London Fog Latte & DIY Tea Lover Gift

London Fog Latte

I’ve always been a tea drinker. Not sure if I’ve ever finished an entire cup of coffee, it’s just never been my thing. Many moons ago on a trip to Southern Africa I was introduced to milk in my tea and I have loved it ever since. Last year at my favorite things party, Lydia, the woman behind Understand Blue brought the most adorable DIY London Fog Kits. I had never had a London Fog before, but have been hooked ever since.

London Fog Latte
Serves 1
London Fog Latte also known as an Earl Grey Tea Latte
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Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
79 calories
10 g
10 g
2 g
4 g
2 g
363 g
57 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
363g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 79
Calories from Fat 22
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
4%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 10mg
3%
Sodium 57mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 10g
3%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 9g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
15%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 c. Earl Grey Tea
  2. 1/2 c. Steamed or heated milk
  3. 1 tsp. Sweetener of choice (to taste)
  4. 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Steep Earl Grey Tea
  2. Heat milk, if you do not have a steamer you can warm on the stove or microwave
  3. Combined warm milk and tea
  4. Add in Vanilla and sweetener to taste.
Notes
  1. Make sure that you do not bring the milk to a boil.
beta
calories
79
fat
2g
protein
4g
carbs
10g
more
Life Anchored http://lifeanchored.com/
 I love the adorable DIY London Fog Latte Kits that Lydia made so much that I am making them myself to include in welcome baskets at an upcoming mother daughter retreat I’ll be attending. 

To make your own DIY London Fog Latte Kit, you will need:

Large Mason Jar or other container

 Small vanilla extract (mine is from Whole Foods)

Your favorite Earl Grey Tea

Sweetener of choice

Embellishments

Paper treat bags for sweetener

What is your favorite cold weather drink?

5 Favorite Romantic Restaurants in Austin

romantic-restaurants-in-austin-sofab

The Mister and I use to love going out to nice restaurants. We’ve dined at some of the most romantic restaurants in Austin pre-baby. Now fine dinning is limited to special occasions and the infrequent date night. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner everyone is in planning mode. So I figured I would share with you our 5 favorite romantic restaurants in Austin. Remember Austin is a foodies dream town so there is a little bit of something for everyone and I am sure you will be adding some if not all of these amazing spots to your favorites list too. 

Buenos-Aires-Cafe-romantic-restaurants-in-austin

Buenos Aires Cafe- Located on the up and coming East side of 6th street. This self-proclaimed Austin grown Argentine Cuisine is amazing. Our favorite is the Pollo a la Parrilla, the homemade Sangria is delicious and make sure you indulge in one of their amazing deserts. 

romantic-restaurants-in-austin-sway

SWAY- Delicious Modern Thai food in a beautiful community style seating. The food is spicy and the atmosphere is beautiful with dark wood and low lighting. When the weather is nice there is a pleasant outdoor seating with lighting strung overhead.

romantic-restaurants-in-austin-odd-duck

Odd Duck- Started as a food truck and now a free standing restaurant, this tappas style restaurant boasts a local and seasonal menu. You will be sharing dishes and stepping out of your comfort zone to taste beautifully arranged, colorful and intriguing.

romantic-restaurants-in-austin-elizabeth-street-cafe

Elizabeth Street Cafe- A quaint neighborhood Vietnamese cafe and French bakery, serving up delicious steaming bowls of pho and desert you won’t be able to believe. A little bit spicy and perfect for sharing dishes with your sweetheart.

romantic-restaurants-in-austin-moonshine-grill

Moonshine Grill- American comfort food at its finest. Not only is Moon Shine perfect for a romantic dinner, it serves up an amazing brunch as well. Our favorites are the Dr. Pepper chicken and green chili cheddar grits. Make sure to order two deserts, more to share and you’ll want to try them all. 

Take your pick and start planning the perfect date night now with one of the most romantic restaurants in Austin. 

What is your favorite romantic restaurant in your area?

#dinner4valentines

 

New Year New Me and My Vitamin C

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its Advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and should not be construed as medical advice. #24HourEsterC #CollectiveBias

vitamin-c-new-year-new-you

As a mother and a nurse exercising and eating clean are big priorities for our family, I want to keep my family on the right track in the new year so we are setting big goals! I’m meal planning, shopping for high quality groceries. We all get regular exercise and a daily dose of Vitamin C to keep us on track and give us the immune support we need. I feel like there is no better way to have a balanced, healthy body that this combination.

