A week in Paradise

Hey there!

Well, I’m back from what was an absolutely fantastic Hawaiian getaway! I had such a great time sunning it up, hanging out with the family, reading books, and eating bags and bags of Maui Onion Chips!  If you can’t de-stress in Hawaii, you can’t de-stress anywhere!
I mean, look at that view! Waking up to that every morning was not too shabby. Plus, I got to spend lots of quality time with my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. Family + paradise = one good vacation!
But we didn’t spend all our time just lounging in the sun. We went on a whale watch and saw a mommy and a baby whale playing together. The baby was trying to jump and slap his tail…it was pretty much the cutest thing ever. It was “whale season” so we saw tons of them jumping, swimming, and playing. SO cool.
Don’t worry, we made time to eat too! I have to admit, it was a little bit of a bummer not to be able to have a poolside cocktail, but I made it work…
Lots of Hawaiian Shave Ice! My favorite flavor was mango – they put real mango puree in it! In fact, even after the baby’s born I might choose one of these over a cocktail!
Since I wasn’t drinking I figured I had quite a few calories to spare at the end of each meal. The solution?? Dessert!
This was the dessert sampler at the Lahaina Grill and it was remarkable! Berry pie, creme brûlée, chocolate cake with kona coffee ice cream, AND a chocolate mousse cake. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with the berry pie, but that didn’t mean I didn’t indulge in all the rest!
We also had a wonderful dinner at Star Noodle, home to Top Chef contestent Sheldon. We tried everything from the pad thai to the pork buns to the kimchi brussels sprouts and it was all Top Chef worthy. But the real reason to stick around? The homemade doughnuts for dessert!
They were about as big as my head and served with salted caramel AND chocolate sauce. When I first saw them I thought, “oh I’ll just have a bite or two.” Yeah right. I downed the whole thing and every bite was better than the next! Well, except the last one!
But even after all that decadence, my favorite thing is still (and always will be!) the fresh Hawaiian fruit! I had so much papaya and pineapple that my grandparents kept telling me I was going to turn into one. I should be so lucky…I’d never have to go to the store!
The morning we left, this was what was going on outside our hotel. I think it means we’re supposed to come back. And soon!!
Aloha!
This entry was posted in Life! and tagged .

Celebration Cupcakes!

Hi!

It’s time to celebrate!!

This past week was a big week.

First of all, I found out that two of my most wonderful friends are getting married!!! When I heard the news I think I was only slightly less excited then I was at my own engagement. You guys, this thing was major league. Thing Paris, some sneaky surprises, and the most perfect ring ever.  I am so excited for these two lovebugs and cannot wait to celebrate their nuptials and everything that goes along with it!

Second, my hubby and I got some very exciting news…We’re having a boy!!! I guess these cupcakes should have been blue huh?! :) Have you been wondering why I’ve been posting so many sweets lately??? Well, since I’m “eating for two” I can totally justify that extra cookie…or cupcake! We are so excited about our little man, but even more excited that he is healthy and growing bigger by the day (as is my tummy!)!

So, we have lots to celebrate. Don’t you? These fresh strawberry cupcakes are the perfect way to say “Life is good.”

Head over and bake up a batch right away!! 

 

What I Ate (on Christmas!) Wednesday!

Hey There!

Happy New Year!!! How is your 2013 shaping up?? I hope it’s awesome. Speaking of awesome, I know I am late to the WIA (on Christmas) party, but I’ve just been having too much fun to open my computer! (no offense!) ;)

I have had such a fantastic vacation with both my families over the past couple weeks! I’ve pretty much been doing nothing except hanging, lounging, playing games, and eating eating eating! But hey, what are the holidays for? :)

Christmas Day at my house, we have some traditions…

One is the rolls.

The most amazing, delicious, sticky, sugary, nutty, doughy, perfect rolls in the whole entire world. They are kind of like a religious experience, especially on Christmas morning.

The really great thing is the combination the rolls create when paired with their BFF…

The crab. I know. It sounds like a weird combination. But it isn’t. It’s perfect. It’s awesome. It’s Christmas.

