Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts

Happy Happy Tuesday!! Is it all that happy, you ask...YES! :)

Some Tuesday Thoughts for the end of 2014:

1. I haven't really cooked something NEW in a while. I've been cooking things I know and are "staples" in our house for dinner. I blame in on the holidays and just not having time to look for recipes or experiment in the kitchen. I mean who does this time of year?! I promise to resume my cooking and posting recipes in 2015.  

2. I've been working for almost 3 hours now and because of connection problems, have done nothing. Or it feels like it anyways.  Technology will be the death of us.

3. Speaking of work, I just keep putting off it off and it just keeps building up and I know it's never going to go away, it's only going to keep piling up. 

4. I would like to just read books on my kindle all day long! It's so easy and I have all the books I want at my fingertips! I LOVE THE KINDLE! (Shouting it from the rooftops!) 

5. I'm getting real bored and annoyed of Facebook. Like really, so many annoying posts lately like I don't even want to go on it because there's nothing on there lately that makes me want to. Maybe I'll give it up for 2015, except for business purposes of course. 

6. I don't have something to wear for New Years Eve (we finally made plans to have a fancy dinner then come home and spend the New Year celebration with our guurls) and I have two little girls that makes going to the mall an absolutely job so I might just go to dinner in a repeat dress. That makes me sad just writing that. I feel like you need to wear something new and sparkly on New Years Eve because that's just what you need to do. So, today I'll be venturing to the mall sometime to run in and grab a dress in hopes that it fits. 

7. Trying on clothes at the mall with two kids is impossible and not something I call FUN.

8. It's 11 a.m. and I want a coffee.

9. Sophia asked to go to school this morning and it made me happy and sad at the same time. I know sometimes I can be extra boring to her when I'm trying to get work done. 

10. We were practicing letters yesterday in the bath and Sophia knew a lot of letters and it made me really proud! I squealed in delight which made her also squeal with a big smile on her face. ;) I love learning.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Longest weekend ever & NYE Plans

The last Monday of 2014 and it feels exactly like a regular Monday. Everyone went back to work today but the kids are still out of school. So it's going to be a day of struggles between work and kids. Which is NEVER fun. 

This weekend felt like a week long. Probably because it has almost been a week since I've sat down at my work computer. 

On Saturday, we went to Fort Myers to hang out with the family we didn't see on Christmas. We made Olaf Snowcones, sang Kareoke, painted nails, and Sophia dressed up as 20 different princesses throughout the day. In other words, Sophia was in heaven. 
On Sunday we went to a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed birthday party. Sophia, again, was in heaven. 

Yesterday, before & after the birthday party, was a day of lounging and Angelo said "This feels like the longest day ever..." (which it did) and this morning he seemed a little too eager to go to work. :) He's my little workaholic. (Kinda)
He gets all fluttered that this week is being "messed up" by another holiday. Owning your own business is really hard, as I'm sure a lot of you know. It would be a lot easier if we could just take a 2 week vacation this time of year, but that's not possible...obvi!

Anyways, It's 2 days before New Years Eve and we still don't have plans. I'm taking my lack of plan making as a sign that I'd rather not really do anything outside of the home. Some of our friends told us they were going to celebrate NYE at 8pm and do fireworks with their kids. Some of our friends with newborns said they probably wont make it to midnight, and other friends (without kids) are partyin' it up somewhere cool and exciting! HA! Oh how the world turns! That'll be us someday again...because the world just keeps turning. 

What are your plans for NYE? 
Hope you have a wonderful and somewhat productive Monday!!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve & Christmas day 2014

Hey everyone! It's Sunday, but doesn't really feel like Sunday because we've already had so many days hanging out as a family! 

