Archives for April 2017

Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Gumbo Recipe

In honor of Ragu’s 80th anniversary, I recreated one of their vintage recipes from a 1970s RAGÚ cookbook and added my own spin! RAGÚ brand recently added Homestyle sauces to its lineup, featuring a thicker, heartier recipe. This sauce is the perfect touch to the Chicken and Veggie Gumbo that I recreated!

I chose to add Kale it’s delicious and adds a great flavor and nutrients to the gumbo. I also decided to add Chicken and Mozzarella meatballs for a little more substance and flavor!

 

Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Gumbo

Serves 4

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook time 10-20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1-1 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 3 tbls of butter
  • 3 cups of chicken broth or bouillon
  • 1 jar of Ragu’ Italian cooking sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded cooked chicken
  • 12 chicken/mozzarella meatballs

Directions

  • Saute carrots, celery, peas and kale in butter
  • saute cooked meatballs in pan to brown
  • add chicken broth to saute veggies, cover until simmer
  • add Ragu’ Italian cooking sauce and cooked meats once you’ve reached a simmer
  • Stir in and heat for 5-10 minutes before serving

 

 

Layering In Spring

I’m sharing Secret in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™

No matter what season it is, I love to layer! I feel like layering brings so much more texture and depth to my outfit, it makes it much more interesting. With the season changing from winter to spring, things have warmed up, and by that, I mean getting into the 90-degree weather here in Arizona.

As you can imagine, pulling off these adorable spring styles can be a little challenging in this warmer weather. I have been loving Secret Clinical Strength! It has saved me from many fashion mishaps like those dreaded pit stains, with all these gorgeous silk florals coming into trend this season this product has been go-to for me!

No matter where I go, I bring a piece along with me to layer. Knowing how to style certain pieces is a must when successfully pulling off a layered outfit.

Here are a few tips on layering in spring!

  • Always make sure to layer appropriate fabrics for the season
  • Make sure to layer with something that will compliment your outfit
  • Layering with looser pieces is ideal
  • Feel free to mix trends and prints!
  • Layering tops is ok to!
  • Don’t be shy to throw in a pop of color, Have fun with your layers!

I’m really loving these neutrals for spring, I have a wide variety of style in my closet but I have been focusing on revamping my wardrobe with timeless staples and this blue knit and nude slides are at the top of my favorites!

I was so pleased that after my day of shooting I didn’t have to reapply my deodorant or change my tops! With Secret’s Clinical Strength Collection I can feel assured me and my #OOTD will be protected from any sweaty mishaps! Secret’s Clinical Strength provides 2x the sweat protection vs. an ordinary antiperspirant, So I can feel confident with any fabric or color I choose to wear!

Wilshire + Cooper Launch

Ok, Mama’s get excited! I wanted to share the news of Wilshire + Cooper, They are a new online destination for designer Kids apparel and accessories!

We all know the struggle of finding unique and creative clothing for our children online. It’s not easy to find designer quality kids items outside of a department store setting and quite frankly who has the time to shop at a department store as often these days?

I know as a Mother to boys, shopping can be a daunting task! I like my kids to be dressed in unique pieces that go beyond your everyday styles. Wilshire + Cooper is our favorite online destination, I can rely on the styles being on trend with what I consider great kids fashion! I also love looking at the amazing pieces they offer for little girls!

Wilshire + Cooper exclusive destination where you can find unique Kids Designer brands and accessories from all over the world. From brands that offer Organic Cotton to handmade accessories to brands offering the latest runway fashions from some of most recognizable brands – Wilshire + Cooper are the Kids Apparel and Accessory destination

To stay up to date on new releases and updates be sure to follow Wilshire + Cooper!

You can shop online at www.wilshireandcooper.com

Like them on Facebook! wilshireandcooper

Follow them on Instagram @wilshireandcooper

Two Delicious Recipes For Cinco De Mayo

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CervezaCelebration #CollectiveBias

Every year for Cinco De Mayo we get together with family and friends and we each bring a well-loved family recipe! We often sit around and listen to music as we prepare our feast and enjoy our favorite beverages and snack. In Arizona, the heat can be intense in May so we do what we can to stay fresh!

I have been wanting to get creative and incorporate two of our favorite Mexican beers Corona Extra and Modelo Negra, Both offer a very diverse flavor and feel which complemented each recipe!

