Mermade Moments: January 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

TJ Maxx Haul - Kate Spade + Lilly Pulitzer Finds!

On Sunday, I hit up TJ Maxx with my momma. I've had a $50 gift card burning a whole in my pocket since Christmas. (one whole month!) I was a little nervous because good old TJ can be verrrrrry hit or miss. Sometimes I love ALL OF THE THINGS and other times I leave sad and disappointed. 

My mom and I had no problem filling our cart this time! 


This artificial flower arrangement - clearance for $5.00


LOOK AT THIS YOGA MAT. I do yoga just to lay on this mat. $7.99
 +
Pretty purple foam roller - $16.99

 
This Nine West bag that I'm going to tote my notebooks/planners around in - clearance for $12.00


 
How adorable are these cards? Glitter lined envelopes. I die. I have 4 nieces and I will put these to good use - clearance for $3.00

 
Cynthia Rowley organizational stand (I have no idea what to call this) - $12.99

 
Kate Spade mini vase that I've been wanting for months - clearance for $7.00

 
Two Lilly Pulitzer trays. IN MY FAVORITE PRINT - $2.00 and $3.00

I got all of this for a little over $70. Gift card/money well spent! I was excited to get so many name brand items for such a steal! Thank you for being awesome this time, TJ. 
Which do you prefer? Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshall's? I'm definitely a TJ/Marshall's girl! What's the best deal you've found at stores like these? I would love to know!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pop Sugar Must Have // January 2016

It's that time again...the Pop Sugar Must Have unboxing!

 

If you aren't familiar, this subscription costs $39.95 a month, but the cost of goods that you get is way above that! They also have 3 month and 6 month subscriptions. I'll show you the item, the retail cost, and I will total everything up at the end. Eek!

Pehr Designs Pebble Speck Bin : $40
This bin is so cute! It's folded up in this picture, but it opens up to a good size! I'm thinking we might put it at the front door to toss our shoes in.


Spark Joy by Marie Kondo : $18.99
When Pop Sugar gave the sneak peek of this in one of their emails, I shrieked! I'm so excited to read this. 
Patchology FlashMasque Trio : $20 and Chapstick Total Hydration $2.99
This chapstick is totally practical and I have no complaints. I'm excited to try these face masks. One is an exfoliant, one is hydrating and one is illuminating. 

Blue Sky Day Designer Weekly Planner : $15.99
A million times yes. This is the perfect color and the perfect layout. I love the To Do list side! 
Not Soap, Radio Bath and Shower Gel Gift Set : $22
I love that these are travel sized! I love 3/5 of the scents, so not bad! 
Project 7 Inc Summer Snow SF Gum : $1.99
I don't like fruity gum, so that's a bummer. BUT. My nieces loved shave ice, so I'm going to give this to them.  (So Keiki Rainbow)
End Total = $121.96
This box was a little random/seemed cheaper than usual, but I was still happy with the contents! (I think the December box was so great that now I'm spoiled.) My only other complaint is that this month's box came so late in the month! It came on Friday the 22nd and the planner obviously started at the first of the year. However, they acknowledged this and said they would get the February box out much quicker! 

I can't wait to see what February holds! If you're interested in getting your own Must Have box, click here for $5 off!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites 1.22.16

I'm just bursting at the seams with favorites for you guys this week! Seriously, all week long I would say to myself "Oh! There's another favorite!"

Also shout out to my older sister. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, T!  You can be one of my Friday Favorites ;)

1.

My new May Designs notebooks. They were on sale! Swoon! 


2.


COOKIE BUTTER CHEESECAKE BITES from Trader Joes. Holy Moses, these are SO good. Like really really good. Each square is 90 calories, so that obviously means I can eat 4. On the real though, I eat one (or two) every day when I get home from work and my mood improves instantly!


3.



Pioneer Woman everything at Walmart. She has the cutest items for your kitchen and they are totally inexpensive. Insert all of the heart eyes here. I bought this pitcher for my sister and her friend this week and I need to go back and get one for myself.


4.

photo credit

Sims 3. Yaaaaasssssss. J surprised me the other day by downloading Sims 3 onto my laptop. I haven't played Sims in years and I am totally addicted again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

SNICKERS® Cupcakes + Other Big Game Day Treats!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayGlory #CollectiveBias

#shop

My two favorite things are food and entertaining. Entertaining doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to be expensive either! I feel like the best deals can be found at Walmart. I like to make sure I have something for everybody when I'm hosting a get together, but I also don't want to break the bank! Honestly, finger foods are the way to go for me. I like to stick to the basics and concentrate on one main attraction.

#shop

For my Big Game Day celebration, I decided my SNICKERS® cupcakes would be the star. Rich chocolate + gooey caramel goodness - what's not to love?

What You'll Need:
  • a boxed cake mix of your choice - I chose yellow
  • eggs (as stated on the box)
  • oil (as stated on the box)
  • water (as stated on the box)
  • caramel sauce
  • SNICKERS® Minis
  • chocolate frosting 
If you have a tried and true cupcake/frosting recipe, go ahead and use it! This is just the easiest, most inexpensive way to execute this recipe. 

What You Do:
1) Add the cake mix, eggs, oil and water into a bowl and mix together. 
#shop
2) Once everything is combined, drizzle caramel sauce directly into the bowl. (pretty design not required ;)) and then stir.

