Honey Bourbon Lemonade

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I saw this recipe as a video on The Kitchn’s Facebook page the same week my husband received a bottle of Wild Turkey Honey Bourbon as a gift from our brother-in-law. What other conclusion could I draw except it was meant to be the drink of the week?


You can watch the video and see their recipe on how to make this drink here.

In my typical fashion, I adjusted the recipe a little bit based on what ingredients I already had. (No need to shop when making a cocktail!)

I didn’t have pure lemon juice, but I did have lemon sour mix.  Knowing that the sour mix already has sugars and sweeteners in it, I reduced the amount of simple syrup.

1 cup honey bourbon
2 cups lemon sour mix
1 cup simple sugar (made from 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water)
1 quart water
With these proportions, the drink is still sweet.  If you prefer more tart, reduce or eliminate the simple sugar.

Stir and serve offer ice! In cute vintage sour cream glasses if you have them.

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Enjoy – It’s almost Friday!



My Friday Favorites 06.17.16

Happy Friday! Here are all the things I’m loving this week!

On TV –  The new season of America’s Got Talent is underway. I have never watched this show before, but was intrigued to tune in after seeing many stories and social media posts about the 12 year old ukulele playing girl that got the Willy Wonka golden ticket. I caught up with the episodes on demand and watched episode three in real time. The golden buzzer has been rung in each episode, first by Mel B, next by Howie, and this week, by Heidi. Scenes for next week show Simon reaching for it …

America's Got Talent - Season 11

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Auditions Pasadena Civic Auditorium” — Pictured: Sal Valentinetti — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

TV side note-  Orange is the New Black Season 4 is available today on Netflix!

On the Page – The July’s Good Housekeeping is the “Steals and Deals” issue. Filled with the inside scoop on the best sales, home decor steals, travel tips, and barbecue recipes it’s the perfect magazine to throw in your pool / beach bag and read cover to cover. 

good housekeeping july

On Instagram – I love all the different home decor Instagram contests. This week,  I participated in #justanothermantelmonday .  The winner was also my favorite pic posted! Clocks! Sunflowers! Glass Vases! Vintage books! Shiplap wall! Check out  I Dream of Homemaking for more gorgeous pics like the winner below. 


In the Kitchen – I found this recipe and blog through Instagram, too. Check out @foodbymaria for gorgeous pictures of healthy food! Don’t just push the like heart – click through to her blog for amazing recipes like this Lentil and Quinoa Salad that caught my eye. I’m very excited that summer salad season is upon us. Can’t wait to try this one!


Wishing you all a great weekend. It is the last day of school for me so I am very excited to start summer vacation! Happy, happy Father’s Day out there to all the men celebrating especially my dad, Bob, and my wonderful husband, Larry!

What are you loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading.

Carrot Cheesecake Cake

For Easter I decided I wanted to make a carrot cake – but with some sort of new twist. Off to Pinterest I went. I found this recipe: Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake from Shugary Sweets.  I knew that this was a little more involved, but I had the whole weekend to time it out. Plus, I love carrot cake, but I LOVE cheesecake so this was pretty much a win-win. 

Olivia was very excited to get started! I followed the recipe exactly as given except I added raisins to the carrot cake and I did not put chopped pecans in the frosting. I did put them around the cake after it was frosted. Also, it says “heavy cream” for the frosting and “heavy whipping cream” for the cheesecake. I used heavy whipping cream for both (I have NO idea if they are really two different things!) I made the cheesecake first and once thoroughly cooled, I kept it in the refrigerator until I was ready to assemble all the layers. 

My CCL_carrotchsck_oliviaMyCCL_carrotchsck1MyCCL_carrotchsck4


It was a huge hit! Do you ever make cakes with a cheesecake layer in the middle? What are your favorite recipes? Leave me a comment and let me know. Many thanks to Shugary Sweets for helping me with my Easter baking!

My Friday Favorites 02.05.16

FF apples grn

Here are all the things I am loving this week!

