Supportive Partners

By now you know I am a HUGE fan of Pinterest, partly because I am exposed to things I may not see first hand. That network of possibilities is exciting to me. Its an incredible resource for food, drinks, decor, hacks and sometimes, a surprisingly meaningful link that changes you. I came across one such link that was a must to pin and it launched a board I like to call ♡happy wife♡. I pinned True Agape. Though the theme within the site is faith based, know that the topics shared transcend religious affiliation. Love is love.

The couple that created this site, Ryan & Cassie, have created a resource for couples that is filled with ways to stay connected, grow together and be active. With a blog, a diy section, links and personal stories, I can spend all day on their site and there would still be more to discover.

One entry in particular is about apps that could strengthen marriage. They mention being apprehensive about allowing smart technology in their relationship. Personally, technology is a huge part of my household so although I understood where they were coming from, it just appealed to me even more. The apps, Cozi, Avocado & Dare2Share, each have their own draw and all are meant to drive a meaningful forward. The time it required to test out and review these apps was considerable, which translates into the care taken by Ryan & Cassie in their pursuit to share quality posts with their viewership. For that I am grateful.


Again, I cannot express enough that True Agape is a resource for all. If you are seeking to maintain a meaningful and connected relationship with your partner, I suggest you take some time and visit their site.

Country Apple Fritter Bread

We have all done it…pinned something to our favorite boards and either forget or just don’t have the drive to try them out. Well I am going to share my successes and failures as I cruise through some of my favorite pins. Welcome to my first #PinterestPinTest!

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I pinned this recipe just a few days ago and couldn’t wait to try it out. The weather is cold, my oven is warm and I like baked goods. Trifecta! The recipe is below taken directly from The Baking Chocolatess. I omitted the glaze and the hubby suggested pecans for the next time. I guess he liked it!

  1. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 2/3 cup white sugar
  4. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 1/2 cup milk or almond milk
  10. 2 apples, peeled and chopped (any kind), mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9×5-inch loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray or line with foil and spray with non-stick spray to get out easily for slicing.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.
  7. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  8. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.

If you test this out, let me know what you think. Would love to hear how others may add or modify it. Enjoy!

DIY Projects Using Pallets

Over the course of cruising through blogs, pins and the DIY channels, I have been inspired with the uses of upcycled items. I have shared some of the tips previously however, I am thinking larger scale. Something that most see as industrial use only. Pallets.

We have seen some use the pallets in the home for decor, disassembled for multi-purpose wood framing and for outdoor patio use. I had no idea just how many options there were. That is until I came across this free e-book. Karah Bunde published DIY Wood Pallet Projects: 35 Rustic Modern Upcycling Ideas to Personalize Your Space and its phenomenal. bundeIts comprehensive and full of ideas that I want to try. Some are out of my comfort zone where others are easier for beginners like me.

The e-book is optimized for chrome desktop viewing so if you cannot see it properly, you can view it here.

With my limited experience, I was pleased to see the step by step instructions and pics illustrating not just how to use some of the tools, but the types too. Now when I walk into Home Depot, I can say ‘Hey I need a medium grit for my palm sander’ and they will think I am way more experienced!

DIY Wood Pallet Projects_ 35 Rustic Modern - Karah Bunde_0601

Hope you find some inspiration for upcycling these awesome pallets. If you have tips, please share.




Pumpkin Everything!

Tis’ the season for Pumpkin everything! Can you sense my excitement? From cookies and breads to yummy comfort drinks, I am sooo happy! After Halloween, I did the pumpkin puree thing. I added my spices and had a bowl of yumminess just waiting for all my Pinterest recipes to take shape. I am hoping to pop out some pumpkin bread this week. Stay tuned!

As you can probably tell, I am a coffee addict, a java junkie, a frap fiend if you will. You can imagine the combo of coffee and pumpkin makes this time of year even merrier for me. Ive done the pumpkin spice thing and enjoyed my fair share of morning lattes but this holiday season, I am expanding my drink menu to include some new concoctions.

