Apr 21

Upcycled Cupcake Tower

This upcycled cupcake tower is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

Upcycled cupcake tower craft tutorial explaining how to turn an empty diaper box, vegetable can, and Gerber snack food container into cute party decorations. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad

What would you say if I told you these cupcake stands were made from recycled materials? And I don’t mean plastic made from recycled materials. I’m talking like straight out of the recycling bin, recycled. Hello, thrifty!  Upcycled Cupcake Tower supplies #lifeforless #PMedia #ad

Upcycled Cupcake Tower Supplies

  • Diaper box
  • Empty toddler snack container
  • Empty vegetable can
  • Liquid Nails
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Self healing mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ribbon (optional)

And don’t you dare sit there and pretend like you don’t keep those suckers for storage. We all know empty diaper boxes make fabulous storage containers on the cheap! Where else do you hoard all of the recycled items you for sure need to keep in case you come across something cool on Pinterest? *cough* like this *cough*

We all know that’s a thing.

In my world.

Upcycled Cupcake Tower (step 1)- trace a 6 inch circle on the cardboard. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad I knew the maximum size I could cut out of one side was 11 inches so I opted for two cake plates measuring (roughly) 6 and 11 inches.

Crafting tip- Make your life easy and find round items to trace. (e.g. I used an 11-ish inch cake plate and a 6-ish inch saucer.

Upcycled Cupcake Tower (step 2)- use a rotary cutter to cut out the cardboard circle. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad Prepare to put a bit of elbow grease into cutting out your circles because there will be fewer imperfections if you get it right the first time. Talk about cracking the whip, eh?

You see, my OCD was hella concerned with lopsided circles so I pushed like there was no tomorrow. Sort of like that one time… in that one room…
Upcycled Cupcake Tower (step 3)- Apply Liquid Nails to the rim of the base. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad

This is one of the few times you are allowed to be generous as you apply glue to a craft. The beauty of this project (outside of it costing pennies) is that you can’t see the seal once you flip it over. I highly doubt your party guests will approach the table to peek at your cupcake tower’s undercarriage. Who does that? And if they do… you need to have an OCD intervention with them.

Just sayin’.
Upcycled Cupcake Tower (step 5)- Make sure the Liquid Nails is covering the entire seam. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad I like to run my finger around the seal to make it a wee bit tidier because I am one of those crazy cats who notices the minor imperfections mentioned above. (At least I’m honest?)

Crafting tip- Liquid Nails is one of the best adhesives I have used to bind my upcycled cupcake towers. It’s an extremely durable, easy to apply adhesive. Just embrace it.

Upcycled cupcake tower tutorial (step 7)- glue ribbon around the edges to hide the cardboard detail. #lifeforless #PMedia

(Not pictured) I spray painted the plates green to match Michael’s upcoming John Deere birthday party theme.

  • Yes- I’ve been planning for months.
  • Yes- Invites will go out in June.
  • No- I’m not a lunatic.

Optional- I lined the edge of the plates with E6000 and wrapped a ribbon around each plate. Why? Because I didn’t like the cardboard details giving away my el cheapo secret, and I think ribbon classes things up a bit.

Relaxing after finishing my upcycled cupcake tower craft with the latest edition of All You and a cupcake. #lifeforless #PMedia #ad

So how did I come up with this genius, if I do same so myself, idea?

I throw a ton of parties. You know this. And even though it looks like I drop oodles of benjamins on each one, I don’t. Which is why you will see upcycled cupcake tower tutorials, among other tutorials, pop up here and there. I promise you don’t have to break the bank every stinkin’ party. Blogger’s honor!

Confession- The April edition of All You gave me the kick in the rear that I needed to get this series rolling. There were plenty of pretty cake plates all over this month’s edition, and we all know All You magazine is the thrifty Holy Grail. It just made sense.

*Bonus* Print out this $1 coupon (while supplies last) before heading out to Meijer because All You magazine is now available at retailers nationwide. Whoop! Whoop!

 

Apr 18

Pinot Grigio Chicken

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Brancott Estate Wines. I received product samples to facilitate my Pinot Grigio Chicken recipe as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Step by step instructions showing you how to create a simple Pinot Grigio Chicken recipe with a side of cauliflower rice. #FlightSong

Wine sits pretty high on my love scale. Think… on the same level as my child and camera.

