Cozy Coffee Corner + An Iced Caramel Coconut Milk Latte

Thursday, June 29, 2017
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #CraftYourCool #CollectiveBias

There is nothing better than the morning light streaming through our front windows. I'm not really a morning person, but I think that has slowly shifted since becoming a mama. And while I would prefer to continue snoozing, I am so thankful that I get to enjoy the morning sun these days. The best part of enjoying the early hours of the day? The toddler playing make-believe in her footie pajamas and the iced coffee I'm sipping on in our cozy corner. And if you know me (in blog land or in-person) you know how much I enjoy iced coffee, especially when it's Starbucks®

It's even better to share these moments with husband during the weekends. Our little cozy coffee corner is the perfect spot to do life and enjoy the start to the day with a homemade iced latte in hand. Here's the way we like to serve it up! Cheers!

  • What You'll Need
    • 2 TBSP Starbucks® Breakfast Blend Coffee
    • 12 oz cold/room temperature water
    • Coconut Milk
    • Caramel Syrup
    • Ice
    • Donut for topping :)
  • What You'll Do
    • The night before you want to enjoy this iced latte, you will need to cold brew the coffee. I used a French press for this step. 
    • Put the ground coffee in the French press and add the water. Put the lid on, but do not push it down. Store in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
    • The next morning when you're ready to enjoy, push the lid down on the French press to filter out the coffee grounds. 
    • Put ice in you cup and then pour the cold brew coffee over it. Add as much or as little of the coconut milk as you like. Add some splashes of caramel syrup (to your taste). 
    • For a lot of extra fun, add a paper straw and a scrumptious donut!
**This recipe makes two iced lattes.

Seize every sip of summer with Starbucks®, and find your bag of Starbucks® Breakfast Blend at Walmart, right in the coffee aisle. Be sure to collect 75 Bonus Stars with a purchase of any (3) Starbucks® packaged coffees of K-Cup® pods through 7/10/17.

The best part of enjoying an iced latte is the person or people you're doing it with! Make a cozy spot in your home to sit together and sip on a delicious coffee treat. It makes it all the better, I promise! What is your favorite way to drink Starbucks® at home?

'Under The Lights' Backyard Summer Party

Monday, June 26, 2017
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #StarsOfSummer #CollectiveBias

Summer is the perfect time of year to transform your backyard into a charming spot for hosting your people, serving up tasty foods, and hanging out long after the fireflies have come out. I'm a huge fan of ambiance, so if I'm going to host a backyard soiree, I prefer to do it around dusk, when I can light up the night with strings of patio lights and candles. It makes the evening feel all the cozier, and that is my favorite kind of feeling. When it comes to the food, it's best to keep it simple so you spend more time hanging out than running around the kitchen. Truth be told, I'm not always the best at a simple menu, but I'm getting better and learning.

A new recipe that I recently tried out, was a twist on an American classic. Instead of a traditional bread-wrapped hotdog, I made pretzel wrapped franks, and y'all they're delicious! I headed straight to Walmart to get all of my ingredients, from Hebrew National® Beef Franks to Hunt's® Ketchup and Gulden's® Mustard. Hover over the ingredients in the photo above to click through to to purchase them!

Like I mentioned, keeping the menu simple is key. And using what you have around the house for d├ęcor, will have you on your way to being the hostess with the mostest ;)  After all, with tasty food + twinkle lights you can make any get-together a major success. So if you don't have a tablecloth on hand, use a sturdy throw like I did to add a little extra character to the table. Fresh flowers are always an eye-grabber for any tablescape, and sprucing up glass bowls with beautifully printed tea towels is another way to turn the ordinary into extraordinary. For even more fun, grab a wagon (maybe even a wheelbarrow!) and load it up with your drinks for the evening. 

 To make the pretzel-wrapped franks, it's simple and uncomplicated...

  • What You'll Need
    • Your favorite pretzel dough
    • Hebrew National Beef Franks
    • Hunt's Ketchup
    • Gulden's Mustard
    • Kosher Salt
  • What You'll Do
    • Make the pretzel dough according to its instructions.
    • Cut the beef franks into thirds.
    • Pinch off a small lump of pretzel dough and begin to roll it out unitl it's about 6 inches long. Then wrap the dough around the frank.
    • Put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat this process until the baking sheet is full.
    • Sprinkle the tops of the dough with kosher salt. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Set the pretzel-wrapped franks out with ketchup and mustard for dipping!

Walmart is your one-spot stop to grab all of your ingredients. They're easy to find, and the store has exactly what you're looking for!

For the rest of your table, add foods that are easy to pick up and munch on. I loved having popcorn, cantaloupe (or another melon), and cookies for a sweet treat. Set all of the food out just before your guests arrive so that it's at its peak freshness! And if you feel so inclined, put some soft music on for a little background noise. Light the tiki torches and candles, plug the lights in, and you're ready for evening of fun under the stars. 