On TV – My daughter and I watched Project Runway, Jr. together this season. This week was the finale and the final four designers showed at New York Fashion Week! So much talent in these teenagers even Kelly Osbourne and Christian Siriano were blown away every episode. My first pick didn’t win, but my second favorite did (no spoilers! Didn’t watch? Check out the whole season on demand.) I’m not sure how I feel about “Junior” reality shows, it is a lot of pressure to put on kids. What I appreciate about this show is that the judges got that; they were human when they critiqued the contestants and even cried when they let them go. Fav moment of the finale -the Tim Gunn group hug!

Project Runway Junior finalists Samantha Maya Zachary Peytie Kelly Osbourne Christian Siriano


picture from Reality Blurred


On the Page –  This is the time of year that we have hand sanitizers hanging from every backpack and tucked into every purse. As a teacher who also has a child in preschool, the worst is waking up in the morning with a sore throat and the looming reality that a cold or flu is coming on. Read Good Housekeeping’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Cold & Flu Dodgers from their January 2016 issue. The article isn’t online but here is one that gives some good tips, too: Your Cold and Flu Survival Guide from A to Z. It’s also The Makeover Issue – with a little dog on the front barking – “Just Paint It!”

cold and flu remedies

On the Web – This article from Salon will make any daughter laugh and cry – You really are becoming your mother: The science that confirms your greatest hopes and fears

You really are becoming your mother: The science that confirms your greatest hopes and fears

Mom and Maureen


Me and my mom at my cousin Trish’s wedding 35 years ago! (Yes, I did stalk your Facebook for an anniversary pic to verify number of years!)


In the Kitchen   All I can say about this is OMG.  Tagalong Pound Cake from You Wash…I Dry. 

Tagalong Pound Cake

On InstagramThere is a fun Valentine’s Day contest happening on Instragram. Tagging your Vaentine’s Day crafts and decor with the hashtag #CraftyCupid.  Here is my favorite this week from The Rusty Nest. Anything with a Queen of Hearts playing card gets a like- heart from me! 

The Rusty Nest

Here is my attempt at participating in the #CratyCupid contest:

my crafty cupid

For my Parenting Toolbox – This article isn’t about what to do for the kids – it’s about what to do for YOURSELF… so just as important in the Parenting Toolbox in my opinion! 23 Ways to Treat Yo’ self Without Buying or Eating Anything from Yes and Yes #1, 4, 5, 6! What are your favs on this list?


Happy Weekend! Hope it is relaxing and productive. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

Summer Cocktails – Sangria

It’s Thirsty Thursday, so here is a great summer cocktail recipe.

Red Wine Sangria 

1 kiwi, 1 orange, 1 mango, 10 strawberries, 20 blueberries

ANY fruit can be used in this drink.  To save time, look at the precut and packaged mixed fruit containers in the produce section of the supermarket.  Pick the fruit that looks the freshest – and throw it in the pitcher!

1 Dole can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
1 Dole can tropical fruit in light syrup and passion fruit juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Cointreau (or any orange liqueur will do)
1/3 cup coconut flavored rum
2 cups orange juice
1 bottle of red wine – I like a shiraz, but any will do! (don’t use the good stuff, cheap is fine!)
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
lemon-lime seltzer water

Slice the orange, kiwi, and strawberries, put in a pitcher. Add the blueberries, can of pineapple chunks with the juice, tropical fruit with juice and sugar. Pour in the orange liqueur, rum, and orange juice. Stir. Let sugar dissolve.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

IMG_3919Add the red wine and pink lemonade concentrate.

Serve over ice, spoon fruit into each glass and add the chilled lemon-lime seltzer to the top.


My Friday Favorites 04.17.15


Here are my Friday Favorites – one day late!

On TV-  A plane crash in Seattle stirs up lots of past emotions as the newer members of Sloan Grey Memorial team learn the truth about what happened to many of their co-workers.  Alex makes a huge reveal to Arizona. Owen and Cristina, I mean, Amelia go back and forth. Meredith is in a state of panic after not hearing from Derek all day, while knowing he missed his meeting in D.C.  Throughout the episode, flashbacks fill us in on the last MerDer conversation. McDreamy is back – see below – and wants to go for baby #3?!  The last scene was classic gut-wrenching Greys showing Meredith through a window with the reflection of police car lights circling across her and her home.