I created two very different recipes that will surely elevate your Cinco De Mayo celebration!

 

I chose to use Modelo Negra in this Carne Asada slow cooker recipe because of its rich, smooth taste which enhances the flavors of the tender carne asada. In our Latin culture, we celebrate things with great passion and nothing is better than a beverage that is just as flavorful as the meal!

 

Modelo Negra Carne Asada

  • 2 pounds carne asada meat or flank steak
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large jalapeño seeded and diced
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup Negra Modelo
  • 16 corn or flour tortillas or hard shell tacos

Instructions

  • Place the steak in 9×13 inch pan. Add the garlic, half of the chopped onion, the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use your hand to massage the seasoning into the steak for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the meat on both sides. Once the meat has been seared on both sides place it in the bowl of your crockpot. To the crockpot add the remaining, onion, diced jalapeño, orange, limes, cilantro and beer, toss well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove the meat and place it on a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes and then shred the meat with two forks.
  • Heat tortillas and prep your desired toppings and ENJOY! Comer Con Gusto!

Nothing is more enjoyable in the summer heat than a cold beverage you can eat and drink! With Corona Extra’s fresh crisp taste and a perfect blend of fruity-honey aromas, it makes for the perfect refreshment during those carefree summer days! I chose Corona Extra for this recipe because it compliments spicy and citrus flavors so well!

Corona Michelada Shrimp Cocktail

  • 16 ounces Clamato (or Bloody Mary Mix)
  • 12 ounce Corona Extra
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8-10 large or medium sized cooked shrimp
  • A pinch of cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher, mix the Clamato juice, fresh lime juice, Worcestershire, Hot sauce, and chili powder.
  2. Place the squeezed limes in the bottom of the glasses then fill with crushed ice.
  3. Add your desired amount of shrimp, cilantro, and cucumber
  4. Pour the Clamato mixture evenly into the glasses.
  5. Pour the Corona Extra over the Clamato mixture and stir. Top with additional beer if need. Serve cold.
  6. Add shrimp around rim of glass and drizzle hot sauce and chili powder, if desired. Enjoy! Comer Con Gusto!

Knowing how to live or as I would say ” Saber Vivir”, is the key to enjoyable moments with friends and family! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

 

5 Last Minute Party Planning Tips

Today is the day. The day my little Eli boy turns one, the year has been a quick one, He has grown so much since April 14th, 2016.  There is so much I will miss about this first year with Eli!

With everything that’s happened this month already,  and what felt like a non-stop month for us last month, I completely failed at planning anything for Eli! With a lot of our friends and family back home in CA, we decided to keep it simple. I threw a very last minute, and I’m talking about only a week advance in planning, Good Friday family dinner with my parents and sisters.

If you find yourself in a time crunch, Don’t panic here are 5 tips to make sure you successfully throw a party!

1.No Theme? No problem! Just focus on an aesthetically pleasing motif. What I mean by aesthetically pleasing, think along the lines as color themes, pops of colors or textures that create your own theme.

2. Focus on decorating the main areas ie. Tablescapes, serving stations, entry ways

3. Find a great cake to make up for the lack of other creative treats! Luckily I had a wonderful baker friend who made these for Eli they were a hit!

4. If you’re doing things last minute, don’t make it too big. We had a delicious dinner with close family to avoid any stress of hosting a bigger event! I will make sure to plan more in advance for Judes since his birthday will involve his friends!

5. Don’t forget party bags for the little ones that attend! I threw together some white gift bags that included, band aids, fun erasers, yo-yo’s, and for those under 2 I gifted baby books! I also included gold crowns for each child to give it more of that birthday celebration feel!

I hope you found these helpful! Just remember it’s completely ok to make this last minute. Although at times I felt like a bad parent not throwing this huge thought out party, the reality is life is busy and that’s ok!

 

 

 

Spring Fashion Trends For Boys

Spring can be a tricky season for everyone, one day it’s warm, the next you’re freezing your booty off. I try to keep my kids well prepared for both!

I have compiled some of my favorite looks from this spring’s H&M collection!