That’s my family’s Christmas morning. The rolls. The crab. And of course a few cups of coffee and glasses of champagne.

Then it’s Christmas. Especially when it looks like this…

Hope you are still basking in Holiday joy as I am! Unfortunately, it’s back to the real world tomorrow :( I guess every vacation has to end. It was sure great while it lasted!

Happy Wednesday!

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

2012 was pretty darn great, but I have high hopes for 2013! Hope you all have a wonderful and safe NYE!

P.S. I had fully intended to continue regularly scheduled blog posts during my vacation, but I’ve just been having too much fun! Sorry!!! Things will be back to normal in a few days…but for now, back to the fun!!!

xoxoxo,

t

This entry was posted in Life!.

More last minute Gift Ideas – DDF Skincare

 

Hi!

Happy Monday! I’m still not done with my shopping. Are you? If you didn’t already get enough ideas, I’ve got another great one for you! Have you heard of DDF skin care? They’ve got everything you need to make your skin shine as bright as Jennifer Aniston’s ridiculously large engagement ring. :) The DDF Revolve Micro-Polishing System allows you to cleanse and treat your skin with just one machine. Just switch out the brush and you go from a skin cleanser to an at home microdermabrasion system. Have you ever had a microdermabrasion facial? Those things are expensive! The DDF Revolve makes it easy to do at home for way, WAY less dinero.

The DDF Revolve would be an awesome gift for anyone on your list. You mom, your sister, your BFF, they’d all love it. It’s not just for ladies either! You know your teenage brother with the acne problem? It’d be perfect! Right now, the DDF Revolve is 50% off! Plus you get free shipping. That’s a pretty amazing deal! At that price you can get one for a gift and one for yourself!

Grab this deal before it’s too late! http://www.ddfskincare.com/home-skin-care/micro-derma/00060748005156,default,pd.html?cgid=anti-aging-restorative?cm_mmc=Blogger-_-Site-_-Site+Placement-_-0704

But that’s not all DDF has to offer. Head over to their website and check out the Online Skin Care Consultation. Just answer a series of simple questions and the experts at DDF will provide you with “personalized insights unique to your skin.” They will also provide you with products targeted to your skin’s specific needs. You might learn something new too! After each question you answer DDF provides you with “Dermatologist’s insight” that let’s you know what your answer says about your skin. Did you know your pores naturally start to enlarge in your 30’s? I didn’t! After you learn all about your skin you’ll want to pick up some of DDF’s amazing products that will target exactly what your skin needs. Luckily, there’s another sweet deal going on at DDF. When you buy any one of DDF’s personalized skincare products, you get the second half off. And you get free shipping!

Don’t miss this awesome deal! http://www.ddfskincare.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-DDF-Site/default/Explore-Show?cm_mmc=Blogger-_-Site-_-Site+Placement-_-0704

You’ve worked hard this holiday season. All the baking, planning, shopping, cooking, entertaining, wrapping, and everything else that comes with the holidays…so why not treat yourself to some flawless skin?

I know I’m going to! :)

 

 

This entry was posted in Life!.

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Hey there!

Are you scrambling to finish up your Christmas Shopping? I am! Every year I try to get everything done early, but somehow I always seem to have a few people left on my list with just a few days to go. And it’s no different this year! So, if you’re in a similar position, here are some ideas that might help you cross a few names off your list!

#1 A Glass Water Bottle from bkr

These things are awesome! I was this close to winning one at our gift exchange last night, but it got stolen! I was sad but totally understanding..it’s so awesome, how couldn’t it get stolen. They are functional, eco-friendly, and come in millions of bright colors. It’s a perfect gift for anyone on your list who wants to stay hydrated and look cool doin’ it.

#2 Marc Jacobs clutch from the Neiman Marcus Collection at Target

Have you guys checked out the Neiman Marcus Collection available at Target (and online!)??? It is awesome! I’m drooling over a few different things, but especially this gold clutch/pouch. It super cute and big enough to fit all your “night out on the town” accessories plus your camera! Even if you don’t have anyone on your list this would be perfect for, snatch it up for yourself!