 #shop
3) Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop the batter into your lined cupcake tins (I found these football liners at Walmart a few years back and hoarded them!)
#shop
4) Once all the liners are filled with batter, push an unwrapped SNICKERS®  into the center.
#shop

5) Bake according to the directions on the box. If you insert a toothpick into one of your cupcakes and it comes out clean, they're done!
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6) Let cool completely. Once cool, frost them! I chose a chocolate fudge frosting for this cupcake because yum!!!I cut the SNICKERS® Minis in half and placed them onto the cupcakes. You can also chop them into little pieces and sprinkle them all over the frosting.
#shop

I would love to have "dessert only" get togethers, but I'm thinking that might be frowned upon! So I go to the next best thing and set out my favorite snacks. My go to snacks are always chips and dip/salsa, candy, beverages and something that can be made or bought in bulk like pizza!

#shop

Chips and salsa are a must for me. I can eat them anytime of day! I personally love the TOSTITOS® brand. Their "scoops" and Chunky Medium salsa are my jam! I like to have candy bowls set out because if you're anything like me, you stress eat! I think sports and stress eating go hand and hand. Am I right? I set out Skittles® for the fruit lovers and SNICKERS® for those chocolate lovers! Lastly, I'm all about the Pepsi™ - such a classic and you just can't go wrong!
What are your favorite snacks to serve at your Big Game Day celebrations? I would love to know!

Don't forget to enter the #gamedayglorysweepstakes and vote for your favorite snack stadium! You can win a $100 Walmart eGift card or an Xbox one!

For recipes and instructions on how to make your own snack stadium, click here!
For all of the products you'll need for your snack stadium, click here! If you prefer shopping in store, take my handy store guide with you! Everything you need is right next to each other. Gotta love convenience!

#shop


Game Day Glory Sweepstakes

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Word For 2016

 

It's taken me awhile to decide on my "word" for 2016. There is so much I want to accomplish this year and I wanted a word that encompassed it all. I chose the word "create". Way to be vague, I know.

I want to create this year.

I want to create the mind I want. I want to create the body I want. I want to create the space I want.

I want to create the blog/art/cupcakes I want. I want to create memories. I want to create the LIFE I want. 

I want to be successful in everything that I do. I want to fear less. I want to challenge myself more. I want to do more. I'm so tired and unmotivated all the time and that is no way to go throughout life. One day, I'm going to wish I did ALL the things while I had the chance. I want to be healthier - mentally and physically. End of ramble. This is my year. I am so ready.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quick and Light Italian Stuffed Shells feat. Ragu!

 

Food has been bringing my family together for as long as I can remember. Some of my fondest memories include family and food. My mom is the best cook I know. Her dishes are always delicious and made with love. She makes everything seem effortless! I asked her if we could write this post together, since I have a lot to learn and she has a lot to teach!


We were walking around the grocery contemplating what to make. We wanted something on the lighter side, lots of flavor and lots of veggies. (hello January) We decided to stuff pasta shells with all of our favorite things - ground turkey + mushrooms, zucchini, cheese, and Ragu traditional pasta sauce. Although I would consider this a "simple" dish, the flavor is really packed in!

 

First, we chopped mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme and dill. We put the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a pan with the ground turkey.

 

We seasoned that with ground pepper, paprika and pink Himalayan sea salt. Mom Tip #1 : fresh herbs go in last! We cooked the ground turkey + mushroom mixture until the meat was browned. We drained the grease and set it aside.

 

We used jumbo pasta shells and boiled them according to the instructions on the package. Mom Tip #2: add olive oil and salt to the water. She said "my mom taught me that this adds flavor and prevents the noodles from sticking." While the pasta was boiling, we grated a zucchini.
 
 After 10 minutes, we drained the al dente pasta. Mom Tip #3: use the steam as a free facial! (lol!)

 

We grabbed a casserole dish and spooned some of the Ragu pasta sauce into the bottom.

my mom should be on the Food Network
We spooned some of the ground turkey + mushroom mixture into each shell. We did this until a layer of shells filled our casserole dish.

 

 

We sprinkled the grated zucchini and shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the shells.

 

To top it all off, we drizzled more Ragu pasta sauce on top. We baked for 20 minutes. Let me tell you, this dish smells deeeeelish while baking.

my mom would like you to note how clean her oven is ;)

 

As a side dish, we served broccolini. Mom Tip #4: put these in a small pan and add a small amount of water. This will steam them! Let them steam until they are bright green, but still firm. When the broccolini was done, my mom had a brilliant idea! We had leftover bacon from breakfast and crumbled that on top. Yummmm!

 

We served this to my step dad, boyfriend and step sister and they loved it! It was light, filled with veggies and so satisfying! Ragu has so many different options that can be used in a variety of ways. Next time we make this dish, we were thinking of doing spinach and feta or chicken, zucchini and mozzarella!

 

Mom Tip #5: please rinse your jar before you recycle it. (she insists on this)


My step dad said that he's loved Ragu since he was a kid and that this meal reminded him of something that his mom would've made. Melting my heart! This year, I want to concentrate on what's most important - making memories, my family, and my health. I definitely think Ragu will play a part in this!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Sweetapolita Bakebook // Blogging for Books

 

This book review is sooooo long overdue, it's not even funny. I received this book through Blogging for Books months and months ago. Words cannot even describe this gorgeous piece of baking heaven.

 

If you like baking even the slightest bit, you need this book! It's literally perfection. All 208 pages are whimsical and lovely. The pictures are clear and full of beautiful colors. The recipes are SO fun. Edible chalk paint? Homemade sprinkles? Yes and yes. This book is filled with rainbows and sunshine and happiness. Like really.


Rosie shares her foolproof recipes for cakes, cookies, frostings and sprinkles! This book is perfect for beginners or experts of all ages and this will have a place on my bookshelf forever.


Rosie is the equivalent of a fluffy unicorn baking magician and that is all I have to say. <3 



I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.