I know there is one more thing…

Michael! That’s right! And my husband, of course. Goodness me.

I like (most) everything from red to white, dry to sweet. Shooot. I even like wine of the pink and sparkling sort!

Ingredients for Pinot Grigio Chicken. (Bonus step by step recipe.) #flightsong

The ingredients for this Pinot Grigio chicken recipe were inspired by a scrumptious bottle of Pinot Grigio from Brancott Estate. And the chicken? I picked chicken because that’s what I had in the freezer. I wish I was able to say I possessed a more complex method but I don’t. I’m a straightforward gal, with a simple brain, and an even less involved palate.

Woe is me!

Pinot Grigio Chicken Ingredients

  • 1 cup Peach Tea
  • 1/2 cup Brancott Estate Pinot Grigio
  • 1/4 cup Pear, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Red Pepper Flakes, sprinkled
  • Coconut Oil, for the pan
  • 2lbs Chicken Breast

I promise this will be quick and easy.

You need to juice half a lemon for this pinot grigio chicken recipe. #flightsong

  • Start by putting everything (except the chicken- obviously) in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, over medium heat.
  • I’m sure there is a technical term for the next step (reduce, maybe?) but I like to go with stir, stir, stir. Stir until it gets thick like a sauce should be. And be sure to remove it from the heat when it’s good and saucy. (Is that the proper cooking term? Probably not.)
  • This step is a tough one! Are you ready? Next you need to chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Phew! I need a drink after that one!
  • Heat the coconut oil until it gets so hot the chicken sizzles when it’s placed in the pan. (I dig the sizzle.) Then let chicken cook halfway-ish before adding in about half of the sauce. Check on it here and there until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Done. Easy. You got this, dude.

Add a side of cauliflower rice to your pinot grigio chicken recipe for a healthy dinner. #flightsong

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

  • Pulse a head of cauliflower in your food processor until it is small and grain like.
  • While you heat a tablespoon, or so, of coconut oil in your pan, place the cauliflower ‘rice’ in between paper towels and blot out the moisture. (It took me about 16 paper towels to dry out my rice.)
  • Once the cauliflower is dry, and the oil heated, put the cauliflower in the pan and mix in 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 3 minced garlic cloves.
  • Give it a stir here and there so it doesn’t burn and the seasoning gets mixed in.
  • Viola! Plop a heaping helping of rice on your plate, top with chicken, and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Pair the light and sweet Pinot Grigio from Brancott Estate with a slightly spicy pinot grigio chicken for the perfect date night meal. #flightsong

How about we talk wine now? I mean, we just enjoyed a delightful Pinot Grigio chicken with our better half, so we should participate in a bit of small talk before scurrying back to work.

Oh wait. Am I the only person who flips their switch back on as I consume the final bite on my plate? Dang!

Brancott Estate Flight Song Marlborough Pinot Grigio (2013)

The Pinot Grigio is full, crisp, and sweet, but not brush your teeth sweet. There is a sweet citrus aroma on the nose, with a smooth fruity finish. This is a wine I would classify as a light, summer wine. Maybe if we drink enough of it we can draw summer out of its shell? Maybe? It’s worth a try, right?
Pairing recommendation (per Brancott Estate)- Discover Brancott Estate Flight Song Marlborough Pinot Grigio with pan-fired salmon and fresh, steamed vegetables.

Brancott Estate Flight Song Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (2013)

The Sauvignon Blanc is not my glass o’ wine. I’ve never been big into grapefruit and the grapefruit flavor starts in the nose and travels all the way through to the finish. Props for being unique, but I just couldn’t. Michael on the other hand? It was a no-brainer. That mans LOVES grapefruit! I had him taste both and he said ‘that one’ just as soon as he swallowed.
Gotta love when we can say this one is mine and that one is yours!
Pairing recommendation (per Brancott Estate)- Enjoy Sauvignon Blanc on its own or with a variety of foods from delicate to spicy grilled or barbecued seafood to green salads and Mediterranean dishes.
Both of the wines I tried from the Brancott Estate Flight Song line contain 20% fewer calories. I had no idea that was a thing but it totally is. When I sit down with a bottle of wine, the last thing I think about is calories. Ha! Am I allowed to admit that? I guess I feel 20% less guilty about throwing back the bottle…
Cheers to my cronies!