Looking to summer to certify your backyard/patio, or host the ultimate summer block party? Check out the #StarsOfSummer Sweepstakes where you have a chance to win a $50 Walmart gift card almost everyday leading up to Labor Day (ends 8/31) as well as enter into the drawing for a $750 Walmart Gift Card grand prize. Winner selected on or around 8/31!

No Purchase Necessary. The #StarsOfSummer #Sweepstakes begins on June 2, 2018 at 12:00:00 AM ET and ends on August 31, 2018 at 11:59:59 PM ET. There are multiple Entry Periods during the Sweepstakes. Legal residents of the 50 US/DC only, 18+. Void where prohibited. By participating you agree to Official Rules at When sharing, Entrant should include the following: "#StarsOfSummer #Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/18. See Rules at"

Find more summer cookout inspiration HERE! Happy cookout planning!! xo

Summer Solstice On The Lake + A VIDEO

Sunday, June 25, 2017
This post is sponsored by Discover Boating, but the contents and opinions expressed here are my own.

We had a unique opportunity to hit the lake this last Wednesday, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to celebrate the summer solstice on the water. Being on a boat is one of my favorite things, albeit I don't get to do it very often at all. The breeze, smells of summer, and sound of the boat slipping through the water are just the highlights. That's not to mention the memories your making with your people. They just can't be beat. Basically, what I'm saying is you need to book a boat now because you absolutely will not regret it!

If there was a vote for who had the most fun, Greer takes the win. This girl is obsessed with the breeze and the way it dances in her hair. She is also a huge fan of the water (bath time is her all-time favorite). Combine the two, and I'm pretty sure our girl would say she got a small taste of heaven. To top it all off, her daddy even let her drive the boat ;) 

We opted for an evening to dusk adventure, and I can't recommend this enough. While I love to go during prime tanning hours of the day (yes, I love to get soak in vitamin D for a healthy glow!), there's a whole different experience to boating as the sun goes down. It's so peaceful on the practically empty waters (thanks to a mid-week voyage), and the golden sun sparkling on the water is more beautiful than pictures will do justice.

As much as I would have loved to stay out until the sun was down, we adhere to a toddler bedtime schedule that we like not to mess with. But, that didn't keep us from having a blast, and we loved every minute on the glistening water. We'd like to say we're boat people, even if we're only on the lake once every couple of years :)

I packed us a dinner picnic to enjoy on the lake, and brought along our bathing suits on the chance that we would feel up for a dip in the water. If you're going to boat in the evening, a picnic on the lake + a anchored boat + country music on the radio, makes for a perfect combination. My suggestion is to keep dinner light and simple. We had a cold pasta salad (pasta shells, peas, grape tomatoes, bacon, and avocado), fresh fruit, and chicken poppers that I made just before we left and wrapped up to keep warm. For an extra treat, I made cheesecake brownies. 

Our family had an incredible time boating, and decided on the spot that this "boating on the summer solstice" would be a new family tradition. If you're looking to get out on the water this summer for a day, an evening, or to start your own tradition, be sure to check out all things boating HERE

And now for the video! Try not to melt at all of the toddler excitement :) 

Little Love Letters || June Edition

Friday, June 23, 2017
dear summer,
you've been really lovely so far. but i have to admit, i already have eyes for fall. i just can't help it. Pinterest isn't helping either. 

dear hilton head,
i saw a glimpse of you on the bachelorette this week. it made me that much more excited for august. i can't wait to see you in a little under two months. see you soon!

you're cute and comfy too. i'm glad i went ahead and bought you on a whim.

dear backyard rhododendron,
thank you for blooming after all. i thought you were dying, but you surprised me this week with bright pink blooms that turned into light pink/white flowers. you're lovely. 

i've got my eye on you. i think you'd be great year-round. 

dear blueberry hill,
we've discovered that visiting you in the early morning before the sun is high and hot is perfection. we will be back a whole lot more over these next couple of months.

you were just wonderful! and greer loved you even more than i did. i think we just found our summer solstice tradition.

dear family room,
i just rearranged you, and i love where we're at so far. i've got some design ideas to transform you a bit more. for a huge overall, i'd love to knock down one of your walls, but i think i need a contractor for that. who wants to come demo this room for me??

you had me at stripes, and you make the perfect companion for my chair. welcome to your new home.

cheers + xoxo's!

p.s. read more little love letters.

p.p.s. don't forget to enter the giveaway that is going on now!

