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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C Review ♥

So I was approached by Healthy Directions to review their awesome product Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C. ♥

With Trilane® Retinol + Vitamin C, you can fight fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots that come from years of exposure to sun, wind, pollution, and harsh chemicals.

While retinol is known for its anti-aging properties, traditional retinol can be very irritating to the skin. Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C uses a proprietary blend that includes retinol, retinyl palmitate, and vitamin C esters, plus key botanicals, such as pomegranate, aloe, cucumber, and licorice extracts, to gently restore radiant skin with NO irritation.

Just a few drops of Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C can gently lift and firm skin in as little as 5 hours. Plus, in a recent consumer study,* real women reported astonishing results:100% of the women reported noticeably softer, smoother, and more hydrated skin.
91% said skin looked radiant and brighter.
75% reported reduced appearance of wrinkles and lines.
83% said it diminished the crow’s feet around their eyes.
And 100% reported visible improvements in skin texture—including less roughness and dryness.
As an added bonus, Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C gently shrinks dilated pores that seem to get bigger over time, not smaller. In fact, more than half of the women who participated in the study noticed that their pores appeared to be smaller after using the product for just 7 days.

You too can get a discount 20% ! Click here! code SAVERETC

This post was sponsored by Brandbacker

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Grandpa's Summer Pickles ♥

Once again...my homemade pickles recipe!

Here is my grandpa's recipe for summertime pickles he always used to make after my grandparents would get back from the "Bazaar" as they called it (Farmer's Market) with a ton of fresh garlic, dill stalks and of course small cucumbers! ♥

                                       Look at these beauties I got at the local farmers market! 

Buying from the local farmer not only financially benefits the farmer but the community as well. Today’s farmer receives less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. When farmers sell directly to the consumer, the middleman is cut out thus producing a higher profit for the farmer. The farmer then circulates his profits throughout the community with local merchants creating a cycle that helps to build a strong local economy. 

Ingredients ♥

5 1/2 ounces pickling salt, approximately 1/2 cup
1 gallon filtered water
3 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches long
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 large bunch dill

Directions ♥

Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Set aside.

Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into a 1-gallon crock. Add the cucumbers to the crock on top of the aromatics. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers in order to completely cover. Pour the remaining water into a 1-gallon ziptop plastic bag and seal. Place the bag on top of the pickles making sure that all of them are completely submerged in the brine. Set in a cool, dry place.

Check the crock after 3 days. Fermentation has begun if you see bubbles rising to the top of the crock. After this, check the crock daily and skim off any scum that forms. If scum forms on the plastic bag, rinse it off and return to the top of the crock.

The fermentation is complete when the pickles taste sour and the bubbles have stopped rising; this should take approximately 6 to 7 days. Once this happens, cover the crock loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3 days, skimming daily or as needed. Store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator, skimming as needed. If the pickles should become soft or begin to take on an off odor, this is a sign of spoilage and they should be discarded. ♥

Monday, June 22, 2015

Diy Pallet Pet Bed ♥

So I have got to say I love my  minature pinscher Gia, she is my baby! I love to spoil her, I have to say in the past I have spend up to 300 dollars on a princess bed for her! This time I thought I would try something different and make one here's how you can make one too for your little best friend! ♥

Materials Needed:
wooden shipping pallets
tape measure
nail puller
1 1/2" finish screws
stainless steel finish nails
chop saw
carpenter's pencil

Dismantle Pallets
Gather a group of used wooden shipping pallets . I found mine for FREE at the local warehouse grocery store. Using a hammer or nail puller, remove each plank of wood from the pallet base , then dismantle the base.

Choose Best Pieces
Lay all pieces of wood out on a flat, level surface. Based on your specific shipping pallet and the intended size of your dog bed, choose which pieces are the best fit for the two sides, the rear, the front fascia and the base. Tip: A good-sized dog bed for small and medium dogs is 12 to 16 inches, and 14 to 18 inches for larger dogs.

Measure and Cut Boards
Measure and mark side boards using measuring tape and a carpenter's pencil. Cut them to 24-inch lengths with a circular saw. Measure and mark the rear and bottom boards using measuring tape and a carpenter's pencil, and cut to a 36-inch length with a circular saw. These boards will be the rear panel and bottom planks.
Measure and Cut Structural Pieces
To create structural pieces, measure and mark 1 1/2-inch strips using measuring tape and a carpenter's pencil, and cut with a circular saw . Next, use a circular saw to cut six pieces of wood the same length as the desired overall height.