#3 The Perfect Shave from The Art of Shaving

Do you have a guy on your list you just can’t figure out what to get? Problem solved! This kit from The Art of Shaving will bring a smile to any dude’s face. Not only do you get the essentials for the “Perfect Shave” – pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm, and a shaving brush, but it also comes unscented! No girlie smell for these manly men!

#4 The Olive Branch Shave Gel from Lush

Let’s not forget the ladies! This shower gel is amazing. I actually received it as a gift a while ago, and I kinda wish I hadn’t because now I can’t live without it! Ok, ok, I could…but I wouldn’t want to! It smells divine and leaves my skin feeling great. This is a gift you know she will love – no need to worry about size or style – you know you’re good…just make sure to get the big bottle! :)

#5 Fifty Shades of Chicken (buy it on Amazon)

Need a silly gift for a Christmas Party or gift exchange? This book with have people rolling on the floor with laughter! But it’s not all just fin and games – there are real (and delicious!) recipes that look as delicious as the descriptions are funny!

 

Hope this helps with some last minute shopping! I’m off to bake a batch of cookies in between online ordering ;)

 

 

 

Viva Las Vegas!

Hey there!!!

So, it’s been far too long since I promised to share my Las Vegas extravaganza with you! So, even though I’m still stuffed to the brim with turkey and can’t wait to read about what you all were eating last Thursday…I’m going back to Vegas.

Appropriate for a Monday dontcha think?? :)

Guys, this was my first trip to Las Vegas and I LOVED it! There is so much to see I felt like I was walking around with googly eyes the whole time (and I probably was!). I’m not the best gambler, but I did try my hand at some slot machines and a little bit of roulette and blackjack. Funny thing about Vegas is…you never seem to win when you gamble. Hmmmm…..

In between gambling, sight seeing, and LOTS of people watching, we ate some really, really good food. My favorite meal was at Bouchon. Living near wine country, Thomas Keller is kinda a big deal, so I was really excited to try this restaurant and it totally lived up to my expectations. Especially the chocolate croissant. If it’s possible for a single food item to change your life this chocolate croissant did it for me. We ate really well in Vegas, but it was definitely the best thing I had the whole trip. I’d go back to Vegas just to pick me up another one of those crunchy, buttery, chocolatey, pieces of heaven.

I’m drooling on my keyboard.

The burger wasn’t bad either.

Another fantastic meal was the buffet at the Wynn hotel. This buffet was the size of an airplane hanger! There was every type of food you could possibly want or hope for, and an entire room devoted to dessert! As you can see I took full advantage.

It was all great, but the homemade ice cream was the best. They were making it right there in front of me! I got chocolate (complete with chocolate chunks!) and coffee (again with the chocolate chunks!) and ate every last bite. There will be time to work out later, right??

Speaking of dessert…

It seemed like everywhere we turned there was another fantastic chocolate/pastry/dessert/goodie shop with beautiful delicacies like these just waiting for me to snatch them up! Let me tell you they were just as delicious as they were beautiful.

Can you imagine taking a platter of fruit/cookies/marshmallows/pretzels/etc. to this giant chocolate fountain?? Heaven.

Between all that eating, we had lots of fun too! I say my first Cirque Du Soleil show!

It was so great! There was so much going on I didn’t know where to look! A couple times I even had to cover my eyes because I was sure one of those crazy acrobats was going to drop directly into my lap at any moment.

And then there was the whole reason for the trip…

Garth Brooks! I’ve love Garth since I was a little kid and seeing him in concert was always on my bucket list. My wonderful hubby got me tickets for what turned out to be his very last show at the Wynn. It was amazing. I laughed. I cried. I sang along like a maniac. It was a perfect night.

We even stopped for dessert after ;)

Such a wonderful trip! Back tomorrow with a new recipe! Now, back to seeing if I can mail order those chocolate croissants….

 

Everything’s bigger in Texas!

Even the parties!!!!

And, apparently, the spiders!