 

Apr 13

Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. Replace all of your remotes with the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard. #HarmonySmartKeyboard I’m not a gambling woman but the odds that you are reading the latest edition of Talk to Nerdy to Me from a portable device, with the TV on in the background, in your favorite pair of yoga pants, beneath a blanket are high. Some of you may even skip the pants entirely, and that’s okay! I care more about your stash of remote controls than whether or not you are wearing pants. And don’t even try to tell me you didn’t look up just now and give your pile the stink eye. I am well aware of the remote struggle.

Now that I have brought up the elephant in the room, let me introduce you to the solution… the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard. I’m about to blow your mind, mmmkay?

Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard Video


Was I right, or was I right?

That’s what I thought! Setting up and using the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard is a breeze. #HarmonySmartKeyboard Now, I know 90% of you will skip over the video… even though you shouldn’t.

Not only is Michael loosening up on camera, we tell you all about my latest gadget love child. The love child that is sitting to my right, right meow. The love child that doesn’t require me to pick it up and point it at the TV because it whispers Bluetooth nothings to the hub.

Wait, what? The hub for the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard. #HarmonySmartKeyboard What is a hub, you ask?

The hub is nothing more than a middle man. The keyboard speaks to the hub, and the hub delivers the information in whichever language is required for the device it is traveling to. Bluetooth? Yep. Radio frequency? You bet! Infra-red? But of course! Wi-Fi? Is that a serious question?

Oh, and hey, you can totally put the hub in a cabinet without compromising its functionality. Talk about keeping the household decorator happy!

And one more thing before I give the floor up to Michael… The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard is SUPER easy to use. The odds of you feeling like this are pretty low… unless you are a 2 year old.

Logitech Keyboard and app #HarmonySmartKeyboard

Michael’s Thoughts on the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard

I need to be honest, I enjoy standard remotes. I have never seen a need to upgrade a remote control….until now.

The Harmony Smart Keyboard exceeded my expectations. The setup was very simple and detected all my devices with ease. I was truly surprised that it was able to correctly pick up all the inputs off of the A/V receiver. Although we did not have a gaming console to connect into it during testing, I feel confident that it would have connected in seamlessly.

There are three buttons that can be programmed on the top of the keyboard, for up to 6 choices. Holding down each button allows for a second action to take place. The hub for the unit is compact and in an open space only requires the power cord attached. That being said, the Bluetooth connectivity works very well and I have no issues using the keyboard from 30 feet away from the hub. If the keyboard is not near me, the Harmony App (for iOS & Android) on my smartphone works almost as well.

The only gripe would be that the button placement for the app is a little difficult to navigate, but functioning just as well. You do have to be connected to your home Wi-Fi in order to use, a fact the app will remind you about if you launch it without having the wireless enabled.

Logitech Keyboard at Best Buy #HarmonySmartKeyboard

I understand if you grab your keys and head to Best Buy for your own $149.99 beauty right now. It’s totally worth it.

 

Apr 09

Dinner Ninja

You guys. Someone offered me money and food to give up one of my party secrets. Seriously. One of my party secrets! The things I do for money are inching me closer to straight floozy status!

Meh, the Schuplins gotta eat, amirite?

Find out how easy it is to call on your inner dinner ninja and get Easter dinner on the table in no time! #HoneyBakedEaster #sponsored

And I know you guys follow along so well that you are up to speed on my latest perfect housewife confession. I mean, who would miss an announcement as epic as my new wifey task?

Pause. Read. Process.

It’s true.

Dinner ninja secret- No bone, pre-cooked ham is a life saver. #HoneyBakedEaster #sponsored

Buy anyways… I bet you are wondering about my dinner ninja secret. Hook a girl up with a drumroll and I will tell you all about it.

(drummmmrrollll)

When I throw an elaborate party, entertain a large group of people, or just don’t have the time to prepare something worthy enough to share the table with my party decorations, I cheat. OK, maybe cheat is the wrong word. How about… ummm… I take a shortcut? Shortcuts seem to be more widely accepted in mainstream blogging. Even if the act of cheating is a shortcut…

Just sayin’.