I want to say I truly hope everyone had a totally amazing Christmas!! Ours was pure joy and such a relaxing day, after a kinda exhausting Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve started with a trip to Target to pick up some last minute items (both gifts and grocery items). We got home, baked the Happy Birhday Jesus cake, did some food prep, wrapped some last minute gifts, got the hostess gifts together for the two parties that night, and set out for a 6 mile run. We got 1.5 miles into the run and my body was basically screaming at me. I tapped Angelo on the shoulder and put up 4 fingers, indicating I was only going to do 4 miles. He smiled, then got a serious face and agreed. I think it was all the good but not good for you food we've been eating the past week. That four mile run was the death of me. It's not that I was huffing and puffing, but my body felt like 900 pounds! No Bueno

After that dreadful run, we all got ready (which is like a marathon in itself) for 4pm Christmas Eve service. The service was wonderful and reminded us that Christmas never really ends. We celebrate the gift of Jesus on Christmas and we should always be celebrating that, right?! 
After service we went to one of our long time friends house (who used to always throw the parties in high school). Well the times have   changed over the years & the  party consisted of painting bird houses with the kids and a surprise visit from Santa! It's all about the kids these days.

Around 9pm, we hurried to the last party of the night. My husband is Italian/Venezuelan and his family tradition is to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve night and do a big toast at midnight and pass out gifts. It was 11:45pm and Nelpe just about had it with life at that point. She was a hot mess and everyone kept yelling at us to stay another 15 minutes. At 11:53 I gulped down my champagne and called it a night, I heard much talk of me having bad luck since I drank my champagne 7 minutes before midnight. I don't believe in luck, but I might as well knock on some wood...you know...just in case. 

At midnight Angelo and Sophia made it out the house and we were finally on our way home. Both girls were sound asleep by the time we got home, so both were changed into their pajamas and put to bed. Angelo & I put together "santas toys" as fast as possible and called it a night without finishing putting the wheels on the Radio Flyer wagon.

All that hoopla was just Christmas Eve. 
Christmas was a lot more relaxed.

We woke up around 9 am (woohoo, slept in!), with Sophia so eager to see what Santa brought her! This was the first year she's actually put any energy into the whole Santa thing so it was really cool and exciting for me too. I mean seriously, it was pure happiness and nothing else can beat the excitement a kid has on Christmas morning. 

We opened up all the wonderful gifts Santa brought, cooked a breakfast full of bacon, and just relaxed in the messiness of Christmas morning for a bit. It was nice. Real nice. 

We then took showers and headed over to my parents to spend the rest of the day with my mom, dad, sister (visiting from Seattle!!), brother, Katie, Katie's mom and of course Kennedy! 
The day consisted of mimosas, wine, food, cake, new toys, the 654th showing of Frozen and the Cleveland/Miami basketball game.
My girls <3
My sister is a vegan, and so our meal consisted of lots of different vegan friendly sides including a totally delicious Kale Cesar salad that was my favorite! 
We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and ate cake cake cake!

I know that all might sound like it was just a cluster but it was actually less frantic than Christmas's in the past. It was a good couple of days! 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The weekend before Christmas

Hey world!! I know it's been a few days since my last post but things are serious over here! Like seriously  busy! 

I know it's probably like this for everyone (tis the season), but I have barely sat down at my computer since Thursday, and when I did yesterday for 2 hours, I tried with all my might to get some work done without going crazy over the 2 kids jumping on me asking for stuff every 7 seconds. Nearly impossible! But that's life and yeah...it just keeps going. 

This past weekend was actually productive for me. Well Friday was. I dropped Sophia off at school and headed straight to the mall to get my Christmas shopping done. With almost no one there and a front row parking space, I got everyone finished except two people, who I'm going to finish today! Say a little prayer that actually happens.

Saturday was full of loads of laundry (the never ending job) and then FUN! We had a Parent's Night Out and went to dinner for Luisa's birthday. We went to Tryst Gastro Lounge in St. Petersburg. It was a real neat place and the food was outstanding! 
Since Luisa is CakePopsByLu and usually does all the cakepops for everyone's birthday, I knew I had to get her a special cake. Do you know where you go to get SPECIAL CAKES? Sweeties Delights Bakery in Valrico. No lie...the bomb.com and then some. No one beats their WippyDip frosting. Don't even try because you will fail miserably :) 

Awwwww... :) 

Sunday, we went to a wedding, which had amazing food from Italian Kitchen! It was a cute intimate wedding, like 25 people, but was special none-the-less. I didn't get any pictures because Nelpe destroyed my phone screen on Saturday and I left my phone in my purse to ensure no glass splinters. I was trying to use my husband's phone to take pictures, but he was being so sneaky and wouldn't let me near his phone. After a couple hours, he goes outside and comes back with a new iPhone 6Plus for me!! SURPRISE! New Phone!! And it's BIIIGGG! I love it, even though it is taking some getting used to with that big ol' screen. My thumb is getting some serious stretch work in while I text. 

