Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

It’s a new season which means it’s time for another free, printable recipe card. Today I’m so excited to introduce my Farmers Market Printable Recipe Cards.

Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

As you well know, for the past three years I have been sharing a free, printable recipe card with you every few months. I used the seasons (and a couple holidays) to inspire the recipe card designs of previous years, but this year I’m taking inspiration from things around me or projects that I’m working on.

Adorable Farmers Market Recipe Card Printable - Free Download #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

A couple months ago I shared these adorable Honey Bee Recipe Cards with you. They were inspired by this beehive cake that I created. Cute and delicious! What’s not to love?

Last year I moved to the city and one of my favorite things came to be, and continues to be, visiting the local Farmers Markets. Pittsburgh (I assume like many cities) has farmers markets many days throughout the week. In fact, if I wanted to, I could visit a different market every day.

This year, I’ve decided to take part in two CSAs – an acronym that stands for community supported agriculture. CSAs give local residents direct access to high quality, locally grown fresh produce. On Tuesdays I pick up some vegetables and on Friday I buy a bouquet of flowers. I’m really loving both events as having a variety of fresh vegetables on hand keeps me eating healthier and the flowers are always a highlight to my week.

Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

Adorable Farmers Market Recipe Card Printable - Free Download #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

Given that these farmers, their markets, and my CSA shares are a such a big part of my summer, I thought a recipe card inspired by them would be the perfect addition to my collection.

I know I will be using these cards to remember and note recipes inspired by the season and my farmers market . stretch. Actually, I have been taking a few of these cards with me when I visit my local markets as there is usually a cooking demonstration and it helps me in jotting down the recipes and ingredients.

Adorable Farmers Market Recipe Card Printable - Free Download #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been such a big fan of the whole farm-to-table movement. Like anything, I realize it’s been a little watered down these days, but there’s nothing better than using fresh, in-season ingredients to fuel your body. I also love that I’m able to support local farmers, businesses, and community members.

Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

Farmers Market Recipe Card Printable:

I hope you enjoy and use these cards as much as I do. You can grab the free printable download by clicking here.

If you’re looking for past recipe cards you can find them here:
2016 Collection
2017 Collection
Honey Bee Recipe Card

Also, if you do happen to print and use any of these recipe cards, feel free to take some photos and share them on Instagram and tag @inspiredbycharm – I would love to see your pictures!

Download and print these FREE Farmers Market Recipe Cards #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

Adorable Farmers Market Recipe Card Printable - Free Download #free #download #recipecard #recipecards #farmersmarket #summer

It’s a new season which means it’s time for another free, printable recipe card. Today I’m so excited to introduce my Farmers Market Printable Recipe Cards. As you well know, for the past three years I have been sharing a free, printable recipe card with you every few months. I used the seasons (and a […]




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Summer Playlist 2018 - Song to celebrate summer! #playlist #music #summer #tunes

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a Tuesday Tunes Playlist here on Inspired by Charm, so I’ve put together a collection of songs to create a new Summer Playlist perfect for the season.

This past weekend was a fun one. I actually had my first guest at my new house: my Mom! While my Mom did see the exterior of the home before I bought it, this was her first time inside the new space.

I had no doubts that she’d love it, but I was still a bit nervous as I have much to do in making it my own and I just barely feel settled. As I mentioned in my last post, it wasn’t until a week ago that I finally was able to use the upstairs space.

Summer Playlist 2018 - Song to celebrate summer! #playlist #music #summer #tunes

Despite my nervousness, we ended up having a great weekend. We spent some time at the house, biked along the river through the city, and hit up the Farmers Market for my favorite bagel and some nitro coffee. I even got the chance to take my mom along with me as I picked up my weekly flower CSA. While all of this was great fun, the highlight of the weekend was the Sugarland Concert we attended on Friday night.

Summer Playlist 2018 - Song to celebrate summer! #playlist #music #summer #tunes

If you aren’t a member of the IBC mailing list or are not following along via Instagram, then you probably don’t know that I am a huge fan of the band Sugarland. They took about a six year break from making music, but came out with a new album (affiliate link) and are touring this year.

Having never seen them in concert, I bought tickets for the nearest show (which was in Youngstown, Ohio) as soon as they went on sale. Thankfully the timing worked out perfectly and my mom was able to go with me.

Summer Playlist 2018 - Song to celebrate summer! #playlist #music #summer #tunes

Naturally, the show was amazing. If you’re a fan too, you should try to find a concert near you to attend. You won’t be disappointed.