I came across a blog that had a page of all things pumpkin. I know, shocking! Well Grabbing Lapels has some recipes I will definitely be using over the last weeks of 2015. One of which includes a fall favorite…rum. Malibu has a spiced rum that is delicious and I am excited to try it out. Oh and for you calorie counters…70 calories per serving. Not the latte, just the rum. Mix at your own risk!

malibu pumpkin spice

The other I want to try is RumChata and Pumpkin Pinnacle. I love horchata and was introduced to RumChata about 2 years ago. It changed my cocktail menu instantly. Definitely a fan favorite. The Pumpkin Pinnacle is just downright delicious so the combo is life changing! (Stop laughing) As a cold drink, its probably better to serve in a warm house while the oven is on so if you live in a cold climate, bundle up or get baking!

pumpkin spice

I was not only able to get some inspiration for holiday drinks, but I expanded my drink menu as I clicked through the links. If you would like to see more than just these two, check out the printables provided as well.


lambsWe all have such hectic lives and for those blessed with children, the balance of work vs. home life is even more difficult. The time it would take to search for quality daycare is just another time thief. Word of mouth and personal referrals are always best as they serve as a first hand account of what to expect. With that, I have to share what I think is the most hands on and comprehensive local daycare to the San Gabriel Valley, Little Lamb’s Home Daycare.

Meet Marsha
Meet Marsha

Marsha MacIntyre is the owner and licensed daycare provider for Little Lamb’s. With over 20 years experience and a degree in Child Development, Marsha is what I consider a perfect example of someone who does what they love. Building an addition to her property, she created the facility from the ground up. Every color used, each developmental toy and every experience is custom crafted. Marsha is not only part of the Options Food Program, but she also serves as a Mentor for the California Early Childhood Mentor Program for the Foothill Region Mentor Division.

In my opinion, Little Lamb’s is the place to enroll your children if you want them to be cared for in a place dedicated to helping your child develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

I invite you to check out her site, follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well.

A Must For Online Shoppers

As a proud online shopper, I am always on the lookout for the next great site. With everyone offering rewards and freebies, the opportunities are out there to save some real cash. I am a fan of couponing but sometimes, places offer such deals that they don’t accept them. Other than paying a membership to a big box chain to secure discounted prices, your other option is to use the extreme couponing method to stock up in bulk. Til now.

I found a site that I not only shop from, but believe in enough to share with you. I know you are thinking that I probably got paid for this promotion. Not true. Allow me to state clearly, no fee has been paid for this…I just consider them as one of my go to spots. Introducing Boxed Wholesale. The site is user friendly and the app is intuitive. (Yes, I order from my phone)

Boxed has a grocery section that blows my mind. Its not a full market, but it has some bargains I couldn’t pass up. A 76.5 oz box of Raisin Bran for $7.99…yes please! I have purchased bulk packs of snacks that are perfect for packing lunches & taking to games. Some buy these bulk packs and use them as mini fundraisers. Want organic? Perhaps paleo? Need gluten free items? They got you covered. By now you all know my agave syrup addiction…I get it at Boxed. The big bottle. The one that lasts and makes me feel like I am not going through it so fast…even if I am.

A particular suggestion, especially at this time of year, are the batteries. They can get expensive. I stocked up…and who wouldn’t at these prices?! I bought packs of 36 for $11.99 each. I spend that on packs of 10 at the store!

The packs I bought
The packs I bought
As shown online
As shown online

With all of the toys and electronics that are purchased over the holidays and that oh-so common term ‘Batteries Not Included’, this is a must buy!

If you decide to check it out…and I think you absolutely should…use code 2SKXR at checkout for a $10 discount and if your order is over $50, you get free delivery. Did I mention that it arrives within just a day or two? Learn more at Boxed Wholesale and follow them @BoxedWholesale. Enjoy!

Thank You Veterans

Created by Edgar Motta
Created by Edgar Motta

Today isn’t about the latest DIY tip or recipe from Pinterest. Its about our Veterans and how we honor them. So join me in thanking them for their service. For standing in the face of danger so we wouldn’t be subjected to it first hand. Today we honor you.

free for vets

Share these well deserved freebies with the local Vets in your community.