Yesterday was Luisa's actual birthday and I took the office some lunch and we had cake, sang, sat and talked and didn't get any work done  had some fun until it was time to head home and try to actually get work done. That was a FAIL, but I did get my desk somewhat organized, so I guess not an entire FAIL. I'll take what I can get...

This morning I am about to wake the girls up, get them pretty, and head over to the mall to get Santa pics. Last minute, I know, but Sophia's been in school and going to see Santa after school just never sounded like a good idea. 

If I don't get back to you before Christmas, I hope everyone has a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Spend time with the ones you love, or some really cool friends!!!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Moscow Mule

Have you ever had a Moscow Mule? (It's a drink, btw...)
About a year ago my sister-in-law, Luisa, made them for us and it's been a hit every since! If you ever wondered how, what, when, why, or anything about the Moscow Mule..keep reading!

Not too long ago, there were very few bars keeping ginger beer in inventory. That’s ginger BEER, (not to be confused with ginger ale) one of the main ingredients in the comeback kid of cocktails. History is repeating itself. And this time, it’s coming back with gifts of alcohol in hand! History, you’re such a good gift-giver! So, what’s in the gift box? It’s the Moscow Mule and it’s quickly becoming the #1 answer to the bartender’s question, “What can I get you to drink?”

First a history Lesson:
The first known mention of the Moscow Mule is from the "Inside Hollywood" newspaper column, written by Eith Gwynn. It was the 27th of December in 1942, and Eith wrote(1):
"There is a new drink that is a craze in the movie colony now. It is called "Moscow Mule." Recipe: equal parts Vodka, lime juice and ginger beer..."

The Moscow Mule was invented in 1941, by good drinking men. Way back when, John Martin, who had recently purchased the Smirnoff recipe from Russia, walked into Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant on Sunset Strip where he was greeted by owner and ginger beer maker, Jack Morgan. Both were having trouble selling their products, vodka and ginger beer, (Oh how times have changed…) so decided to combine the two, add a touch of lime to be fancy, pour it in a shiny copper mug to be extra fancy, and the Moscow mule was officially born.
The drink popularity spread like drunken wild fire and became a poster child for Vodka in the 1950s and early 1960s (think Mad Men and vintage Playboy magazine ads). What comes up must come down, and just like anything else, the next best thing came around, pushing the Moscow Mule cocktail on to the endangered species list of cocktails.

Rewind to 2012 and the Moscow Mule was brought back to life by the Big O, Oprah Winfrey, when she included a Moscow Mule Kit in her Favorite Things List. Now, the refreshing and super simple Moscow Mule is a worldwide favorite.

There are four components to the Moscow Mule, one being the copper mug it’s served in. The others are vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. With such a simple recipe, it’s hard to mess up a Moscow Mule, kind of like a gin and tonic, but bars all around are making this classic cocktail their own. Adding and substituting ingredients to make blueberry mules, cucumber mules, gin-gin mules, and a myriad of other variations.  

Now that I have you drooling for some Moscow mules, here are a couple recipes sure to quench that thirst, because it’s real!
45 ml Vodka
120 ml Ginger beer
5 ml Lime juice, fresh
1 slice of lime to garnish
Combine vodka and ginger beer. Add lime juice, garnish with lime slice

1 cup ginger beer
1 shot ginger vodka
juice of one lime wedge
blueberry syrup (recipe below)
Pour the ginger beer, vodka and lime juice in a copper cup and stir. Add in the ice and then pour a little blueberry syrup on the top. Give it another stir and garnish with blueberries and a lime wedge.
Blueberry Syrup
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
Bring the ingredients to a boil for 5 minutes, then let it simmer for another 10 minutes until it thickens. Strain over a glass bowl and let it cool.