This ginormous tarrantula was on the wall at the wedding site. In honor of the spooky halloween months I dressed him up on PicMonkey (<—love that site!). He was as big as my hand, easy. But not even Harry (what we named him, obviously) could spoil and amazing evening.
My wonderful friends Meagan and Carl tied the knot in Austin, Texas last weekend. So. Much. Fun. I loved Texas. I wish I could pull off ya’ll so badly. I just can’t. Not even in Texas. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t try! :)
Have you ever seen:
#1 A more beautiful bride?
#2 Cuter flower girls?
#3 A more fantastic bridesmaid dress/bouquet color combo?
Me neither.
I gotta say we had some amazing food in Texas…and the wedding was no exception. Pulled pork sliders and grilled cheese and tomato soup appetizers? Yes please! Thank goodness I got my greens in with a sweet nectarine and feta salad because I devoured my fried chicken AND steak dinner. That’s right. I said and.


Instead of a photo booth they had props and an area where you could take your own fun photos. Such a cute idea! I definitely took advantage!
P.S. that cake was some of the most decadent red velvet cake I have ever tasted. I had two pieces. Don’t judge me.

Because it was an evening wedding, instead of lots of flowers they had lots and LOTS of candles. They were everywhere! It turned the entire space into this enchanting fairy land (just what the groom was hoping for I’m sure!) :) It was incredibly gorgeous and romantic as was the entire wedding.

After dinner it was time to PARTAY. Like, seriously. They had an awesome band and it was like being at the most awesome dance party AND rockin’ concert ever. Best of both worlds? I think so! You know you have had a great time when you are sweating through your silk dress and your hair which had long ago been pulled up into an oh-so-necessary-ponytail looks like you just hopped outta the pool. That’s the kind of night it was. So awesome. I wanna do it again!

Happy Friday! Hope your weekend is filled with fun!

Make your Monday better with a GIVEAWAY!

*This contest is now closed. The winner is Kari! Please email me at sugarspiceandbacon@gmail.com to send me your address. Congrats! Thanks to everyone for playing!*

Hey all!

I had an absolutely fabulous time in Austin for my friends’ wedding. I enjoyed some fabulous BBQ, lots of delicious Tex-Mex, a few amazing cocktails, and tons and tons of fun with fantastic friends.

So…I’m feeling pretty great this morning. Great enough to try to make your Monday a little better with a giveaway!

In honor of my newly married friends, I’m giving away this Cuisinart Immersion Blender so that yu will never have to worry about not being able to make this soupagain! 

This is the immersion blender I use and I LOVE it! It gets tons of use in my kitchen and does it’s job every time. I know you will love it too!

If you need some more ideas of what to make with it, here are a few!

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Basil Soup with Lemon Creme

Roasted Garlic Broccoli Soup

Asparagus, Green Onion, and Broccoli Soup

How do you enter? Just leave a comment below!

You can also enter by:

Following SSB on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway

Following SSB on Facebook

Good luck!!!! Winner will be drawn on Sunday 10/7!

 

Eat, Drink, & Be Married!

Hey there!

This past weekend I had the honor of serving as a bridesmaid for my wonderful friend Jenn’s absolutely perfect wedding. But then again, how could your wedding not be perfect when you get married with that view?? :)

Jenn and Travis were married at the beautiful BR Cohn winery in Sonoma, Ca. It was one of the most amazing wedding settings I have ever seen! The leaves were starting to change on the trees, and there were grapes everywhere! It’s getting just about time for harvest in the wine country and the vines were loaded down with grapes. The best part? You could pick and eat as many grapes as you wanted! I am pretty sure they had no idea what they were getting into making that rule with me there, but I definitely took advantage!

Just a little pre wedding snack – good thing my teeth weren’t purple for the pics!

Can you say CANDY BAR??? See that thing of Jelly Beans? I am 100 % positive that I took down 70 % of that baby. And I’m not even embarrassed! How beautiful was the bride??? Amazing right!

You guys, lets talk about the food…

Mini Burgers and French Fries! Uh.MAZ.ing. The fresh figs with lemon creme and basil were perfect for a warm afternoon (and I am definitely recreating this super simple, elegant app at home!). And that was all before dinner!

Happily ever after indeed. :)

Such an amazing time with amazing people.

Hope you are feeling the love today!

 

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