On the way to the show, my mom mentioned that I haven’t shared a new playlist recently and that she had been listening to my older ones for quite some time. (You can find all of my Tuesday Tunes playlists here.) Needing to organize a new collection of tunes for myself too, I decided to create this Summer Playlist.

There’s really no theme to this collection other than songs that I’ve been listening to lately and loving. Some are slow, others are fast. Some are a little country, others are pop. If you’ve liked a majority of my playlists before, I think you’ll like this one too.

Summer Playlist 2018 - Song to celebrate summer! #playlist #music #summer #tunes

As with all of my playlists, you can listen by using the player below or by clicking here to listen directly on Spotify. You’re also welcome to follow me on Spotify for sneak peeks of what I’m listening to.


 

Whether you discover a new tune or simply enjoy my collection of current favorites, I hope you’ll love this summer playlist.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a Tuesday Tunes Playlist here on Inspired by Charm, so I’ve put together a collection of songs to create a new Summer Playlist perfect for the season. This past weekend was a fun one. I actually had my first guest at my new house: my Mom! While my Mom […]




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Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

Happy July, friends! I can’t believe we are almost halfway through the month. I’m not sure about you, but this summer seems to be flying by at lightning speed. Today I thought it would be great to give you a look into my first big project at the new house: refinishing my upstairs hardwood floors.

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

However, before we get to that, I wanted to quickly thank you for your patience as I know that my posts here on IBC and social haven’t been as frequent recently. In addition to the busyness of summer, moving, and just getting settled, I’ve been a bit distracted. I’m hoping to get back to my typical posting schedule in the coming weeks.

After purchasing my house I knew there were several house projects that I wanted to tackle and complete before I moved in. Refinishing the upstairs floors was first on the list.

I needed and wanted to start this project right away because before the home was listed, the sellers decided to remove all of the upstairs carpeting. I assume the seller wanted to highlight the hardwood floors feature, but in the end, I was left looking at floors that were damaged from carpet installation and that had inconsistent stain color.

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

The fortunate side of all of this was that it was going to be much easier to tackle this project while the house was close to empty. The unfortunate side was that I wouldn’t be able to completely “settle-in.” For now my living room would become my bedroom, my dining room my office, etc. Not fun, but if it helps to get the floor refinishing project underway, I will manage.

Because I have no experience with refinishing floors and since I wasn’t going to attempt to learn with five bedrooms and five closets, I hired someone else to complete the task.

My realtor recommended Horst Hardwood Services. They came out, gave an estimate, and I booked them for the job! While most of the floors were ready to be refinished, I did have to remove carpeting and tack strips from one of the rooms.

The lead time to get the project started was three weeks. The gentleman from Horst Harwood Services mentioned that he’s usually a couple months out, so waiting three weeks didn’t seem too terrible.

I obviously didn’t have much involvement in the process, but it was exciting to see the daily progress. I expected the sanding process to be loud and messy, but a vacuum system was used which left virtually zero dust – seriously! There was noise, but it didn’t really bother me.

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

The first couple of days were consumed with mostly prep and sanding – the entire process took five days in all. On day three we looked at stain colors.

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

Obviously picking stain colors is a daunting process. I knew that I wanted something darker, but not too dark. I also knew that I wanted something less orange when compared to the existing hardwood floors on the first floor.

Naturally I turned to some of my inspiration photos I found while sourcing inspirational ideas for my home. More and more I find that social media can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to making design decisions. While I know what I like, I often feel a pull to do what’s “trendy”. For a split second I considered something lighter with a matte finish, but ultimately I knew that that wouldn’t be true to the home and that today’s trend wouldn’t be so “trendy” in a couple of years.

Taking the style of the home and my own design ideas into consideration, I had three samples applied to the floor: Jacobean (left), Dark Walnut (middle), and Espresso (right).

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

From this point on, the choice was easy for me. Dark walnut was the winner. Jacobean felt a bit too gray and the expresso was a bit too red.

You can also see the sheen of the poly finish in the photos above. The Jacobean (left) had a semi-gloss while the other two had satin.

I also opted for a satin finish. The other option I was considering was matte, but that felt a little too flat for my tastes. While I certainly didn’t want a glossy finish, the satin seemed like the perfect fit.

With that, the biggest decision was made, and the floors were ready for stain. So exciting, right?!

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

I think that’s where I’m going to wrap up part one of this story. I actually JUST started moving my things upstairs a couple days ago. So yes, the floors are complete and I gave them plenty of time to cure. While having refinished floors is wonderful, finally being able to move in and have a bedroom again has been the most amazing feeling.

Here’s a little sneak peak of the before and after. What a difference, right!? (If you’re curious, the stain on the left, which is also what is used throughout the first floor of the home, is Provincial.)