#WhereIsDerek“But the truth is, you don’t know how you’ll react to your worst case scenario.
None of us do.  Not until it happens.”

On the Page-  Glamour
is a magazine I faithfully read in my twenties.  Now in my forties, I find cooking, home decor, and family magazines are more my speed.  But when I saw three of my favorite ladies on the May cover of Glamour: Sarah Jessica Parker, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Kerry Washington, I tossed the issue onto the supermarket conveyor belt.  I’m glad I did! In addition to the great article about these three power women teaming up to bring awareness to female veterans, I also enjoyed reading up on fashion trends, beauty tips, and taking a quiz to see what type of snacker I am. I never would have thought twenty years later the “Hey It’s Ok to...” page would still make me laugh, but it turns out it does!  My favorite on this month’s list: “Hey It’s Ok to…just RSVP no without an explanation  It’s only happy hour, not jury duty.”  I need to cut this one out and post it near my computer so the next time I start feeling guilty about responding no while trying to think of new and creative ways to say – “I would rather be home with my family,” I’ll be reminded Hey, it’s OK!

On the Computer- I found this new-to-me blog, The Summery Umbrella, on twitter and I loved looking through the whole site! That’s what I love about social media – just clicking a little star to say: this is one of my favorites… leads you to amazing people and all they are accomplishing.  Anything with the tag line – Refresh Your Life – is something I want to read.  Look at this amazing before and after bathroom pic from Small Updates with Big Results.  (An aqua and apple green bathroom!  Yes, please!!) But don’t stop there – click away – every post is great!


In the Kitchen-  This is on my Sunday Meal Prep menu this week! Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Easy as Apple Pie.  A delicious combination of two things I usually make during meal prep: quinoa and roasted peppers – so why not put them together?  I can’t wit to try this! 

quinoa stuffed bell peppers

On my Pinterest Boards- I started a new Pinterest Board this week – Juice Glasses – to help me gathering pics of one of my favorite things to collect: tiny, colorful, glass cups!  This pic led me to a cute article Pretty Little Things to Collect and Display from Babble.  Image number 4 could have been from my mother’s house! Love the garden knobs, antique keys, printers blocks, and vintage milk bottles.  (Ok, maybe ANY of these images could have been in my mother’s house!!)

Pretty Little Things to Collect and Display

On my Twitter Feed- @HillaryClinton I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. –H

Hillary Clinton

What are some things you are loving this week?  What are you watching, reading, pinning and retweeting? Leave me a comment and let me know.  Have a great weekend and as always, thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 04.03.15

  FF apples grn

On TV- First, I must mention the season (we all believe to be series) finale of Hart of Dixie.  Although it has not been officially cancelled, the writers made sure that the season four finale was really a series finale and left no storyline unfinished.  And they threw in a huge choreographed musical theatre finale number by the whole cast downtown at the gazebo.  Long live Bluebell!  But my favorite pick this week is my new guilty pleasure, The Royals on E!  As a self proclaimed Royal Expert, this show was calling for me to watch it, and once I realized it is created by One Tree Hill’s Mark Schwahn?  Set the DVR, please!  It has all the ingredients for your typical night time soap opera with obvious comparisons to the real Royal Family across the pond.  A royal tragedy, heir and spare drama, dating a “commoner,” the partying princess and the tabloids, and two embarrassing female cousins who wear unfortunate hats.  And, yes, Elizabeth Hurley plays her Majesty, The Queen. (Even Queen Elizabeth can dream, right?)


On the Page- I just recently subscribed to Weight Watchers magazine on my iPad. One thing I have really missed since starting this diet is french fries!  As you can see from the March / April cover, there is an entire article dedicated to fries in this issue. There are eight different recipes to help you satisfy your fry urge, with tricks to make them healthy and what dipping sauces to use.  Zucchini Fries with Lemon and Dill, Cheddar Fries, Garlic Rosemary and Lemon Oven Fries, Eggplant Parm Fries, just to name a few.  Because it is the current issue, there is no online link yet, but I did find this similar recipe here: Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries.