So, I headed out to the Flint HoneyBaked Ham location because I needed real food in my belly after the mess of nonsense I consumed during Michael’s birthday party. It was bad. Like, I look pregnant bad. Even though I wasn’t heading out there with an event like Easter dinner in mind, I was overwhelmed with 4 deadlines mushed in between 2 birthday parties, and I was able to get in and out in under 10 minutes. Yes!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is also okay to cheat when life gets all sorts of crazy.

Dinner ninja secret- Impress your guests with a coconut cake that leaves them wondering how much time you spent in the kitchen. #HoneyBakedEaster #sponsored

I picked up ham, mashed potatoes (to die for!), green beans, and a cake for less than $75, out the door. Could we have gotten by without the cake? You betcha. Except… Michael was all sad panda because I didn’t make him a birthday cake, and who hosts Easter dinner without dessert? Just. No!

Michael sure isn’t complaining with this week’s shortcut because he knows he would have dined on leftover party food, like chips and Hot Pockets, all week. It took a while but we sort of know how to handle the each other when one of us in the middle of a deadline.

And now you know how to become a dinner ninja. You’re welcome.

Dinner ninja specials:

  • In-Store Specials

    • $54.99 Easter Ham & Turkey Combo – Pair a Turkey Breast (approx. 3 lbs.) with your choice of a Boneless Ham (approx. 3.5 lbs.) or Quarter Ham (approx. 4.5 lbs.)

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    • $24.99 Easter Brunch Bundle – Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake and Honey-Spice Bacon

    • Heat & Share Sides: Two for $13.99, three for $19.99

  • With Coupon:

    • $5 OFF Half Ham (Bone-in) or Become a HoneyBaked VIP at honeybakedfoods.com (Save an extra $1 when you sign up to become a HoneyBaked VIP: $6 OFF )

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      (Save an extra $1 when you sign up to become a HoneyBaked VIP: $4 OFF )

  • Become a HoneyBaked VIP for exclusive savings all year long!

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Apr 07

How to Be the Perfect Housewife

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. The confession of my new cleaning, vacuuming, perfect housewife lifestyle has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

How to be the perfect housewife- Vacuum daily in heels. #EurekaPower #shop

I’ve been living a bit of a lie as of late. OK, maybe not a lie… more like a strategic withholding of information. Yes. That. I like the way that sounds.

You see, I wasn’t ready to come out of the proverbial closet. I was scared. How would I admit to the world that THE Horrible Housewife does chores now? Chores like laundry, dishes, and vacuuming.

Did you catch that?

C-H-O-R-E-S! Ermahgerd!

Are you upset with  me because I didn’t tell you about my perfect housewife transformation in the beginning?

How to be the perfect housewife- Iron your husband's shirts #EurekaPower #shop

I feel like you are moments away from breaking up with me. Will you ever trust me again? Please don’t break up with me. I need you in my life. You are my everything.

I would cry right now if I wasn’t so emotionally awkward…

I swear we can make this work! Would you be down for an open relationship?

It’s just… well… I found a vacuum with a suction that deep cleans my carpets like there’s no tomorrow! Clean carpets make Michael happy and we all know I could stand to have a few brownie points in my pocket for the day(s) I fly off the handle.

How to be the perfect housewife- Use the attachment on your Eureka vacuum to clean up the blush your toddler dumped all over the bathroom. #EurekaPower #shop

Speaking of brownie points…

Michael is all up in my business now that I look and act like the perfect housewife. He even requested I do my hair and makeup ev-ver-ry-day for him.

For real.

How to be the perfect houswife- Touch up your makeup before your husband gets home. #EurekaPower #shop

I now have my wifey duties down to a science. I know I have 23 minutes from the moment he says he is on his way home before he walks in the door. Which means I have 23 minutes to tidy the house, check on dinner, pop the top on his favorite brew, and touch up my hair and makeup. Aiyiyi!

Thank goodness my tiny tornado is typically napping at this point because I would be devastated if Michael walked into anything less than flawless.