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

Once I snap a few more pictures, I’ll circle back with an update on how the floors look now that they are finished! Stay tuned!

Happy July, friends! I can’t believe we are almost halfway through the month. I’m not sure about you, but this summer seems to be flying by at lightning speed. Today I thought it would be great to give you a look into my first big project at the new house: refinishing my upstairs hardwood floors. […]




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Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

Today we are toasting America with my recipe for this Star-Spangled Mule. It’s a classic Moscow Mule recipe with a twist, thanks to summer-fresh berries and a super special garnish.

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

This past weekend I celebrated Independence Day with my family back in St. Marys. My dad and his wife hosted their annual Fourth-of-July party, an event I always look forward to. Every year I make my fabulous corn dip recipe and a ginormous red velvet and berry trifle. Both are completely devoured, and I return home happily with empty pans.

Although I didn’t take it to the party, recently I was inspired by a brand collaboration to craft this Star-Spangled Mule cocktail recipe. Red, white, and beautiful!

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

As I mentioned above, it’s a Moscow Mule (which is traditionally vodka, ginger beer, and lime) but with added flavor thanks to all the summer berries.

Muddling some blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries is a quick way to make this cocktail extra special, flavorful, and colorful. The berry flavor is the perfect touch for summer refreshment.


Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

This post contains affiliate links.

To take this cocktail over the top, I hunted down cute ideas for garnishing it.

You don’t need special mugs to serve this cocktail (A Collins glass or rocks glass will work fine.), but I couldn’t resist these silver mugs. To add more sparkle, I skewered fruit onto these foil “fireworks” skewers. I created the watermelon stars using star cookie cutters.

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

It’s all in the details, isn’t it?

And with that finishing touch, my Star-Spangled Mules were complete. What a fun, tasty, and unique way to celebrate the Fourth of July. If you give them a try, let me know what you think.

Cheers!

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

Star-Spangled Mule
Servings: 1 cocktail
Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 2 votes

This Star-Spangled Mule is a classic Moscow Mule recipe with a twist, thanks to summer-fresh berries and a super special garnish.

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 6-8 fresh berries
  • Sprig of mint, lime wedge, and fresh berries to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a Moscow mule mug or Collins glass, add the berries and lime juice. Lightly mash with a spoon or a muddler.
  2. Top with ice. Then pour in the vodka and ginger beer. Stir to combine.
  3. Serve with a sprig of mint, lime wedge, or fresh berries.

Star-Spangled Mule - Fourth of July / Independence Day Cocktail Recipe #MoscowMule #cocktail #america #berry #recipe

Today we are toasting America with my recipe for this Star-Spangled Mule. It’s a classic Moscow Mule recipe with a twist, thanks to summer-fresh berries and a super special garnish. This past weekend I celebrated Independence Day with my family back in St. Marys. My dad and his wife hosted their annual Fourth-of-July party, an […]




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How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

When entertaining guests in the summer, there’s nothing better (or easier) than grabbing your biggest cutting board and filling it with cheese, meats, bread, crackers, summer fruits, and more! Today, I’m going to show you how I set up my Ultimate Summer Cheese Board and share the recipes for two homemade mustard-based sauces I created for dipping.

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

This post is sponsored by French’s Classic Yellow Mustard. As always, all opinions are my own.

Although it’s felt like summer for a while now, it was only last week when the season officially began. The June start date always feels a little late to me, but maybe that just means the season will last a little longer. A guy can hope!

This summer I’ve teamed up with French’s to tell you about unique ways I serve up their Classic Yellow Mustard. Of course, it’s great on hamburgers and hot dogs, but you can use it for so much more. Last week, I made these incredible Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade. This week’s recipe is my Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with two delectable mustard dipping sauces.

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Before we get to the mustard recipes, let’s talk about the cheese board. Although I’m certain you’ve seen many “rules” for doing cheese boards, my process is a bit simpler: Fill it with things you love.

Yep. That’s it.

I have a few tips and suggestions I’ll share here, but at the end of the day, it’s all about building up a big board of flavorful things you and your guests want to eat. Do it your way to create something unique that no one can resist.

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

For something truly wow-worthy, I recommend starting with an oversized wood cutting board. Next, add a couple different levels to create visual interest and height. This will make your cheese board feel grand. (I accomplished this with a marble cheese board and a cake stand.)

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Now you’re ready to fill up your board. To make things easier, start with your larger feature items like the cheese and meat and build from there.

Also, instead of spreading things out evenly across the whole board, I recommend placing like items together. This simply means putting all of one type of cheese in one area, one type of meat in another area, and so on. You can be orderly or just pile things on more naturally.