Refererence (1): https://web.archive.org/web/20070314000752/http://www.thinkingbartender.com/bartenderthinking/2007/01/moscow_mule.html

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making a More Effective To-Do List

The holiday hustle and bustle is like no other! The mall and department store parking lots are a nightmare, and don't even think about going to the post office without waiting in a massive line. It's like everyone and their mother comes out of hiding this month. 

The only way I avoid all of this is to go first thing in the morning or just do everything online. It's getting real close to the cut off day to order stuff online and it to still make it here before Christmas! Some stores are ridiculous and want an extra $20 to shop earlier. Sometimes that $20 is worth it...sometimes (a lot of the time) it's not! 

To make this whole situation less stressful and more enjoyable or at least productive, is to tackle it with a plan of action...aka a To-Do List. I love to cross stuff of a to-do list, it gives you some sort of high. :) Weirdo...

This week has been completely void of plan of actions and I'm paying for it! This is the last week before Christmas (8 days away!!) and I need to get my ish together. Yesterday I left the house, drove across town, realized I forgot something, drove back home, grabbed it, drove back across town. At which by that time, Nelpe had had it with her car seat and was screaming to let her free. Not even the characters in Madagascar could soothe her. I don't wanna have to do THAT again, so today, after droppping Sophia off at school I came home, sat down and made a To-Do List then started gathering all the stuff I need to take to the post office. I literally have been trying to make it to the post office for a week now. I just keep forgetting/running out of time to get all my addresses and packages ready to ship. The last thing I want to do is label/write addresses on a bunch of different packages AT the Post Office with a one year old on my hip desperately trying to get down so she can rip all the holiday cards off the display. Right?!

So, right now I have 4 different lists in front of me.
1. Christmas Shopping List
2. Post Office List
3. Grocery Store List
4. List to remind me to do all the above plus more errands.

TIPS on making a More Effective To-Do List

1.Have paper & pen available in the kitchen: I say kitchen because it's usually the central area in everyone's home, but any room you frequent the most will do. Every time something pops in your mind, write it down. This helps most with grocery items, but other important tasks pop up sometimes too! 

2. Make it the night before: Night time is usually the time when I remember everything I was supposed to do that day. Also, by making it the night before, you can wake up energized and ready to get things done!

3. Re-evaluate: Sometimes I write a bunch of stuff on my to-do list because I just write whatever comes to mind, hoping to not forget a single item! Then after a couple days, some items might still be left undone, even though they're on my list. So, after it's all written down, go back and re-evaluate your list. Sometimes there may be something that needs to be done before you can complete that task OR it's just not important and needs to be taken off the list. 

4. Prioritize:  Put the most important and urgent tasks towards the top of your list. This may mean re-writing your list. Making these a top item will make you re-read them over and over until they're marked off. 

5. Write time estimations: This is a good thing to do because it gives you a good idea on how long everything with take. If you find yourself with an extra 30 minutes before school pick-up or your next meeting, find something on our list with that time frame and get it done!

***To make things fun, Check out these FREE PRINTABLE TO-DO LISTS!


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Weekend of Work

Happy happy Monday! I'm typing this while my Nelpe sleeps in my lap, Christmas music playing to my ears, and tapping away on the keyboard putting stuff into QuickBooks (story of my life). So it's a good day so far! ;)

WeTheYoung took over my weekend. I literally worked all weekend; two markets, one Saturday, one Sunday and when I wasn't "working" at night, I was sitting on my couch eating take-out and watching Christmas movies. But even then, sitting there watching Christmas movies,  I was on my iPad looking at clothes for the store...so I guess the work never stops...ever. Glorious!

However, the other kind of work, house work, was not done. Absolutely no cooking was done this weekend, and our fridge looks bare. Grocery shopping will be done today.

You know, I say I was working, but not one minute really felt like work. Well, besides the breakdown and set up part...OK I lie, I enjoyed setting up too. It's fun to get out in the community and talk to people, meet people, and just being out in the sun doing yo thang. When we didn't have customer's at our booth, I got to sit there and chat with friends and family. My girls got to run around and play in the sun all weekend and it was just all around good. So, for real...when you're doing something you actually WANT to do, it never feels like work, right?