Weight Watchers March April 2015 On the Computer- One of my favorite sites, A Mighty Girl, the world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls, has put together a fabulous collection of books. Beloved Books: A Mighty Girl Community Favorites includes one of our favorites in our house: Rosie Revere Engineer, by Andrea Beaty.

rosie_revere_engineer_A Mighty Girl In the Kitchen- I’m getting ready to start my meal prep for next week which means roasting a lot of vegetables.  I decided to look for some different ways to do this and found this recipe Clean Eating Roasted Summer Squash from The Gracious Pantry.  I have a bunch of summer squash and zucchini to roast and I will be trying this easy recipe out – the parmesan cheese will be so delicious!

clean-eating-roasted-summer-squash-the gracious-pantry

On my Pinterest Boards- I found this pin on a board called Bedroom Wall Decor. It brought me to this post: 14 Pinspired DIY Wall Art Tutorials from Gleam It Up. It would be nice wall art, but I liked it as an activity to do with Olivia with all of the different craft paper I have!

Wall Art from Gleamitup.com In My Shopping Cart- I found these awesome Keep Calm and Carry On Magnetic Page clips by Re-Marks that are perfect book marks for both books and magazines. I keep them with my stack of my current reads.

magnetic clips_re-marks

On My Playlist – Lately I have been downloading albums that take me back to a certain point in my life.  I’m not sure if it is the nice spring weather starting to appear which allows me to roll down the windows as I drive, or my looming 20th(!) reunion from college, but I’ve been blasting Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table and Dreaming this week.  #fbf

Dave_Matthews_Band_Under_the_Table_and_DreamingAnd all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennas waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

I hope you all had a fabulous week.  Spring Break is over for me – back to the grind on Monday.  Seven weeks until Memorial Day!  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 03.27.15

 FF pink green brown
Tick, tock, just a few more hours until the weekend, and for me Spring Break!
Let’s jump right in and talk about all the things I am loving this week.

On TV – #DidHeCheat Shonda Rhimes has gone back to the basics with Grey’s Anatomy for the past few weeks. I know what some of you are saying – you still watch that show?  Yes I do! And if you loved it when it first started, you would like the direction it is going in now. Interesting cases about patients we care about. Lots of action in the on-call rooms (Owen and Amelia!?  Even though I am not happy that Amelia and James from Private Practice didn’t last, I am happy that Owen can finally kiss someone without hot grate steam all over him.) Hanging out in the back hallway on the gurneys talking about Izzy, George, and when Callie was straight!  When Meredith called Derrick and another woman answered her phone, she kept asking “Who is this?” And the only answer she could come up with is the same answer Addison Montgomery came up with when she met Meredith in the Season 1 finale.


“You must be the woman sleeping with my husband.”

greysanatomy_meetaddisonThat brings us to last night’s episode. Did he or didn’t he? I guess it doesn’t matter what we think, just what Meredith thinks. It also didn’t take Hunt long to show his short temper to Amelia (helloooo this isn’t Cristina, take it down a notch. And did anyone else forget he lives in the trailer?)  My final thought: Alex Karev is still my favorite!

On the Page –  Real Simple Magazine is celebrating 15 years.  The subscriber cover for April 2015 is a celebration of years of Real Simple. So many of these covers I remember keeping for months just because I loved the way they looked!  The single lemon on the Back to Basic Cleaning issue, The No Cost Makeover with the apple green wall, Organize Your Life with the turquoise and orange boxes, How to Save Money all Year Long with the granny smith apples  – all of these lasted on my desk for inspiration for months after they came in the mail.  I have subscribed to this magazine for many years and it is always one that I renew, without even a question.  


On the Computer- This article has shown up on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds recently.  The Costs of Parenting: Stay Home or Return to Work? A Personal and Professional Decision With Financial Implications. This is a conversation I have had with many friends lately. Is there a way to balance work and home so I am happy with what I am doing in both places?  Am I making enough money to even justify having a job outside of the home, or is my paycheck going to childcare?This article gives the hard facts (dollar signs) of what it costs to raise a child and how it will effect your paycheck.  I also love that they chose a man for the picture. Warning: Contents of the article may be slightly depressing. Click carefully. 