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

When selecting cheese, I like to include both fancy kinds of cheese and well-known ones. Unless everyone at your party is a cheese connoisseur, it’s nice to mix things up to suit everyone’s taste.

With the main things in place, I filled in with different breads, pita, crackers, and pretzels. I also tucked in a few piles of nuts and small dishes of olives and Peppadew peppers. Mmm!

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Since it’s summer, I added seasonal color and flavor with fresh strawberries, raspberries, and grapes. It’s looking beautiful already, right? Give me a bottle of wine, and I could make a meal out of this for a week.

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

To finish off this cheese board, I decided to make two dipping sauces using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard as a base.

The first is Maple Mustard, and boy is it easy. Just whisk together equal parts French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and pure maple syrup. (And by pure maple syrup, I do mean the good stuff. It makes a big difference.)

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

That’s it. The smooth, tangy mustard blends beautifully with the sweet syrup. And it pairs so nicely with the cheese.

Secondly, I decided to make a mustard dip with a nod to the season: Summer Berry Mustard. This one is simple as well. All you do is whisk together French’s Classic Yellow, strawberry jam, raspberry jam, honey, and mustard seeds.

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Again, the tanginess of the mustard nicely complements the sweetness of the jam. I also love the mustard seeds in this recipe. They add visual interest and a subtle crunch.

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

With those two additions, my Ultimate Summer Cheese Board was ready. To see how all of it came together, check out the short video below.

VIDEO: Ultimate Summer Cheese Board

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

I hope you’re planning to assemble your own big summer cheese platter. Remember to just have fun with it and use what you love. I’m confident you and your guests will enjoy it!

Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces

 

Mustard Dips for Cheese Board
  |   Prep Time: 5 mins
Maple Mustard - How to Set and Style The Ultimate Summer Cheese Board with Mustard Dipping Sauces
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 1 vote
Two easy and delicious recipes for mustard dipping sauces including Maple Mustard and Summer Berry Mustard.
Ingredients
Maple Mustard
  • 1 cup French's Classic Yellow Mustard
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
Summer Berry Mustard
  • 1 cup French's Classic Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

When entertaining guests in the summer, there’s nothing better (or easier) than grabbing your biggest cutting board and filling it with cheese, meats, bread, crackers, summer fruits, and more! Today, I’m going to show you how I set up my Ultimate Summer Cheese Board and share the recipes for two homemade mustard-based sauces I created […]




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Design Plan and Furnishings for a Modern Colonial Deck and Porch

Summer is here, and I need a few new furnishings for my deck and patio so I can enjoy as much time outdoors as possible. Today, I’m walking you through some of my plans for my deck and side porch.

As I slowly settle into my new house, getting furnishings for the outdoor spaces is high on my priority list. I know how quickly the warm summer days go by, so I’m moving as fast as I can to get these areas in order.

Today, I thought it would be fun to share the plans I have for two of the spaces. If you follow @inspiredbycharm on Instagram, you got a few sneak peeks this weekend. I was putting together some pieces and setting others in place. It’s my hope that within the next couple of weeks, everything will be ready to go.

In terms of style, I’m calling this Modern Colonial Deck and Porch Furnishings…with a twist! My overall aim for the house is to be true to its style while adding a few modern touches and conveniences. So what’s the twist? Whatever I want it to be. However, I’m leaning toward a rustic/folksy/country vibe. That probably makes no sense, but hopefully, it will become clear as my home comes together.

With all of that as the backdrop, let’s take a look at my plans.

To start, here’s what I’ve designed for the deck:

Design Plan and Furnishings for a Modern Colonial Deck

This post contains affiliate links.

Black Metal Chairs / Weber Grill / Farmhouse Outdoor Table / Black Armchair / Outdoor Chaise / Rattan Chair / Metal Side Table

Keeping my overall design in mind, this plan started with the black metal chairs I got from Target. If you remember, I used them when I shared my backyard table setting on a budget post. With these chairs, it was love at first sight. They are a crisp, modern take on traditional. Plus, they are affordable and seem to be well-built.

I also wanted loungers on the deck and was lucky to find these at Pottery Barn for a steal. (They are almost 50% off right now.) I’m also going to use my round rattan chairs (I found them at HomeGoods last year, but the linked ones are similar.), existing side tables, and other decor items I already own.

I would love to figure out how to hang string lights over this space. I have a few ideas, but it has happened yet.

For planters and plants, I found a fabulous collection of white ceramic planters at HomeGoods. They always seem to have the best styles at unbeatable prices. For the actual plants and flowers, I’m sticking with a mostly purple, pink, and green color palette.