1.Light knit layered with a windbreaker jacket

We traveled to NYC this spring and the day we landed it was chilly! It was nice and sunny but we had to bundle up a bit more this day. This outfit was perfect and the colors were neutral but rich and definitely still expressed Eli’s little style!

Twill Pants Skinny Fit $14.99

Grey Sneakers $17.99

2. Don’t be afraid of some color!

Jude was digging his NYC tee from H&M, it was his version of a “tourist” tee. Note his light windbreaker, it was seriously the perfect jacket for a warmer but breezy day.

Jersey Lined Nylon Jacket $29.99

3. Can’t go wrong with a hoodie

This Jacket was the perfect hoodie, easy to layer, wasn’t bulky, and Jude loved the cool urban feel and design!

Hooded Sweatshirt Cardigan $29.99

4. Light Denim

H&M is my go-to place for any denim for my boys, the quality and styles are on point! But most importantly they last us the longest, you know how boys are, pants come and go like no other! Anyway I really appreciate the variety of styles they offer in denim and I was particularly loving this lighter wash on these jeans, the perfect pair for spring if you ask me!

Super Stretch Skinny Fit Jeans $19.99

5. White Shoes

Oh yes, you heard me right white shoes! It’s a great way to brighten up your child’s wardrobe! Just keep a Mr. Clean magic eraser handy!

Cotton Twill Sneakers $24.99

6. Can’t go wrong with green

Did I mention H&M has the cutest jackets for kids?! This color is so versatile and can really go with anything!

I wish we were able to capture a little warmer spring day styles, but spring in NYC is chilly! The most important factor with spring is comfort and versatility! Be ready for rain or shine! I hope these were helpful and inspired you mamas to prep for those spring styles!

Our 3 Day Adventure In NYC

Oh, New York. There is something magical about that city, the life, the lights, the History, the food and the shopping. It was one amazing first-time experience for my husband and boys. I had gone previously twice and I loved it, but it’s really different going as a parent with your children. It’s really something else to see the excitement in their eyes when they see a two-story McDonald’s, and the lights in Time Square, in Jude’s case.

The Hotel

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel 57  in Midtown, and we loved it! It was close to central park, times square and all the good shopping! The hotel itself was great! The staff was really friendly and the doorman was the best, always did his job at making Jude laugh!

Our room was comfortable and after a rough red eye flight, we were so happy to be able to check in early and take a power nap!

The room was cozy, not really as spacious as I would have liked but the beds were comfortable and the bathroom was great! I loved the mirror!

Over-all the hotel was great, we loved the location the center of midtown, the staff was friendly!

Day 1

After our much-needed power nap, we got dressed and explored central park! This was our coldest day there, so we made sure to layer and purchased some gloves and went on our way!

Our first stop was the Central Park Zoo, This zoo beats any that I have been to, Not because of the animals, but because of all its natural beauty located in the center of the city.

This little guy was adorable and stood still for some of our shots!

There were two sections to the park, one regular that offered your normal viewing of animal habitats and the second was a kids Zoo, which included adorable fun picture props and more interactive areas where kids can play.

I couldn’t get enough of these beautiful animals!

Eli Enjoyed being bundled up and strolling the zoo, we continued through the park once we finished with the zoo. We caved and ate hot dogs from a food cart in the park, this was one of our many tastes of NYC food trucks haha.

Once we finished with lunch we walked across the park to Strawberry fields, We are huge Beatles fans! We have always wanted to visit the Dakota building, Famous for Rosemary’s Baby and the site where John Lennon was killed. It was such a beautiful building and knowing the history behind it made it that much more interesting!

 

The details on this building were beautiful, I loved the gothic, stone detailing it really was amazing!

Day 2

Sunday Morning we explored the city our first stop was Rockafeller Center, although Jude kept looking for a Christmas tree! He was happy to find a Lego store nearby, It seems like any city we travel to he buys a souvenir at the Lego store.

After Rockafella Center we grabbed a much-needed coffee and made our way towards Time Square. We also passed the Radio City Music Hall!

 

I, unfortunately, didn’t get to capture a photo of Time Square, we were so bummed to find out the big Toys R Us was closed down! We visited Madam Tussauds Wax Museum and got to capture some really neat photos of wax figures. Jude was a little freaked out with some of these but his favorite was the Ghostbusters and Marvel 4-D show!