Meal Planning has been a big one for me, I’m pretty new to the kitchen but am embracing it and love spending time flipping through cook books and scrolling Pinterest for well-balanced meals my family will love. We have a few favorites that I try to make at least every other week but we enjoy trying lots of new as well. This weeks meals are going to be delicious and good for us too.

vitamin-c-new-year

Since the food we eat is so important to how we treat our bodies, I love to buy groceries loaded with vitamins and minerals like leafy greens and colorful fruits for great immune support. I’m going to eat more fish this year, I’ve never been a big fan and have avoided it most of my adult life. The Mister has recently taught me how to cook it and actually enjoy it too! With the little guy its more important than ever to teach him healthy eating habits from the get go.

healthy-shopping-vitamin-c

Working out can be fun and it can be so daunting at the same time. There are some days that I’m so tired that just the thought of working out is exhausting. Last month I tried out a fun Mommy Baby workout class and really enjoyed it. I’ll be signing up for sure and not only getting my exercise time in, but having fun with Baby D too!

We get most of our vitamins from our foods but I take Ester-C Vitamin C  to help support health and wellness. I like it because its easy on my stomach and I can just take it once a day and I’m ready to go. I pick it up on my monthly trip to Wal-Mart for house hold goods that our grocery store doesn’t carry.

wal-mart-aisle-vitamin-c

What are your goals for the new year?

Are you joining the gym, cooking more, spending more time outside or trying out your local farmers market?

Ester C Bottom Disclosure (1)

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food

I partnered with Beaba for this awesome post all about homemade baby food. All opinions are my own of course.

Homemade baby food Beaba storage

There were a few things I knew I wanted to do as soon as I found out I was expecting. I wanted a natural child birth, you can read all about how that turned out. Cloth diapering was a fleeting thought that lasted about 10 seconds, I just can’t get over the idea of it being in my washing machine (we’ve been really lucky on clothes so far). Homemade baby food, this one was going to happen. I was going to be that mom that spent her Saturday prepping, making and freezing her homemade baby food for the week ahead. I partnered with Beaba to try out their Babycook and make all of my homemade baby food dreams come true. I have to tell you, the Babycook made this so easy. It is an all in one homemade baby food making machine! 

Homemade Baby food tutorial

I decided for my first attempt I would make up a yummy apple, butternut squash and cinnamon recipe. The nice thing about homemade baby food is that you are able to use all fresh ingredients and you know exactly what is in it. I added the specified amount of water and tossed my chopped up fruit and veggie into the steamer basket. Turn on the steamer and you are now free to wash some dishes, fold a load of laundry or flip through your current baby book. When the steaming finishes it’s as easy as emptying the basket of steamed pieces directly into the processor, this is where I added the cinnamon. Turn the dial and your ingredients are quickly pureed into the baby food of your dreams. I scrapped the puree out with the attached spatula and into the awesome food storage container to prep for freezing. Pop one out and defrost when your ready to serve (we use this as an awesome snack travel container too).

Did you make homemade baby food? What is your baby’s favorite combo?

U R 1 Hot Tamale Valentine

The countdown to Valentine’s Day is on and I am whipping up fun projects left and right. We don’t eat a ton of sweets in our house, but we have a few favorites for sure. Both The Mister and I LOVE us some hot tamales. So I figured I would make him a Hot Tamale Valentine. After all he is one hot tamale and he is my valentine. 

U R 1 Hot Tamale Valentine Mason Jar

Almost everything for this project I had stashed in my craft supplies, but if you are headed to the store here is a list of the things you will need. 

Mason Jar (any size, but I love the big ones)

Lots of Hot Tamale candies

Classic Paper heart craft dollies (Target Dollar Spot)

Mini clothes pins (Target Dollar Spot)

Twine or yarn (Target Dollar Spot)

 Fill you jar full of delicious hot tamales and decorate with twine and a cute hand written tag. Viola! A delicious treat ready to give to your hot tamale valentine.

Our favorite Valentines Day projects

U make my heart go Pop! Pop! Pop! || S’mores Trail Mix

No Bake Dipped Cookies || Ahoy Matey Valentines

What is your favorite candy to snack on?

Snickers Game Day Bars #biggametreats

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

With lots of Big Games coming, everyone is planning their tailgating and home gating events. There is nothing better than enjoying the big game with friends, families and neighbors. Well there is enjoying the game with tasty snacks! One of our favorites is Snickers® Game Day Bars. These yummy game day bars are packed full of delicious taste, you won’t want to share them plus they’re easy to make.