My idea for the deck is to make it an eating and lounging area. Though I may throw on a couple pillows, I picked items that can handle the rain *fingers crossed*. That meant no cushioned furniture or anything that isn’t likely to weather well.

For the porch, I went with a similar feel and aesthetic but with cushions.

Design Plan and Furnishings for a Modern Colonial Porch

 

Planter / Teak Loveseat / Candle Holder / Rug / Teak End Tables / Tan Pillow / Star Pillow / Lumbar Pillow / Gray Throw / Outdoor Bar Cart / Armless Chairs / Black Side Table

Teak furnishings with comfy white cushions will take up the bulk of the space. A loveseat is pictured in my design, but I’m actually doing more of a sofa. There will be a left arm seat, center seat, and right arm seat. These pieces are interchangeable, which I love. Since the patio is an odd shape, this will give me flexibility should I decide to change the layout.

From there I added more contemporary touches with an interesting side table and modern bar cart.

For plants, I’m going to stick with mostly greens and whites in here. I’ll be accenting with navy and possibly hanging an American flag on my white brick wall.

So those are my plans! What do you think?

I’m looking forward to seeing these spaces come together and then sharing them with you. Let’s hope this will be sooner rather than later!

Also, just in case you missed it, I gave my front porch a refresh which you can check out here. In that post, I’m also giving away a $100 HomeGoods Gift Card, so be sure to enter to win!

Have a great week, my friends!

Summer is here, and I need a few new furnishings for my deck and patio so I can enjoy as much time outdoors as possible. Today, I’m walking you through some of my plans for my deck and side porch. As I slowly settle into my new house, getting furnishings for the outdoor spaces is […]




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You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

I’m always amazed at how just a bit of decorating and styling can make a space feel more special. Even though most of my new home is still in disarray since moving in, the front porch now looks inviting thanks to my visits to HomeGoods, some great decor finds, and a few colorful plantings.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #front #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Today is another fun one, my friends! Like we did this past spring, my fellow HomeGoods bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you seasonal decorating inspiration.

Each of us (six in total) went on a #goFinding mission at our local HomeGoods to style an outdoor space for summer. Now, we are showing off our fresh new looks AND each of us is hosting a $100 HomeGoods giveaway. (Yes, you did the math correctly. That’s $600 in all!) I’ll link to everyone at the end of this post. Be sure to visit each blog and enter each $100 giveaway. Enjoy and good luck!

As you can imagine, I’ve been so excited to start adding more style to my new home. I have a number of big projects ahead of me given the fact that I sold most of my furniture with my last home. Just counting the outdoor spaces, I have the deck, the side porch, and the front porch.

I’ve already started planning for the deck and side porch, but I thought now was the time to make the front of my home more welcoming. This is the entrance most people use so it was begging for a little love straight away.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Even though there are exterior woes I will tackle later (touching up paint, trimming shrubbery, etc.), I was determined to get this front space looking fresh. I went on a #GoFinding mission to a couple of my local HomeGoods and found just what I needed: a bench, ceramic pots, a unique side table, a throw, pillow, and a cup (which, depending on the time of day, can serve coffee or a cocktail). Success!

I also stopped at a local greenhouse and picked up a few coordinating plants, hanging baskets, and potting soil.

And here’s what I came up with…

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #front #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #front #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Pretty cute, right?

Yes, I love me a big front porch (and that’s one of the things I sacrificed when I chose this house), However, after living in an apartment for a while, I realized you can make any space look beautiful. The size of the space doesn’t matter.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #front #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Adding some seating here was a priority here because nothing beats some front porch sittin’. Being in a new area, it’s a nice way to be visible and meet neighbors. In fact, as I was styling this space, one of my neighbors stopped by to introduce herself and brought me some fresh lettuce from her CSA. That was so sweet of her! (I also immediately signed up for the CSA because the pick up is just down the street!)

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #front #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Next, I added a “throw” on the bench. This throw is actually a Turkish towel I found hiding among the beach towels at HomeGoods. I love the subtle pattern and colors. Given that it’s a towel, I think it will wash up nicely and be able to stand up to the elements.

For a little coziness and texture, I tossed down a pillow. The pillow is not designed for the outdoors, but I think it will be okay. The porch seems to stay dry when it rains.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Opposite the bench, I wanted to create a plant and potted flower moment. I used this super cute wood table and a few ceramic pots.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

I’m sort of a planter snob so I prefer clay, ceramic, terra cotta, metal, and baskets over plastic, resin, and manufactured materials. HomeGoods is my go-to place for planters. In the summer, they have an especially good selection. You can usually find matching planters, and you can’t beat the prices.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

I love this gray trio with the unglazed dot details around the top.

