was tucked in carefully and tied with a coordinating pink bow. Everything was just darling! Since the cupcakes only ship locally, my box was filled with tiny treats. All of them were absolutely decadent and delicious down to the last bite. These treats are not your average healthy, cardboard consistency type items pretending to take the place of dessert. They are the real deal and after they're happily in your belly, you only have half of the guilt!

I sampled the following Half Baked Co. creations:

Triple Chocolate marshmallow on a stick
Strawberry marshmallow on a stick
Death by Chocolate cupcake on a stick
Pink Velvet cupcake on a stick
Thin Mint Oreo pop
Peanut Butter Oreo pop
Chocolate Cherry Cruffle (my absolute FAVORITE!! I'm still thinking about it)

To read more about Half Baked Co., visit their website at, or by clicking the image on my right hand side bar. Better yet, treat yourself and just order some goodies, and tell Carolynn that I sent you. Don't forget to include a Chocolate Cherry Cruffle in your order. Better yet, order several, because one won't be enough.

Half Baked really is twice as good! Happy Weekend to all!