I only know this because I've had jobs in my life that definitely felt like work. I used to dread going to work. I sat at the front desk of a tanning salon in High School and some days I would literally want to stab myself so I could at least go sit in the hospital. Anywhere but there! LOL I'm grateful that I had that job at the time, and I'm certainly grateful to be able to look back at it and see what those kind of jobs feel like.

Anyways, so my "weekend recap" is just that...work!

"You gotta work B*tch" - Britney Spears ;)

  Sophia loved playing cashier...Little entrepreneur :)
 The babes sitting on Cake Pops By Lu display.
Our booth at the Seminole Heights Sunday Market

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend Funsies (Dec 12th - 14th)

Need something to do this weekend? Check out all the events going on around the Tampa area this weekend!

ThrowDown by the Bay! Get your boots on y'all! Country singer Brantley Gilbert headlines this show full of country music! Show starts at 5:30 p.m. at Amalie Arena in Channelside. Tickets range $26.50-39.75. More Info

Christmas Lane! If you haven't already, go check out Christmas Lane in Dover. It runs until December 28th. I would actually go on a week day so it's not as crowded. More Info

Walk Through Bethlaham! Walk Through Bethlehem is a re-creation of the town of Bethlehem as it existed during the time of Christ. Located at Kings Avenue Baptist Church in Brandon. Great for the whole family. Event is FREE and this weekend only. More Info

Craft Show at Horizon Early Learning Preschool! Saturday there will be food, tons of different vendors, $2 kids area and a special appearance by Queen Elsa! WeTheYoung also has a booth so come enjoy life and shop with us! More Info

4th annual Snow on 7th Holiday Parade! Enjoy floats, marching bands and live performers as snow falls throughout the parade for an experience unlike any other in Tampa. No parade would be complete without jolly old St. Nick ending the parade with photos in Centro Ybor near the Christmas tree. Get there early for great seats and watch the pre-parade entertainment starting at 6 p.m.on Saturday. More Info

Light Displays! Want to get into PJs, grab some to-go cups of hot chocolate and gaze as Christmas Light displays from the comfort of your car?! Check out Macaroni Kid's Guide to the Best Light Displays around town! HERE

Seminole Heights Sunday Morning Market! Fresh, local, and lively! Come check out more than 100 vendors this Sunday from 10am - 2pm at Hillsborough High School. WeTheYoung also has a booth so come enjoy life and shop with us! More Info

Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Have a great weekend!!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

The weather in the Tampa area has definitely been soup weather. Every time it gets cold outside, I put soup on the menu!

This Chicken Pot Pie Soup was perfection in a bowl! 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
What you’ll need:
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped up into bite sized pieces
5 ½ tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 medium sweet potatos, peeled and diced
½ tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper
1 package frozen peas
2.5 cups almond milk
6 tbsp flour
½ cup heavy cream
1.5 tsp lemon juice

What you do:
In a large soup pot, melt 1.5 tsp butter over medium heat.
Add onion, carrot, celery, and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, potatoes, parley, rosemary, bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let cook (lid on, stirring occasionally) for 25-30 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in chicken and peas.

In a medium sauce pan, melt remaining 4 tbsp butter.
Add flour and whisk constantly for 1.5 minutes.
While whisking, slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth our lumps.
Bring mixture to boil (while whisking)
Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Pour milk mixture into larger pot with chicken.
Stir in lemon juice.
Remove bay leaf.



Christmas Tree Disaster & A new chicken recipe

It's Friday y'all!!! And oh how glad I am it is!! While this week was filled with many many blessings, it wasn't ALL blessings. 

For one, my Christmas tree is a complete disaster! You see, we have two fake Christmas trees in storage at our work office. For some reason, unknown to this universe, Angelo wanted to get a real one this year. (After spending $100s on the 2 fake ones last year...). So, he picked up a real tree on Monday and brought it home. We were told to let it "drop" before decorating it and still today, four days later, it's still shaped like it is wrapped up in twine, and it's crooked. And it sheds like CRAZY and it's driving me CRAZY!