Snickers Game Day Bars #BigGameTreats #ad 

Snickers Game Day Bars
Serves 4
Delicious recipe for the perfect tailgating or home gating event. Enjoy tasty Snickers Game Day bars while you watch the Big Game
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Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
42 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
42 min
933 calories
120 g
78 g
46 g
14 g
29 g
224 g
519 g
94 g
1 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
224g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 933
Calories from Fat 400
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g
71%
Saturated Fat 29g
147%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 78mg
26%
Sodium 519mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 120g
40%
Dietary Fiber 6g
23%
Sugars 94g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
33%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 c. Snickers Bites chopped
  2. 1 1/2 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  3. 1/3 c. Butter melted
  4. 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  5. 2 c. Pretzels crushed
  6. 2 c. Shredded Coconut
Instructions
  1. Pour melted butter into the bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan.
  2. Pour graham cracker crumbs over entire bottom on pan, pat firmly into place.
  3. Pour entire can of sweetened condensed milk over firm crumbs, careful not to mix into crumbs.
  4. Sprinkle crushed pretzels over entire pan.
  5. Add layer of chopped Snickers.
  6. Top with layer of shredded coconut.
  7. Bake in 350 degree oven for 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serve.
beta
calories
933
fat
46g
protein
14g
carbs
120g
more
Life Anchored http://lifeanchored.com/
 snickers-game-day-bars-big-game-treats

game-day-bars-big-game-treats

Snickers Game Day bars

I picked up all of my ingredients at Wal-Mart and since I didn’t get the regular Snickers bars for this recipe I figured I would show where they were. I found the bites on the candy aisle and picked up a bag of another favorite, Starburst® while I was there.

big-game-treats-wal-mart

 

What will you be cooking up for the Big Game?

Top 5 Beauty Products from Target Under $10

beauty products from target

My favorite store is Target, rarely do I go in with a list. Even on the days I do, I leave with way more than I intended. I have started being more attentive to their coupons that come in the mail and I even downloaded the Cartwheel app on my iPhone for extra savings. Since Target is my go to store for pretty much everything, it should come as no surprise that I also buy all of my beauty products there. 

I’m pretty simple when it comes to getting ready for the day, but I do enjoy a few special items. Even better is that all of these beauty products from Target are under $10! There is nothing worse than getting sample of something in the mail or from a friend and falling in love with it just to find out that a tiny jar/tube/bottle of it is $50! Not that this has ever happened to me before (huh hum, Birchbox).

Proganix Shampoo is a new one for me and I have to say it smells amazing, rinses out of my hair easily and really does seem to give it a little boost. Not only is it $9.99 but the cartwheel app has 10% off till 1/31/15! 

Goody Mini Bobby Pins are amazing! If you have short hair or thin hair you know that standard bobby pins never stay in or always show on the ends. By the way, did you know that you are suppose to wear bobby pins with the wavy side towards your scalp. Try it, I promise its way better! $2.50 for 30 ct.

Revlon Lash Curler is super easy to use and gentle on your lashes. It comes with one replacement pad and is a steal with 10% on the cartwheel app till 1/31/15. $4.99

Boot No 7 Mascara is the best! Lets just say I was a little sad when I marched up to the make up section a few months back and found out that the mascara I have worn for almost 15 years is discontinued! I asked all of you what was the best one and decided to give this a go. I love that it doesn’t have a plastic brush. $7.99

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Polish this stuff lasts forever and really does dry instantly. It has a flat brush so it goes on super smooth and no chipping. Its my go to brand and my favorite color is Slick Slat. $4.99 

So there you have it, my favorite beauty products from Target, all for under $10 each!

What is your favorite budget friendly beauty product?

Valentines Day Treat: You Make My Heart Go POP! POP! POP!

valentines day treat popcorn

Valentines Day is right around the corner and I can’t stop thinking of yummy Valentines Day treats to make for friends and neighbors. One of my holiday go to recipes is chocolate covered popcorn. It is super easy to adapt to any holiday or event by adding in the special ingredients.

What you’ll need to get started:

Plain popcorn (I like to pop mine on the stove but microwave works great too)

White chocolate bark

Special ingredients such as candies or sprinkles (this valentines day treat has heart-shaped red hots and sprinkles)

Pop your popcorn and set it aside in a large mixing bowl. Next you will melt your chocolate bark, most take about 4 15 second turns in the microwave. Pour the melted bark over your popcorn and stir to coat the entire batch. Add in your special ingredients and continue to stir. After everything is mixed well, you’ll want to spread popcorn kit on parchment paper to allow it to harden before you package it.

valentines-day-treat-popcorn

 We used paper bags and adorable tags from the Dollar Spot at our local Target to package up our Valentines Day treat. On the attached tag we wrote the cute saying, “U make my heart go Pop! Pop! Pop!” This delicious treat is ready to be shared with your Valentine.

What special ingredients would you use to give your Valentines Day treat a personal touch?