**Affiliate links were used within this post. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Amongst The Flowers + A GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
We all know fall is my absolute favorite season. But, there is a very warm place in my heart for the warm months and all the lovely flowers. It's been a treat to discover what blooms in our new yard as we discover our home in each new season. Just this week the rhododendron bush in our backyard bloomed. I watched all of our neighbors' rhododendron bushes bloom bright fuchsia in the springtime, and my heart sank when my bushes didn't produce one flower. Then on the brink of the official start to summer, pink flowers began blooming, and my heart is swooning.

With the rain finally gone, little bit and I snuck outside for an afternoon snack yesterday. After a Target run and the grocery store, a little down time was exactly what we needed. The weather was calm, and the temperature mild, making for a snack amongst the flowers as delightful as it sounds. 

And I can't get over the cuteness of a) this pint-sized outdoor table + chairs and b) my baby with a tiny hair clip in her hair. Pair them together and it's complete cuteness overload that has me all kinds of happy. More than I love the table, Greer is just so excited about a table that is her size. It's been the perfect addition to our house, and has hosted many littles at dinners over the last several weeks. To top it off, there are sweet flowers and critters painted across the top of the table and the stools, giving the wooden set a whimsical feel. The umbrella is the icing on the cake. It's tiny, cute, and provides the needed shade for the little one sitting beneath it. 

Fun fact, Greer is wearing overalls that once belonged to a little me. I've said it once, and I'll say it forever, but it is so fun to pass things down to my daughter. Whether it's clothing or traditions, there is noting quite so special and sentimental. 

Eek, now for some exciting news! Fantasy Fields is giving away an outdoor table and chair set to one lucky reader! You heard me correctly! You could be snacking amongst the flowers with your little one at your very own tiny table. The winner will get to select either the Sunny Safari set or the Magic Garden set. All you have to do is enter the giveaway below....

The giveaway will run until Wednesday, June 28 at 11:59 PM, and the winner will be announced here on the blog! Happy first day of summer, friends!! 

This post was sponsored by Fantasy Fields. All content, photographs, and opinions are mine alone. 

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you as always for supporting the blog!

Festival Around Town

Monday, June 19, 2017
Oh, the nostalgia! Every June, since I was a little girl, my hometown has put on the Festival Around Town. There are small vendors, festival foods, live music, carnival-like rids, and kiddy games. The smell of fried food fills the summer air, the country music intermingles with the squeals of kids on rides, and the mountains sit as the backdrop in all their glory. This was always a special summertime treat for me, and to this day I still venture back home for a little taste of my childhood. 

This past Friday we kicked off our weekend at the festival, where the most important part is buying a funnel cake and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Nothing will beat it. The weather was beautiful, a blessing considering the rain that had been pouring all week, and we were able to enjoy about an hour and a half of sweet time making even sweeter memories. 

Last year, Greer was just at the brink of turning six months old. This year, my girl was just shy of the 18 month mark, and it was pure joy to share this experience with her. She loved everything....the music, the rides, the sounds, the lights. And just like her mama, she loved the lemonade and funnel cake. 

Even though the magic of the festival isn't the same as an adult, watching Greer take it all in brought back a little of the magic. Her curiosity and amazement was enough to make me burst. How lovely it is to pass down traditions and childhood memories with my little girl. It makes this once-a-year festival all the more special.

I can't pass up an opportunity to do a little mama/daughter matching. And seeing as how stripes are my favorite, this outfit combination was perfection. I wore my new favorite summer dress with the best (in my book) details, longer sleeves and a little flair at the bottom, and Greer sported a light-weight shirt + peach shorts + a twist knot head wrap as the final touch. If you're looking for dresses or tops to beat the heat in and still feel stylish, be sure to check out the selection at PinkBlush! A special thank you to this boutique for sending the dress to me; it's going to be a summer staple.

Whether she was running around with her aunt or dancing to the country tunes, if there is one thing this girl had her eye on the whole time, it was the blow-up toys. She wanted a "balloon" so badly, and husband and I couldn't resist. So she caught some fish with her daddy and then became the proud owner of  blow-up strawberry lollipop. She hasn't put it down all weekend. Easily, the best $3 we have ever spent. Even if it means getting bonked in the head from all the excitement ;)

She was stealing sips of lemonade from anyone who couldn't turn toothy grin "pleases" down. You try to wouldn't happen, I promise. We cut her off of lemonade, but she didn't pass up the chance to get in on the funnel cake. Greer even decided that doing tricks would most likely guarantee her more bites of the sweet confection. See for yourself....

We wrapped up our time at the festival out in the grassy field, admiring the swings just one more time. And then since someone was too little to actually get on the swings, her daddy swung her around instead. She was just as thrilled. I'm pretty sure I could just eat her up. 

I so look forward to next year's Festival Around Town, to sharing more memories, and keeping the tradition alive and well!

**Affiliate links were used within this post. Thank you as always for supporting this blog!