This morning I  thought maybe if I decorate this ugly thing it'll look better. So I go to Target to get lights. Have you ever bought Christmas lights? These things aren't cheap. Add that amount to the $$$ already spent on this tree. Then, to pour sugar on top, I get home and one of the boxes of white lights was actually stuffed with colorful lights. So the tree is crooked, half lit, with tree needles shedding all over the floor. I mean seriously, I can't catch a break with this damn tree. At this point I'm entirely fed up with it that I want to throw it out the window!! I texted Angelo (after vacuuming for the 5th time today) and told him to bring home my wonderful angel-sent fake Christmas trees.PRONTO!

You know...none of this would of happened if we would of just put up our fake pre-lit trees in the first place. 

Anyways....I promised to post two different recipes this week and that hasn't happened...until now! 

This was dinner on Monday night. For the girls, I took some chicken and broccoli out of the skillet before pouring on the sauce since it was spicy. Angelo loved it and ate it all up!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken and Broccoli

What you’ll need:
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bag of broccoli florets
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. flour

What you do:
In a small bowl mix together the sesame oil, hot sauce, garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and flour.
Prepare ice bath for broccoli. (This will be used to “blanch” the broccoli after boiling it)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add broccoli. Let boil for about 4 minutes and then immediately transfer to ice bath to stop cooking. Set aside.
Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook completely.
Add broccoli to chicken skillet and reduce heat to medium.
Add sauce to skillet.
Stir to coat all chicken and broccoli. Keep cooking for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Serve over quinoa or rice.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Al2GetherFit's Christmas Gift Guide...HoHoHo

This time of year every website, magazine, and TV show is all about gift guides! When I watch the Today Show or GMA do their gift guides, sometimes I say, "Who would buy that?!" While some things are pretty awesome and so practical, others are NOT! I'm talking about that $150 set of hand lotions or $75 pair of socks. What!? Sorry folks on my shopping list...you're not getting lotion that costs the same as my car insurance. 

To join the fun and hopefully make someone's life a little easier, I put together a list of gifts I think any lady or guy would like! If you're not done with your Christmas shopping yet (like me) I hope this puts some ideas in your head!

The Glamorous one:
Sephora gift sets – It’s that time of year that Sephora has the best gift sets available! If you know what her favorite make up item or toiletry is, get her a Sephora sample gift set of it! They have sets of lip gloss, nail polish, perfume, eye shadows, etc.
Pictured is the Tarte Kiss & Belle Lipsurgence Lip Set but there are TONS to choose from.
The one who loves the kitchen:
How adorable are these ceramic baskets from Birch Lane?! Adorbs for any kitchen!

The "Let me drink my coffee first" One
Pajama Set – You know those things you really like but hate to spend your own money on? Pajamas are one of those things for me.  Check out this perfect Vintage Pajama Set from J.Crew for the lady who loves to lounge around with a cup of coffee/tea in hand on the weekends!

The Face Mug to hold coffee & cookie/muffin/biscotti or whatever it is you take with your coffee.

The Wino:
What goes better with wine than cheese? Not much! Display cheese and crackers on this Vermont made cheese board from UncommonGoods
Know a wino who likes to take things outdoors to the beach, park, or pool?  Don't let them break any more wineglasses by the pool and get them these WineMeUp Silicone Wine Glasses to add to their beachbags or take out with them to the firepit!

For the Man who has everything:
Cologne – A guy who smells nice can do no wrong. There are two colognes that have been a top favorite of mine for a-long time, like since middle school! Giorgio Armani Acqua De Dio and Kenneth Cole Reaction will never get old to me. Spray and keep spraying that good stuff boy! If you don’t want to kick it old school, Chanel Bleu and Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Libre (the blue one) are good choices for this decade.

The one all about Technology:
Smart Watch – Too bad the Apple Watch doesn't come out until 2015! There are a lot of different smart watches on the market, each that synch up to different phones. Have an iPhone, get the Pebble! Have a Samsung, get the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch!
Beats by Dre - Think luxury sports car of headphones. 

Go Pro Hero4 Silver – For the adventurer! This is the newest GoPro on the market and it features a touch screen! 