There is no such thing as a perfect housewife. #EurekaPower #shop

Get that rubbish outta here!

The Perfect Housewife does NOT exist in our home!

There is some truth woven into my latest edition of drama llama. I did accept responsibility for the laundry because I was sick and tired of the mountains left on top of the machines from Mr. Forget-about-it. Wrinkled clothes send my OCD into overdrive.

I do NOT take care of the dishes or kitchen because I meal plan, grocery shop, and cook everything. And, of course, take pictures of it all. Blogger problems, fo’ sho’!

I do NOT vacuum because my new Eureka AirSpeed All Floors vacuum was requisitioned by the men as soon as it showed up. It went a little something like this…

  • Michael to Michael- “OK, bud, grab your vacuum and we will clean up the house.”
  • (Clean. Clean. Clean.)
  • Michael to me- “I can’t believe how much this vacuum picks up!”
  • Me to Michael- “Oh yeah? And it’s small enough to shove into one of the closets upstairs so you don’t have to cart the big one up there.”
  • Michael to me- “Can we do a Talk Nerdy to Me for it? I think we should. When is this post due?”
  • Me- “You’re special.”

Eureka AirSpeed All Floors Vacuum Reviews at Walmart.com #EurekaPower #shop

I picked this vacuum because it’s small and the reviews at Walmart.com were pretty good.

Cut a girl some slack. You know I don’t leave the house unless I’m going to the gym or grocery store. And you KNOW Michael doesn’t agree to a purchase over $50 without vetting said purchase. Those certainties are very much like death and taxes.

But it wasn’t just the size that piqued my interest. Nope. Anyone who has visited the casa de la Schuplin knows our first floor consists of tile, hardwood, linoleum, and subfloor. Our house is unique… in a not so pretty kind of way. Which is why I wanted a vacuum  powerful enough to clean all sorts of floors/surfaces.

Straight from the mouth of Michael…

“The canister is user friendly to empty because it allows you to open both sides to ensure all the dirt and debris can be cleaned out. The vacuum roller system is very nice due to the contouring on the bottom, making it easier to go over ledges and small bumps. The vacuum also raises slightly when you position it upright so that it is easier to roll back away.”

How ’bout them apples?

#EurekaPower #CollectiveBias

Apr 04

Paleo Almond Joy Bark

Paleo Almond Joy Bark Recipe #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt Dudes.

I don’t know about you but back in the day I would throw down on the Almond Joys… all day, every day. And there was a science to my Almond Joy consumption. It was required that I bite the Almond Joy precisely in the middle of the almond so I had equal parts almond in both bites. There was no other way. Don’t even try argue your case because you will lose.

I no longer sit around in my jammies chowing Almond Joy treats for obvious reasons, but I can’t sit here and say I don’t think about them… like, a lot. And we all know I end up in the kitchen when I feel like figuring out the paleo alternative for my old friends. Paleo Almond Joy Bark Ingredients and a step by step recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Paleo Almond Joy Bark Ingredients

  • 8 oz Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 cups Coconut Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2/3 cup Honey

Paleo Almond Joy Bark recipe- Melt the dark chocolate and spread it into the bark mold. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

  • Melt the dark chocolate according to the package, until smooth. Spread the chocolate into the Spring Bark Mold with a spatula until it fills each section.

I didn’t want to fill it any higher because I wanted a thick layer of coconut deliciousness. You can tweak this step depending on how you picture them in your head. Paleo Almond Joy Bark recipe- Spread the coconut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer before putting the bark mold in the freezer. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

  • Melt the coconut butter over low heat, in a small saucepan before mixing in the coconut flakes, slivered almonds, honey, and vanilla.
  • When everything is all melty and mixed well, layer the coconut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer and put the mold in the freezer to harden.

Paleo Almond Joy Bark (step by step) recipe in a spring themed bark mold. Perfect for Easter treats! #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

  • Contain your excitement as you pull the mold out of the freezer and pop out your delicious paleo Almond Joy bark!
  • I used a giant knife to cut the squares out. I recommend cutting one side of each square at a time so you don’t crack the square. But if you do crack it, eat the evidence before serving. I mean, why not indulge before the rest of the crowd grabs one?