Costs of Parenting

In the Kitchen- I have been eating a lot of roasted butternut squash lately (I know it is a fall veggie, but I buy it organic frozen to enjoy all year.) I searched the web to find some recipes with my new favorite go-to ingredient. I found Fusilli with Mushrooms and Roasted Butternut Squash from Primavera Kitchen. Looks great doesn’t it?  Not only does it have butternut squash AND pasta (yum) but it has my other must-haves when reading a recipe -the words EASY and DELICIOUS!


On my Pinterest Boards-  I started following this board on Pinterest this week – Post-Its.  The pin I like most on this board led me to this blog Five Ways We Love to Use Post-It Notes from Eighteen25.

post-it notes from eighteen25

On My Wish List-  How great would these lime green office accessories by Poppin look on my desk? Their tagline is work happy.  I would if I had all these supplies!

lime green desk supplies by poppin

On my Twitter Feed- @theorderexpert Brighten up your office with this collection of decorative file folders!

Decorative Folders from the order expert

What are some of the things you are loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what made your Friday Favorites list. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

My Friday Favorites 03.20.15

Hope everyone had a fabulous week.
Here are all the things I am loving! Enjoy!

On TV – This week I started watching the new Netflix show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  When I read about it, I knew it had all the ingredients to be great. Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Jane Krakowski, and Ellie Kemper- how can you go wrong with this combination?. They do not disappoint. There are many laugh out loud moments in this comedy about a young woman who moves to New York after being held captive in a bunker for fifteen years.  


On the Page –  Country Living April 2015 –  a collection of antique stoves, an updated farmhouse reveal, decorating with neutral colors, tasty recipes, and the reoccurring “What is It? What is it Worth?” are just a few of the reasons I keep flipping through this issue. 

country living april 2015

On the Computer-  I am completely guilty of taking a stack of photographs, throwing them in a decorative box and saying, “ok – those are organized.”  Just because they are out of sight and out of mind does not mean they are organized!  Check out How to Organize Photos from Organizing Made Fun

how to organize your photos

I absolutely love #5 on this list.  It’s so true, get rid of photos that you don’t want.  I read this tip in Anthony from Sex in the City’s voice, channeling the scene where Carrie crosses off the 76th guest on her wedding invite list.  “Cut throat — I love it. I hope you’re that decisive when it comes to the location and the dress.”  If the photo is of poor quality, a bunch of people you don’t even really know (college party), ex- boyfriends (really, no need) just be cut throat!  Toss them out! 


On my Pinterest Boards-  I have been very dedicated to prepping meals ahead of time so I am making healthy choices and we can still have family dinners even when my husband and I are working all day.  I found this pin on a new board I am following: Best Blogger Recipes.  The pin took me to a great site New Leaf Wellness and the post 17 Freezer Meal Prep Sessions That Will Change Your Life.  You know me – I love discovering things that will change my life for the better!  

 Prep Sessions from New Leaf Wellness

On the scoreboard – March Madness is in full effect!  I love the NCAA Basketball tournament and look forward to filling out a bracket and watching all of the high stakes games.  This year my alma mater is a #1 seed.  I have them going all the way, even beating Kentucky in the final game!  The last time they won was in 1985, maybe thirty years later they will win the grand prize again.  Good luck to the Villanova Wildcats! V for Villanova, V for Victory!


What are some of the things you are loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what made your Friday Favorites list. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. 

The Best Irish Coffee Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, partly because I enjoy a good cup of Irish Coffee! Here are a list of my favorite Irish Coffee Recipes.

The Original Irish Coffee

original irish coffee

picture from Liquor.com

Bailey’s Irish Coffee


picture from She Knows

Buena Vista Irish Coffee

Buena Vista Irish Coffee

picture from Pop Sugar

Irish Coffee Sundae


picture from HGTV

I had to include this, even though it is not coffee, but look at these Irish Coffee Cupcakes!

Irish Coffee Cupcakes _cakeblog

picture from The Cake Blog

Click here for my Irish Coffee Recipe

From our family to yours, wishing you a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day!