FitBit - The Fitbit has come a long way and is probably one of the must-haves for 2014. Get it for the health freak or person who wants to get fit in 2015!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap

You guys...my mind is still on weekend time! Angelo woke me up this morning asking if Sophia was going to school because it was already 7:10am. I had slept through 2 alarm clocks! 
I stayed up way too late watching Eaten Alive on Discovery channel. Did anyone else watch it?! Basically a snack expert, trying to get data on the strength of an Anaconda, tried to get eaten by one while in a protective armor suit. Crazy stuff! Couldn't stop watching until the end when he tapped out when his arm almost broke. Like duh..wouldn't you expect to get hurt? LOL Crazy stupid. 

Anyways...we hurriedly got ready, ate breakfast, grabbed my coffee and out the door we went. That's how our Monday started off but it quickly got better when I went to get some Christmas decor to finish decorating the house!! YAY Instant mood lifter! Tree is going up tonight...FINALLY!

I'm marking this weekend off as a huge success! 

WeTheYoung did our first market appearance and we loved it! We got so many compliments on our inventory, passed out numerous business cards, and made some sales!

Then we went home and baked some cookies for a Christmas Cookie Exchange party! Cookie/dessert overload!

Sunday we went to a birthday party and played nonstop
(Sophia pretending to be on a phone)

and refueled with CakePops By Lu !

We were planning on getting our Christmas tree after the birthday party, but decided going grocery shopping was a little more important. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend! 


Friday, December 5, 2014

Crescent Sausage Bread

Fri-YAY is here! 

As you know, it's been a crazy week and hasn't slowed down one bit. Before I totally shut down my computer for the weekend and focus on WeTheYoung Apparel and holiday parties, I wanted to post this yummy breakfast/brunch recipe I made for a Christmas Party yesterday.

I made it at 6:30am in the morning and totally forgot to take a picture of it (sad face!) but I'll definitely be making it again so will have to take a picture next time!

It was super easy and only 3 ingredients!! Hence why I picked this recipe to make at 6:30 in the morning before getting the kids to school. And I took home a clean plate after the party = everyone ate it!

Crescent Sausage Bread
What you’ll need:
1 lb mild sausage
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
2 packages of crescent rolls

What you do:
In a pan over medium heat, chop up and brown sausage. Drain and blend in cream cheese until it’s melted and well blended with sausage.
Unroll one package of crescent rolls (DO NOT tear into individual pieces) and place onto baking sheet. Gently press the seams together so that it’s one big rectangle.
Spread the sausage mixture on top of crescent dough, leaving a little room around the edges.
Unroll the second package of crescents and place on top of sausage mixture. Press the edges together of top and bottom crescent dough
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until crescent dough is done.
Cut into squares and ENJOY!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Weekend Funsies (Dec 4th - 7th)

December is just a month of craziness...there are literally events on top of festivals, on top of parades, on top of....well, you get the idea. 

If you’re not already loaded up with holiday parties, there are numerous festive events going on around the Tampa Bay area this month! Check out what's happening this weekend around town! It's a little overwhelming... :) 

Christmas Lane in Dover opens today and runs through Sunday December 28th. Enjoy hot chocolate/coffee and live entertainment while strolling down the “lane” that has over 1.5 million lights! More Info 

Tampa Tree Lighting Ceremony in Curtis Hixon Park – Join music and a Christmas market while counting down to light the Tampa tree! Event starts at 6pm on Friday. Admission is free, but they are asking everyone to bring a teddy bear that will be donated to children in our local hospitals as part of the Rough Riders Annual Teddy Bear Drive

Plant City Christmas Parade will be strolling through the cute Downtown Plant City on Friday at 7pm. Enjoy floats, bands, and Santa!