You might not enjoy these if you are a milk chocolate lover. That being said, Michael hates dark chocolate and I told him so as I handed him a small piece, but he tried it… and came back for seconds and thirds later that evening. You could always use a 60% dark chocolate if you aren’t a strict paleo household. But, in my house, I know anything with dark chocolate in it means I get it all to myself. Tricky!

Psst… Use code SpringFling for an additional 25% off Sweet Creations spring cookware tools.

Do you even tweet, bro?

Then don’t forget to follow Good Cook on Twitter with hashtags ‪#‎goodcookcom‬ and ‪#‎goodcookkitchenexprt‬.

 


Mar 31

An Open Letter to Cat Poop

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Litter Genie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #petparents http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.”

Mission- keep the litter box clean with my new Litter Genie #pmedia #petparents #ad

I almost titled this post cat poop. Just plain cat poop. I mean, why not get straight to the point, right? The thought still haunts me but I felt like an open letter to cat poop wouldn’t automatically turn people away. The extra words distract from the focus of my story, right? That, folks, is what we call a bait and switch because nobody wants a paleo taco salad with a side of cat poop. Gross.

I guess someone out there might, but…. yeah… poop is totally processed (AKA not paleo). Just sayin’.

My Litter Genie is pretty magical with the way it make cat poop disappear. #petparents #pmedia #ad

Dear Cat Poop,

I understand you are a necessary evil for all the humans walking the Earth covered in cat hair. Really, I do. And if there ever came a day when my furry friends were no longer able to drop a deuce… I’m out of here! Hell hath no fury like a constipated furbaby.

Oh hecks naw!

Checking Snowball for cat poop. #petparents #pmedia #ad

But what I really want to talk about is the way you stick to the long, delicate strands on my precious Bandit’s rump bump. You are to blame for my new to crawling baby consuming his first turd. Seriously. A turd. For, what seemed liked, the longest moment in my life, I watched as the runny, brown goo ran down his chubby face. It has to be chocolate, I thought to myself, where in the world would he find cat poop?

It wasn’t chocolate…

Well played, cat poop, well played.

Cat poop doesn't stand a chance against my Litter Genie. #pmedia #petparents #ad

Too bad I have some not so fun news for you! This $3 Target coupon gave me the courage to get your mess under control once and for all. Gone are the days of our cat poop fragrance furnace filter! Sayonara, sucka! We are now proud parents of the newfangled cat poop container, better known as Litter Genie.

<<<Booooooomm goes the dynamite!>>>

You will find me scooping your precious clumps of joy into my new Litter Genie and spending my new allowance on all of the Target items I don’t really need but I have to have. Yessss!

It’s been real, dude.

Warmly,

The Cat Poop Hater

 

Mar 28

Paleo Taco Salad and Pineapple Mango Salsa

Try taco night the paleo way with this paleo taco salad. Top the salad with homemade pineapple mango salsa and you have a winner of a dinner! (Step by step recipe)

At one point in my life I loved everything about tacos, especially the beans. I loved me some beans!

Then I started my semi-paleo journey… goodbye my precious beans, tortillas, and cheese. It was torture!

And like most paleo households, I slowly started introducing my favorite foods ‘other people consider healthy’ (like beans) back into my diet on cheat days to figure out what I could get away with. (I highly recommend keeping a food diary!) It turns out… beans are soooo not my friend. Leaky gut all day and night. Fun fun!

  • I tried organic, fancy pants tortillas. Fail.
  • I tried lettuce wraps with beans and a tiny bit of mozzarella cheese. Fail.
  • I tried lettuce wraps with just a tiny bit of mozzarella cheese. Fail.

Sad panda, for sure.

And then came yet another taco night in the Schuplin household and guess what I was out of? Lettuce wraps. Gosh darn, lettuce wraps.

And that, folks, is the story behind my paleo taco salad.

Pineapple mango salsa recipe that will be used as 'dressing' on a paleo taco salad.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC. or the manufacturer of the product.

Paleo Taco Salad Ingredients

  • Baby Kale Mix from Fresh Express
  • Ground beef (Seasoned with your favorite taco mix.)
  • Mango salsa (recipe below)
  • Bell peppers
  • Red onion
  • Any other paleo friendly taco items you enjoy.