If you happen to have a not-so-great planter, just slip it into a basket. This adds texture, and baskets weather nicely.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

This stool was a fabulous find as well, I was so bummed when I saw a gal put two of them into her cart at the first HomeGoods I stopped at. To my luck and surprise, the second store had two for me. Yay! Gotta love the thrill of the hunt. (And yes, I bought two. Stay tuned to see where the other one ends up.)

I also added a jute doormat for more cozy texture and to bring in warm color. It’s amazing what a simple doormat can do. This one was just under $12.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

With all that in place, I put up a couple hanging baskets and filled my new pots with a variety of plants, including ferns, begonias, ivy geraniums, and beautiful blooms.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

I even decided to create a small “story moment” by filling this galvanized caddy with a couple leftover plants and a shovel. It’s little details like these that make a space stand out.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

Although I still need to find the perfect front door wreath, my porch is officially ready to welcome visitors to my home and serve as another delightful spot for me to enjoy a cup of coffee and a magazine.

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed seeing my freshly styled front porch. For more outdoor summer decorating inspiration, check out my fellow HomeGoods Bloggers’ posts. They are some talented women, so I’m certain you’ll find many inspiring ideas.

Gloribell – Know How She Does Its: Chic Summer Tablescape
Courtney – French Country Cottage: Blush-Inspired Patio Update
Lizbeth – Home and Fabulous: Glam Summer Celebration
Amy – Crazy Chic Design: Stylish Backyard Summer Refresh
Jessica – Four Generations One Roof: Fabulous Farmhouse Breezeway

Now, onto the giveaway!

$100 HomeGoods Giveaway

I’m giving away ONE $100 HomeGoods Gift Card to ONE lucky IBC reader!

 

There are two steps to enter to win

STEP 1. Join the IBC Mailing List HERE. (If you’re already signed up, there’s no need to sign up again.)
STEP 2. Comment below and tell us how you’d spend your $100 HomeGoods Gift Card.

That’s it! The winner will be selected at random and contacted via email.

 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Friday, July 6, 2018. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email. You can view the IBC Privacy Policy here. Those reading this post on a blogger reader or RSS, click here to enter!

Best of luck to everyone!

Happy summer decorating!

You'll love these front porch decorating ideas and tips! #decorating #porch #outdoor #decor #modern #colonial

I’m always amazed at how just a bit of decorating and styling can make a space feel more special. Even though most of my new home is still in disarray since moving in, the front porch now looks inviting thanks to my visits to HomeGoods, some great decor finds, and a few colorful plantings. Today […]




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These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a fun and unique way to celebrate some of the classic flavors of summer.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

This post is sponsored by French’s Classic Yellow Mustard. As always, all opinions are my own.

Two of the things I’m always game for are pulled pork and sliders. Put them together in one easy dish, and you’ve got my undivided attention.

Pulled pork is sort of a staple for large parties here in PA. Cooking the meat is simple (set it and forget it), and most people seem to like it. With summer here, I thought I’d give the classic recipe a go … but with an IBC twist.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

Today I’ve teamed with my friends over at French’s. I’m using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard to give my regular pulled pork recipe an upgrade. I’ve created a sweet mustard marinade for my pork. Sauces and dressings made with French’s Classic Yellow Mustard get a boost of smooth, tangy flavor which is perfect for summer favorites like pulled pork.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

Don’t these sliders look delicious? That’s because they are!

To make them, start by giving the pork shoulder roast a nice rub down with brown sugar and spices. This will add sweetness and flavor to the meat.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

Next up is the sweet mustard marinade. It’s super simple to make. All you do is whisk together French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.

French’s Classic Yellow Mustard isn’t just for burgers and hot dogs. It can transform almost any dish as It does this pulled pork recipe.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard'

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

Place the rubbed pork in a slow cooker and pour the marinade on the meat. Set the cooker on low and leave it for 8-10 hours.

Once the pork is fork tender, remove the bone and shred the meat into the sauce using a fork. It’s that easy.

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

To serve, spoon a generous amount of the pulled pork onto a slider bun. If desired, top the meat with coleslaw. (I’m a fan of the coleslaw because it adds creaminess and crunch to the sandwich.)

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

The mustard flavor isn’t overpowering. It works beautifully with the sweetness of the brown sugar and maple syrup. If you’re into mustard like I am, you can add an extra drizzle to the top of your slider. S-o-o-o good!