Attach Structural Pieces
Lay out rear panel boards on a flat, level surface, and attach structural pieces on each end with finish nails or screws using a drill or hammer . Lay out side panel boards on a flat, level surface, and attach structural pieces on each end .

Attach Side and Rear Panels
Attach side panels to each end of the rear panels with finish nails or screws using a drill or hammer.

Cut and Attach Fascia Board
Measure and mark side boards using measuring tape and a carpenter's pencil, then cut front fascia board to length of the front edge from side to side. Install front fascia to side panels with finish nails or screws using a drill or hammer.

Install Base Planks
Attach planks to the base's underside with finish nails or screws using a drill or hammer. Tip: Make sure the planks sit flush, or the dog bed may appear crooked.

Sand Edges
Use an orbital sander or sanding block to smooth out the rough edges of each panel . Add cushions 

I painted it pink and added supercute cushions and pillows, you can either make these or just buy them online or at the store! Here is a great website that has custom cushions for dogs ILuvU4ever
And voila supercute right? ♥

for more detailed pics and instructions click here 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Greek Dinner Party Recipes 2015 ♥

In honor of Greek Fest this weekend, starting tomorrow, I have a made a menu from my recipes for a greek dinner party at home, hope you enjoy them they are healthier, but still traditional recipes.

     I remember my mother making some of them, since my stepfather was Greek, growing up  I have many memories with her in the kitchen preparing these meals. hope you enjoy them!   For more info on Greek Fest if you are in Wisconsin click here GreekFest sponsored by The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
 If you are out of state then follow my menu for a fabulous greek dinner party! Opa! ♥

First start off with appetizers! Here is my recipe for Greek Dolmades

For the main coarse try my Authentic Homemade Greek Gyro's 

 For a sweet treat try my Skinny Greek Baklava 

and cocktail time! Top top it off with some greek ouzo!

Since my step niece Lucia is half Greek and half Italian, here is  a pic of her when she was in the Traditional Greek Dancing team when she was younger. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Las Vegas Inspired Surf n Turf ♥

I am so pleased to tell you about  Vegas.com to post a inspired dish from there beautiful restaurants in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Hotels are all about luxury, and giving their guests the most over the top experience from the entertainment to the food.

I chose the 777 yes, that's the price! Out of all of the most expensive burgers  I have to admit this burger intrigues me the most. It’s a Kobe beef burger, topped with Maine lobster, prosciutto, caramelized onions, and a 100 year old drizzle of balsamic vinegar. In essence, it’s just another surf and turf burger – something I’ve been planning on making myself. But the big separating point from this burger and my future burger will be the mandatory $600 – $700 bottle of Dom Perignon that Le Burger Brasserie serves with their burger.
Here is my inspired burger you can make at home a perfect summer surf n turf dinner, only my version is healthier and just a tad bit less expensive! 

Kobe beef is expensive, why you ask? Kobe beef is rare, and producing it is an expensive, time consuming process. There are three main factors that make Kobe beef so tender and succulent. The Wagyu breed of cattle, the regular massaging of the cow to blend the fat into the muscle, and the diet of beer given to the cow to stimulate appetite.

I am doing a twist on the Bellagio Kobe Beef and Maine lobster burger that's more affordable .. Surf n Turf ! ♥

Make sure to check outVegas.com for your next visit to fabulous Las Vegas!

                                ( That's the 777 Kobe Beef Burger topped with Maine Lobster!)

Inexpensive steaks for the grill. What I'm talking about is the butcher's cuts.

The pieces of the steer that you won't find in the fancy-pants steakhouses or the styrofoam trays in the refrigerated cases in the supermarket (well, at least not most supermarkets). The pieces that chefs love to use because not only are they more inexpensive, but they've got character. the best cuts are
Top Sirloin
Top Round
Eye of Round
Beef Tenderloin

The cheapest are probably the round cuts.They are also the leanest cuts and healthier.

Grilled Lobster

Ingredients ♥

1 6″ x12″ cedar plank
5 6-8oz raw lobster tails
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh chives roughly chopped
Salt and pepper

How to cook the Grilled Lobster Tails Recipe:
Soak cedar grilling plank in water for at least one hour.
Preheat grill to 400Fº.

Turn the lobster tails leg side up and carefully cut down the center cutting only the shell. Season with salt and pepper.

After 10-12 minutes the plank will be smoking and the lobster meat will be firm in a bright red shell. Remove from grill.

The tail meat can be pulled out of the shell after a few minutes to cool.