Homemade Holidays – The Gift of Upcycling

In keeping with my intention (yes, intention) to give homemade gifts this Christmas, I am always on the lookout for clever and crafty ways to make meaningful and fun pieces to share with my loved ones. I have pinned and shared so many ideas and I have collected info from some of my friends that I want to try.

The other day I came across a great post with new ideas that I had never considered. It was a link from Good Housekeeping that showed up on my facebook feed so naturally I clicked through. The very first idea was how to upcycle a knife block for a kid’s art station. SOLD! What a great tip! Not only is it functional, but it’s fun & funky at the same time.

knife block before knife block

I mean how flippin’ cute is that!?

We all recycle our cans right? What about upcycling them into something beautiful like this?

can before cans after

Agreed that it would take a lot more effort but the end result is stunning! If you feel like you can take your craftiness to the next level, how about starting with an old vacuum hose? Imagine transforming it into this gorgeous piece of holiday decor.

wreath before wreath after

It may be beyond (waaayyy beyond) my craft skill level at this point, but its certainly a goal. Seriously…I am going to check out more of these upcycle ideas. A broom into a functional decor piece? Im intrigued…

Product Review – Agave Syrup

As you can probably tell by the title and header photo of this blog, I am a coffee addict. Not quite to the aficionado level but I know a good cup of java when I taste it! With so many options of gourmet flavors and sweeteners, it can snowball into a sugary drink. No bueno. I am not the type to use faux sugars or substitutes but I also know that too much is bad for me. This time of year, there are even more options available…who doesn’t enjoy a pumpkin spice or gingerbread latte around the holidays?!

I have a favorite go-to option for a low glycemic sweetener that isn’t over manufactured or processed to death. I use agave syrup. For years I have been using the organic blue agave in my coffee and its life changing! Seriously, its better than the flavored syrups from the big box stores and its better for you. Not to be used everyday of course, but I prefer this to refined white sugar in just about everything. Its sweeter than sugar so I use less and its natural so I dont worry about chemicals like those used in processing other substitutes.

When I clicked through their site, I noticed all the other options to use it that I didnt think of before. Not just baked goods but drinks like Mojitos, bbq sauces & soups. I will have to try out their curry apple soup over the holidays for sure!

Give it a shot…tell me what you think!


Feeling Inspired

When I was in high school, I thought I would keep my circle of friends forever. It was the last scene of Grease…you know…we’ll always be together. (Hold it together Ro, no tears!) Sadly, over the years I lost touch with many. Some I still have no clue how to find. Thankfully with the advent of social media, namely Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with my friends. Not just those who were closest to me all those years ago. Many I am connecting with now as adults. Its a new kind of friendship. The type of ‘we went through it all and now we are here’ people who are simply genuine. Those connections lend new perspective that you don’t always see coming. For that, I am inspired.

You see, on an afternoon meant for alumni to gather over food and drinks, I got to see a handful of people who I hadn’t seen in 20+ years. I had my hubby and bestie at my side and we had fun. What I didn’t know going in was that I would eventually be a personal cheerleader for two friends who are currently training for the LA Marathon. I cant really say what clicked…it just did. I found myself wanting to help. I was inspired. Its not like I am going to carry them across the finish line but I wanted to find a way to be a part of their journey…one that led me to my keyboard to share with all of you.

I understand marathons are expensive. I mean the registration fees, clothing, shoes, and the stuff to eat and drink all add up quickly! Its my hope that others are just as inspired and consider showing some support and perhaps, maybe even sponsoring them. Im not blogging as if it were a kickstarter or gofundme…just sharing in case someone is sitting in front of their screen reading this and saying, ‘I can share this to my network’. That being said, I invite you all to follow their journey as they train. A couple of hot mamas getting fit and showing their kids how to own it!

Follow Yaneth Bonilla @runwithyaneth16

yaneth b

Follow Jennifer Burke @runwithjenn16