Plate a bit of lettuce and top said lettuce with any of the (paleo friendly) traditional taco items! Think of it like the lazy lettuce wrap. Or the deconstructed taco. Or the trashcan leftover vegetable dinner. I don’t care how you process it as long as you get down on the chow.

Ingredients for homemade pineapple mango salsa to use on a paleo taco salad

Mango Salsa Ingredients (Makes 8 ounces)

  • 1 cup Mango
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 1/2 cup Red Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Onion
  • 1 cup Tomato
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Put the ingredients in your food processor and pulse it a few times. I didn’t want to obliterate the ingredients, but giant chunks without any juice is better known as a bowl of fruit.

Note: Yes, the cayenne pepper is required. The word salsa sort of implies there will be a slight kick and I can guarantee your guests will hunt you down if you don’t deliver a kick. It isn’t like it’s a football cleat to the face type of kick.

Paleo taco salad with homemade pineapple mango salsa dressing

 

Not a bad idea for the Salad Swap, eh? Happy mistakes are sort of the best-thing-ever!

There is still time for you to join the Salad Swap before bikini season rolls around. I mean, is there not still snow on the ground? Why yes, yes there is.

What are you waiting for? Download the app and pick from the recipes they already have prepared for you. They pretty much did everything but go to the grocery store. Can you handle printing out the coupon and picking up the goods?

I thought so.

And don’t forget to connect with Fresh Express Salads on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

Mar 24

Hidden Chocolate Carrots

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This hidden chocolate carrots craft has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Just in time for Easter! Step by step craft (with pictures) explaining how to create these hidden chocolate carrots.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Easter, also known as creepy bunny man season, is upon us and that means parents everywhere are counting down the days until their rotten egg air fresheners kick on. The joys of parenthood, right?

How about we switch things up this year and hide Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites in grown-up Easter decorations?

This is what I like to call crafting in the name of treating ourselves once the tikes hit the hay, and I will accept the title of genius whenever you are ready to lay it on me.

Ready. Set. Let’s get crafty, guys!

The first step in making hidden chocolate carrots for Easter is to fill the tip of a piping bag with yarn.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Step 1- Before filling the 12 inch piping bag with a bag of Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites, squish a little yarn into the tip so your carrot keeps its form when wrapped in yarn.

Crafting tip: Trim the bag if you prefer smaller carrots.

The second step in making hidden chocolate carrots for Easter is to fill the piping bag with Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites, twist tie the bag closed, and knot the orange yarn around the bag.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Step 2- I sealed the bag with a small piece of green Wired Sisal Rope before attaching the yarn with a simple double knot.

The third step in making hidden chocolate carrots for Easter is to wrap the yarn around the piping bag so it starts to look like a carrot.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Step 3- Stretch your wrists because now you will begin wrapping the yarn around the bag! And don’t give up once you realize all the yarn wants to do is bunch up and sabotage your pretty project. Just switch gears and continue wrapping down the carrot.

Crafting tip: Use a bit of glue at the top of the carrot if you find the yarn slipping up and bunching. 

You will have to wrap the hidden chocolate carrot  multiple times to ensure there are no gaps.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Don’t stress if you have to double wrap, or even triple wrap your carrot because the ‘ugly’ side can lie face down. It’s all about how you stage your pretties, guys!

Crafting tip- Place a dot of glue on the tip to prevent the yarn from unraveling.

The fourth step in the hidden chocolate carrots craft is to use wire cutters to create the top of the carrot.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Step 4- Snip about a 4 inch section of Wired Sisal Rope with wire cutters and turn it into a circle for the base of your greens. Next, cut 20 more 10 inch sections to complete the greens for a single carrot.

Crafting tip- The length of the greens will vary depending on the size of your carrot and the look you are going for.

The fifth step in the hidden chocolate carrots for Easter is to loop each piece around the circle base.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Step 5- Wrap the 20 pieces around the circle and give them a slight twist to ensure they stay connected. And don’t freak when you notice they don’t stand up straight. There’s another step for that.