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Valentines Day Treat: S’mores Trail Mix

valentine's day treat

Everyone loves trail mix, for this Valentines Day treat we’ve taken a few yummy ingredients and made a trail mix that will have your heart going pitter patter for sure. Simple to make and kid approved, we gathered up a few of our favorite snacks to combined in the perfect mix.

Ingredients

Honey Grahams cereal

Valentines Day treat of your choice (we used M&M’s)

Mini Marshmallows

Optional: Pretzels

valentine's day treat smores trail mix

We tossed all of our ingredients into a large bowl and mix them around. Scoop into your favorite packaging, such as simple paper bags, mason jars or mini paint cans for gifting. This yummy treat is great for teachers, friends, kiddos and make sure to save some for yourself too.

To see more of our Valentines Day treat ideas and other projects, check out our Pinterest Board.

What is your favorite Valentines Day treat?

What ingredients would you put in your perfect trail mix?

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Cry It Out, What’s All The Fuss

cry it out ferber method

“Cry it out”, Ferberization, Gental CIO, Sleep Training; all terms that most new parents have probably heard. I’ve over heard them discussed with intrigue and other times in hush hush tones as if it was a taboo topic.  For those of you don’t know what “Cry it out or The Ferber Method” is, it is a technique used to sleep train babies in which you allow them to cry for a pre-determined amount of time between reassurance and comforting. Essentially you are teaching them to learn self soothing. That is my quick explanation, you can read book after book about the details and science on both sides of the argument The cry it out method is not recommended in children younger than 6 months of age.

As a pediatric nurse of almost a decade I don’t make decision about my child’s health lightly. I read, I research and I of course consult my Pediatrician, who’s opinion I trust and value. Side note when you are looking for a pediatrician make sure that your views are aligned. If you have opposite schools of thought on important subjects like sleep training, antibiotics and vaccines; your doctor won’t be fully able to help you care for your childI assure you my son is a happy and healthy baby. However, our night time routine had gotten out of hand. First we nursed to sleep, which worked great until it didn’t. We reached a point that he would fall asleep and the second I tried to lay him in his crib he would come awake and cry inconsolably until I was holding him again. Our bedtime routine turned into off and on holding and crying for an hour every night. When middle of the night feedings happened we’d repeat the whole thing over again.

I couldn’t do it any more, no one was getting good sleep and baby was fussy all day from being tired. So I made an executive decision, I would start having the baby sleep with me on a extra bed in the nursery. It worked, co-sleeping was the answer to our prayers. We started getting a good nights rest and who doesn’t love baby snuggles? Then it happened, I woke up in the middle of the night from being slapped in the face by a sweet tiny hand. My little guy was tossing and turning and fussing and just not resting. Surely we had just had a busy day and he was restless, and then it happened the next night, and the next.  Suddenly co-sleeping wasn’t working for us anymore. My little guy needed his own secure space and I needed to rest so I could keep up with him during the day time.

I called my best friend (mother of 3), I called my mother (mother of 3), I called my Pediatrician. What do I do I asked them? They all said the same thing, stop sleeping in the nursery and it’s okay for him to cry. So I started reading everything I could get my hands on about “Cry It Out or The Ferber Method“. I had heard both sides of the topic and I wanted to do it right. It’s been a week, it’s getting better every day and we are all getting better sleep and baby is much happier throughout the day.

We have a bedtime routine we follow every night. Dinner at 5:30, followed by playtime till 6:30 then it’s bath, story, prayers and nursing. I put baby into bed awake and leave the room. If he starts crying, I allow him to cry for 10 minutes before I go in and check on him, make sure he is dry and all is okay. I usually hangout in the hallway and hold laundry, to be close by but still have some distance. If he continues to cry I allow it for 13 more minutes before I go in and soothe and check diaper again, the next time is 15 minutes. We have never made it to the third interval. Middle of the night feedings follow the same routine but rarely need more than 2 minutes of fussing. Naps are down to about 5 minutes and he sleeps longer than he has in months and is the happiest baby when he wakes up.

We aren’t having bonding issues. He knows I love him and he still wants to snuggle and play. He still smiles at me and he’s still happy when he hangs out with the sitter on a random day. While it is hard that first night, the results are amazing and I really feel like cry it out has been the best thing for our family at this stage. I know that cry it out has gotten a bad wrap over the years. There are claims that allowing a child to cry it out can have long term effects on their development and bonding. I discussed these concerns with my Pediatrician and am reassured that it is okay to allow my child to ‘cry it out” with me near by. I do however recognize that the cry it out or Ferber method may not be right for everyone.

Have you sleep trained with your children? Did you have a preferred method that you loved?