Yo Gabba Gabba is in town! Did you know a version of Yo Gabba Gabba is performed at Coachella?! Well, this kiddie and adult program is LIVE at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday. More Info & Tickets

Winthrop Town Centre Tree Lighting – This event has all kinds of stuff to do! Event starts Friday at 6pm and includes a movie showing of FROZEN at 7:30. Tree Lighting at 7pm.More Info

Next Big Thing – Fall Out Boy is headlining this year at 97X’s annual concert at Vinoy Park in St.Petersburg. More Info & Tickets

Santa Fest – The Rough Riders Holiday Parade starts at 11a.m. at Morgan & Madison Street and followed by Santa Fest celebrations in Curtis Hixon Park! More Info

Snowfest - St.Petersburg’s Santa Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday followed by Snowfest in North Straub Park. There will be 65 tons of snow blown into the park for play time! $5.00 to forget we live in the Sunshine State and play in the snow. More Info

Bourbon & Brew Festival – A day of bourdon, craft beers, BBQ, and Craig Campbell playing his country music! Festival runs from 2pm to 10pm at The Heights Waterfront. More Info

Coast Bike Share Launch Party – Tampa’s new bike sharing programs kicks off at Water Works Park on Sunday at 10am. Join the community bike ride to Ybor City (BYOBike or Rent a Coast Bike for $5/hour) This party is FREE!

Fresh Markets all weekend starting at the Shops of Wiregrass on Saturday from 10am-2pm. Then on Sunday head over to Hyde Park Village for another Fresh market 10am – 3pm.  ***WeTheYoung has a booth at the Shops of Wiregrass on Saturday! Come See us!!**


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Perfectly Crisp Sweet Potato Fries

Have you ever made sweet potato fries at home, only to totally fail and shamefully serve soggy fries to your family? I know the feeling all to well. 

I love making homemade fries with sweet potatoes or butternut squash because my girls love them! Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to soak, dry, bake, and flip, I have no choice but to serve soggy fries. That's just life and soggy fries happen. 

BUT, on other occasions, I make the perfect sweet potato fries and they create fights! Literally! When there are 10 fries left on the plate, Sophia starts hoarding them and quickly shoves the last  fries in her mouth before anyone can get their hands on them. We are usually eating the left over food on our kid's plates after dinner, but not when momma makes these!

Perfectly Crisp Sweet Potato Fries

What you’ll need:
2 medium/large sweet potatoes
1 egg white
Garlic salt, paprika,or any other herb/spice)

What you do:
Peel and cut potatoes into even strips. To make sure they cook evenly, try to make the slices as even as possible.
Soak potato strips in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat completely dry.
Preheat oven to 425 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add egg white and beat until foamy.
Add potatoes, salt, and other spices. Toss around to coat.
Spread potato slices onto baking sheet, making sure they are not overlapping or over crowded.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Take out and flip the fries over.
Bake for another 15 minutes or until completely cooked.
Reduce temperature to 200F and dry/crisp fries for 15 minutes. 

***Occasionally vent the oven to allow the steam to escape. This will help crisp up the fries more. ***



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts

Whoa! I'm kinda exhausted and it's only Tuesday guys! Today's been a whirlwind of stuff and I'm finally sitting down (for a minute) to write down some....

Tuesday Thoughts

1. I need to stick to my To-Do lists. They really make life so much more manageable.

2. Don't attempt to sing & dance with a jar of mayonnaise in your hand. I did, and the jar dropped and busted open all over my kitchen floor. That will really put a damper on your happy sandwich makin' mood.

3. I really hate when I get done with an errand and have an hour or so until I have to pick up Sophia from school. I just don't know what to do with my life & that hour. Should I go all the way home and get 30 minutes of work done, go to the store and spend money, or just drive around hoping that Nelpe will take a nap?

4. I feel like I've done a lot of Christmas shopping, but haven't really bought for anyone but my girls....and that's a problem. Especially since I told myself time and time again that I was going real small this Christmas since we're trying to sell the house. We don't need anymore stuff in the already cluttered house but I can't stop clicking on that Purchase button. It's an addiction.

5. I had to get breakfast for a meeting this morning and I got some donuts and coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I tried a cup of the coffee and I'm pretty sure that DD is just making black colored water and selling it. (Its kind of like when you start drinking Craft beers and then have a Michelob Ultra and it tastes like water.)  BUT I did eat a Blueberry donut and all my nasty coffee thoughts went away...

6. Speaking of Dunkin Donuts, they have some cute holiday donuts to bring to teachers or coworkers. ;)

I hope you all had a wonderfully productive Tuesday!