Next you will wrap a piece of wire around the base of your hidden chocolate carrots and secure it.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

Final and 6th step- Trim the top of the piping bag so it looks like a little nub. (Size will vary depending on the size of your carrot.) Slip the ring of greens around the nub and force them to stand up for a quick minute by placing your hands around them. Once you get them standing up, wrap another ring around the base of the greens and twist the ends together. This step helps the greens stand tall without constant adjustments.

Shopping at Walmart for Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites #EatMoreBites #shop

I picked my bags of Bites up during one of our trips down Walmart’s candy aisle. I can always find something to occupy Michael during our shopping trip in that aisle. What can I say… I am not above bribery.

MARS Bites Coupon #EatMoreBites  #shop

Don’t forget your coupon!

Chocolate isn't only for the inside of Easter eggs! Think outside the box with these hidden chocolate carrots.  #EatMoreBites  #shop

#EatMoreBites #CollectiveBias

Mar 21

Blogger Burnout Cocktail

Blogger Burnout cocktail recipe

Blogger Burnout is special. Special like the time your bestie hacked your account and confessed your love for no-wipers…

Oh, that has yet to happen to you? Ha! Just wait until you leave your social media tether unattended this May. Unless, of course, you are a potty publisher. Potty publishers are a little trickier to hack.

Save yourself now because this ship is sailing and you can expect the ride to be random, with a shot of sarcasm.

Painting melted chocolate on chocolate cups for the blogger burnout cocktail recipe

So why the name Blogger Burnout?

Because there are only so many posts you can write before your eyes glaze over while reading about the latest toy your toddler will forget about in 1 month. I can guarantee every blogger has assumed the fetal position beneath their desk at one point in their career.

Cool. Sure. Send me whatever.

Despite what the media thinks ‘mom bloggers’ do at conferences, I know of the true secret sisterhood rituals. (More on that later.) We show up at the conference resembling that of a zombie. We pound coffee as we scarf down heaps of bacon before ‘class’, if you will. During the sessions, we send tweets with our left hand, and jot notes with our right. We wonder if so and so is really XYZ blogger because she had red hair in her latest profile picture.

Throwback Thursday strikes again. Or was it Flashback Friday?

Coat the melted rim of the chocolate cup with coconut flakes for the blogger burnout cocktail recipe We socialize… errr network during the cocktail parties as we pretend our 5 inch heels aren’t cutting off the circulation to our tiniest piggy. And even though we leave the conference getting less sleep than we do at home, the rump kicking we receive from the ‘your content just isn’t all the great’ and ‘your grandma takes better pictures than you’ sessions gets our juices flowing.

AKA- Extinguishes the blogger burnout.

Blogger Burnout cocktail recipe card

Blogger Burnout Cocktail Recipe

  • 1 part Coconut rum
  • 2 parts Marshmallow vodka
  • Chocolate cups (Either store bought or homemade.)
  • Mini marshmallow spears
  • Melted milk chocolate, for garnish
  • Coconut flakes, for garnish

Cocktail Instructions

  • Buy, or mold from milk chocolate, chocolate cups.
  • Apply melted chocolate around the rim of the cup with a food safe paint brush.
  • Cover the melted chocolate with coconut flakes and let it harden.
  • Shake the vodka, rum and ice in a cocktail shaker before pouring it into the chocolate cup.
  • Toss a roasted marshmallow spear in the cup and enjoy!

Blogger Burnout- the grown-up s'mores treat!

I don’t know what planet you live on, but the Blogger Burnout sounds pretty much like a no-brainer for the NickMom Pajama Party goin’ down in the Ark. Sort of like the bathroom candle your roommate brings to the conference because the word on the street is you drop a mean deuce.

For real.

The madness of blogging bestie overload is happening in… oh… less than 50 days. I haven’t figured out if I’m more excited to be on the same plane as my homies, or for the featured entertainment NickMom is providing. It’s pretty much neck and neck at this point.

I’m trying hard to keep my fangirl contained until I see which nominated cocktail wins it all buuuutttt…

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO- EEMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM- GGGGGGGGGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!

I’m packing my big girl panties just in case my sweet, sweet fangirl consumes my blogger self and I crack a rib, or 5… resulting in assistance being given to me. I make no promises.

See you there, suckas!

#NickMomPJParty #SoFabCon14 #CollectiveBias

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