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Steak

Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients ♥
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
5 gloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ cup of olive oil
2 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 piece of steak of your preference, about 2 lbs (I used beef round top round steak)

Directions ♥
Mix together in a plastic bag the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary. Add the steak let marinate for 4 – 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat the grill to medium – high and cook the steak for 6-8 minutes per side for rare, and a few minutes longer for medium. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Slice the steak thinly and serve.

Summer Strawberry Mozzarella Salad ♥

Here is a perfect light summertime twist on the original caprese salad. Try my strawberry salad with bocconcini (mozzarella balls) and a drizzle of tangy homemade balsamic dressing! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 cup bocconcini [mozzarella balls]
2 cup sliced strawberries
1 bunch chopped basil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Directions ♥  
( for the dressing) 
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings

In a large bowl combine the bocconcini. strawberries, tope with basil and drizzle some balsamic dressing enjoy! ♥

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lobster Bake Summer Cookout Party ♥

I was pleased to be asked by an awesome company Paperless Post to do a article for them for a summer themed party. I chose to do a Lobster Bake Summer Cookout party! I love fresh lobster, take a look at the diy tablesettings and recipes and you too can great the perfect party! ♥ 

First you have to start off right with invites, here is the design that I picked.
 Check out the Paperless Post  website here!

Now the menu 

 Here is the recipe 

Ingredients ♥ 
3 pounds new potatoes
Twelve 1-pound lobsters
12 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
2 pounds dried chorizo sausage
1 dozen ears of unhusked corn
6 sticks (1 1/2 pounds) unsalted butter, melted

Directions ♥ 
 In a large, deep pot, cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well.
 On a flat beach, dig a 6-by-4-foot pit 2 feet deep. Line the pit with 90 rocks. Dig a 2-foot-wide pit nearby, also 2 feet deep.
 Using 8 logs, build a bonfire in the large pit. Over the next hour and 45 minutes, add 6 logs to the fire every 15 minutes, building the fire outwards so that it covers the base of the pit. After the first 45 minutes, as the logs turn to coals, add 20 rocks to the fire. When the logs have completely turned to coals, after about 2 hours, shovel the 20 rocks to the sides. Leaving a 1-inch-thick layer of coals atop and between the rocks, shovel the rest of the coals into the smaller pit and extinguish with water.
 Meanwhile, using a screwdriver, perforate the baking pans, punching holes in the bottoms about every inch.
 Arrange the lobsters and potatoes together in 6 of the pans. Arrange the clams, chorizo and corn in the 6 remaining pans.
 Wearing mitts, line the pit with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Arrange the pans on the rockweed in a single layer. Top the pans with a 1-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Fold the tarps in half lengthwise to measure 5 by 8 feet. Stack them on top of the rockweed. Weight down the edges of the top-most tarp with the remaining 10 rocks to trap the steam. Bake for about 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. The lobsters and potatoes should be done; the clams, corn and chorizo will need another 15 minutes. When cooked, the lobsters will be bright red, the clams open, and the corn and potatoes fork-tender. Serve with melted butter.
Fire extinguisher
1 large bucket
1 or 2 full-size shovels
120 rocks, about the size of grapefruits
50 hardwood logs, each about 2 feet long and 8 inches in diameter
Twelve 9-by-13-by-1 1/2-inch disposable aluminum baking pans
Heavy-duty oven mitts
25 pounds rockweed

Three 10-by-8-foot canvas tarps, soaked in water

Here is the decor 

DIY Lobster Dinner Survival Kit necessities: mason jars, lobster crackers, lobster picks, lobster bibs, lobster print cloth napkins. Personalize it with nautical rope, and a brown paper cutout with guests initials. 

I got these cute place settings at Marshalls, and World Market, to stick with the lobster theme!

I got this cute sign here

I hope you enjoyed my post, hope this helps so you too can have your own lobster bake at home!  ♥ 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Watermelon Feta & Olive Salad ♥

Here is  a great summer salad for lunch or dinner! It's perfect for summer, with cool refreshing  watermelon and a little savory feta! 

Ingredients ♥

1 small red onion
4 limes
3 ¼ lb watermelon (sweet and ripe)
8 oz feta cheese
1 bunch fresh mint (chopped)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅔ cup pitted black olives
black pepper

Directions  ♥
Place red onion in a large bowl. Add watermelon, feta and olives.
Sprinkle with mint leaves, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
Toss until everything is coated. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, until ready to serve.enjoy! ♥