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

No matter how you serve it, I’m certain you’ll love this recipe for Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade. Enjoy!

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard

 

Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade
Servings: 24 sliders
These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a delicious summer meal. #sliders #pulled #pork #mustard
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 1 vote
These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a fun and unique way to celebrate some of the classic flavors of summer.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 5- lb bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup French's Classic Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 24 slider buns
  • Coleslaw and additional French's Classic Yellow Mustard for serving
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar salt, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and ground pepper. Rub this mixture over the pork roast and then place the roast into a lightly greased slow cooker.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the French's Classic Yellow Mustard, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour onto the roast.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Remove the bone and any excess fat from the pork. Shred with a fork. Stir until the sauce is incorporated.
  5. To serve, place a generous portion of the pulled pork on a slider bun. If desired, top with your favorite coleslaw and additional French's Classic Yellow Mustard.

 

These Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Mustard Marinade are a fun and unique way to celebrate some of the classic flavors of summer. This post is sponsored by French’s Classic Yellow Mustard. As always, all opinions are my own. Two of the things I’m always game for are pulled pork and sliders. Put them together in […]




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What's the Tea: Officially Home

It’s officially official. I said my final goodbye to the apartment today. Now instead of multiple residences and two storage units, I have one happy home. All of this consolidation has taken about a year, so a celebration is probably in order.

What's the Tea: Officially Home

The past couple weeks have been more chaotic than I expected. As most of you know, moving is no small task. (Please remind me not to do this again anytime soon.) Other than getting help with a few of the large pieces of furniture, I tackled this move entirely by myself. That included packing, loading, and transporting everything in the apartment plus two storage units – one with stuff from my St. Marys house and one with overflow and Christmas decor from the apartment.

Although my parents and brother generously offered to help, it just worked better for me to manage things on my own given my schedule. It was a bit much at times, yet somehow it seemed to work. At this point, I am happy and relieved that the move is finally complete.

That might lead you to think I’m totally settled, which couldn’t be further from my reality. I mentioned in my post about improvements I want to make to the house that I need to have the upstairs floors refinished right away. The previous owners ripped up the carpet before listing the house, leaving damage from the carpets and revealing a couple different stains on the floors.

Redoing the floors before moving any furniture upstairs just makes sense. However, it does make moving in and living in the house a bit more challenging.

What's the Tea: Officially Home

And all of this is to explain, not complain. I’m so excited, happy, and blessed. Thankfully, the gentleman who is working on my floors started on Monday, meaning I should be able to move into those rooms late next week after everything is fully cured. Hooray!

If you are local to Pittsburgh, I’ve contracted the flooring work with Horst Hardwood Services. So far, they’ve been wonderful. I’ll update you on that soon!

Along with the physical move, I’ve done a ton of planning and coordinating. I think I’ve met with a different contractor or tradesperson every other day. It’s great to be able to hire professionals for some of the big jobs, but making all of the arrangements and being available when needed takes time from my other work.

Speaking of time sucks, even though I’m self-employed, I’m not good at time management. How other people can get so much done in a day never ceases to amaze me. This is definitely something I need to keep working on.

I’ve also been having to make a LOT of decisions, which tends to stress me out. However, in general, things have gone well thus far.

Even though the transformations won’t always be dramatic or especially pretty, I will be creating posts to keep you updated on my progress with the house. Now that I’m fully moved in, I’m expecting life will slow down a bit, giving me more time for posting and sharing. Stay tuned!

Knowing that this past month would be chaotic and stressful, I purposefully scheduled several fun events. I love the summer months, and I believe it’s important to savor what the season offers.

You may have seen on Instagram that I went to the Justin Timberlake concert here in Pittsburgh. I was invited by Verizon Up to attend. They provided me and a guest with tickets to the concert, and we had a blast.

We were on the floor of the arena so our seats were excellent. Some people in front of us were actually able to get a fist bump from Justin! If you’re a JT fan, you should definitely try and get to a concert. He puts on a fantastic show.

What's the Tea: Officially Home

Also, be sure to check out Verizon Up. It’s Verizon’s rewards program which is totally worth joining if you use their services. Rewards just for paying my bill? Sign me up!

I’m also super excited because the farmers markets here in Pittsburgh are back! Even this early in the season, they have an excellent selection of fresh produce. In addition to fruits and vegetables, I’ve been picking up fresh cut flower bouquets which you know I love.

What's the Tea: Officially Home

This past Saturday I swung by the market in Bloomfield (which might be my favorite) and snagged this everything bagel with beet cream cheese from Pigeon Bagels along with a nitro coffee from Zeke’s. To me, that’s Saturday morning breakfast perfected. So good!