Later that day we visited St. Patricks Cathedral, This church is breathtaking and so peaceful, these images don’t do it any justice!

Overall this day was great, I’m surprised how well the kids did out and about all day. Before heading back to the hotel we stopped at the Sprinkles cupcake ATM and for a pizza which we enjoyed in the hotel room and Netflix! It was the perfect way to wrap up our busy Sunday!

Day 3

On our last day in NYC we headed to lower Manhatten, we had a boat tour planned and some site seeing to be had! The weather was great on Monday but out in the ocean, I thought I was going to freeze to death haha. We managed to get some great photos of our tour, and when I say ‘we’ I mean Israel mainly, I was too busy being cold and carrying the baby haha.

 

This is Central Railroad Of New Jersey Terminal

The French-inspired architecture at Ellis Island was beautiful!

This was so amazing to see in person, She is beautiful!

I would definitely recommend you take a boat tour, it’s a totally different way to experience the city and all its natural history.

Before heading to the airport we strolled the financial district and visited the 9/11 memorial. It was so sad to see all the names of those who passed in that horrible tragedy. We had to do our best to explain to Jude what happened without mentioning how; We didn’t want to cause any fear of being on a plane.

We decided to make our way to the Tribeca area for a little exploring before catching a taxi to JFK. I really couldn’t believe all of what we experienced and were able to accomplish in 3 days! We all had an amazing time and the trip was worth the red-eye flights and little sleep!

I hope you enjoyed checking out our trip to NYC, writing this and looking back on all our photos really makes me miss it! Until next time NYC!

Refresh Your Walls With These Painting Tips!


Ever wonder what your living space would look like with a splash of color? Do you have something that you love and feel inspired by?

This was me, I loved the idea of the greenery of my plants up against a beautiful wall and something with a little touch of femininity. I have a lot of natural elements in my home, raw woods, natural fiber rugs, stone, neutral tones with pops of color, I had this gorgeous space all imagined for the upstairs loft space and I felt the urge to bring it to light!

I had this amazing Himalayan salt candle holder and super cute water bottle that I just fell in love with, the colors were inspiring me to add a little color to my upstairs loft. I definitely had an idea of what I wanted but I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a good mix of these colors that had me so inspired.

I headed down to my local Dunn-Edwards for a free color consultation, You can look into a FREE color consultation at your local Dunn-Edwards Here. I brought along my candle holder and water bottle so they could help me find the perfect color. I was greeted by my local color consultant and instantly felt at ease with my project. She sat down with me and I showed her images of my room decor and explained what I had imagined and desired for my project.

After she heard me out and asked me questions, she brought out her colors and did an excellent job narrowing down my options! I loved the colors she showed me and we discussed the differences on each and how each would look in my space. Being that this was an accent wall I had to take into consideration how this would look with the other color on the remaining walls. When I finally narrowed down my search for that perfect color and finish it was simple to order supplies and receive the advice I needed on my DIY.

I left with confidence in my color choice but was advised to take home a sample and see how I liked it in the lighting of the room and against my other walls. Once I got home I quickly pinned the sample to the wall and gave it 24hrs of walking back and forth and checking it out placing it near my plants and decor items, I loved it even more! I was ready to make the leap!

I ran back to Dunn-Edwards for my paint and supplies and was so excited to get started!

It can be a little overwhelming knowing you have to be well prepared and ready for a DIY paint job and I wanted to create a helpful video of a couple steps to take before you paint those walls!

Painting with Dunn-Edwards Everest Ultra-Premium was a breeze, I only needed one coat thanks to the self-priming the Everest offers and that made this project simple! I didn’t have to worry about those yucky odors lingering in our house, The paint went on smooth and dry within 20 minutes. I was able to tear off the tape and stand back in awe at how beautiful this color was in this space. I loved the serene vibe it projected in the room.

As you can imagine in a house full of boys, this blush nude pink wall was a fresh of breath air for me. This was such a creative experience for me, I really enjoyed meeting with a color consultant at Dunn-Edwards and bringing what I only imagined to life!

You can click here to Learn about Dunn-Edwards FREE color consultation service and download a FREE sample coupon valid for one 8 oz. Perfect Palette® Sampler™ at any Dunn-Edwards store. *Coupon is valid until August, 31 2017.

 

 

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