What's the Tea: Officially Home

A couple weeks ago I went to the Three Rivers Art Festival with a friend. We checked out the art, grabbed dinner, and listened to a free concert. The festival is a week-long event and definitely a must-visit.

This past weekend I drove back to St. Marys to spend Sunday with my dad. The weather was perfect. We swam all afternoon and had steaks for dinner.

My dad can be tricky to buy for, so I was excited to find this oversized outdoor Jenga game on Amazon. While I’ve seen these games before, I liked this one because some of the game pieces had holes cut out for Jell-O shots. (A bit of backstory: My dad hosts an annual Fourth-of-July party and makes a slew of Jell-O shots for it. It’s not a rowdy party, but it’s still lots of fun.) Of course, I thought this would make the perfect gift. I also purchased this hat for him. He thought both were pretty cool! Win! (affiliate links)

I think that should bring everyone up to speed with what’s happening around here. I hope you are enjoying the summer and making time to do the things that make you happy.

Thanks for giving me a chance to catch you up.

It’s officially official. I said my final goodbye to the apartment today. Now instead of multiple residences and two storage units, I have one happy home. All of this consolidation has taken about a year, so a celebration is probably in order. The past couple weeks have been more chaotic than I expected. As most […]




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To help you celebrate the summer season, today I’m sharing a delicious and easy recipe for Margarita Punch. I also have tips for getting your outdoor spaces prepped for entertaining.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

This post is sponsored by Clorox. As always, all opinions are my own.

Can you believe it’s finally summer? I’m beyond excited. As you may know, I recently moved into a new home. The house hadn’t been lived in for almost a year so I’ve been doing LOTS of cleaning. With the interior now good-to-go, I turned my attention to one of the outdoor areas.

How to clean your outdoor space with Clorox

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Clorox® to get my porch and outdoor furniture looking its finest.

I was amazed by how much pollen and dirt had settled on my chairs and tables just since I moved in a couple weeks ago. For cleaning and disinfecting, I mixed ½ cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX® per gallon of water. I wiped everything down and allowed the solution sit on the surface for 5 minutes, rinsed the surfaces and let it air dry. Super easy!

To eliminate the mold and mildew that’s grown over the past year on my porch, I needed to create a bit of a stronger solution – ¾ cup of Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with CLOROMAX® per gallon of water.  I created the mixture use my broom to spread it around my porch.

How to clean your outdoor space with Clorox

To blast away years of grime from my concrete, I relied on my portable power washer. If you don’t have a power washer, I highly recommend buying, borrowing, or renting one. It is so satisfying to spray away the gunk. I used it to rinse the porch and the furniture – goodbye germs!

After some drying time, my porch was ready to be styled for entertaining. I don’t know about you, but it always feels so rewarding to have a clean and disinfected space, so now I am ready to invite friends over and enjoy the summer outdoors with delicious food and drinks!

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

To celebrate, I decided to set up my new outdoor bar cart and serve up a Margarita Punch!

I think that when you’re entertaining a crowd, serving a punch in a glass beverage dispenser is a smart idea. Not only is it quick and easy to prepare a large batch at once, but guests can also help themselves when they need a refill.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

To make this punch, first, pour chilled Prosecco and bottled seltzer into a beverage dispenser. Next, in a blender, combine frozen strawberries, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar. Stir that mixture in the Prosecco and seltzer and then garnish with limes and fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Voila! Your Margarita Punch is complete.

I especially like this recipe because it has the strawberry margarita flavor everyone loves, yet it is light and refreshing thanks to the Prosecco and bottled seltzer. Yum!

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

You can grab the full recipe at the end of this post.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Now, if you’ve ever hosted a party or just had a few friends over for cocktails, you know there’s always a bit of clean-up. To take care of any messes, I count on Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach as it cleans a variety of surfaces. It has been a trusted part of my cleaning arsenal since I ran a B&B.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Whether you’re cleaning up BBQ sauce, grease on the grill, or remnants of margaritas, this cleaner will do the trick. It’s a quick way to maintain your outdoor spaces so they stay ready for future celebrations.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

Now you’re ready to get your outdoor spaces prepped, host afternoon cocktails on the porch, and then clean it all up lickety-split.

Cheers, my friends, and happy entertaining!

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

How to Make Margarita Punch

Margarita Punch
Servings: 12 people   |   Prep Time: 15 mins
Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 3 votes
This Margarita punch is an easy and delicious way to serve a crowd. It's light and refreshing with the classic flavors of a strawberry margarita. It's a cocktail everyone will love.
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Prosecco (or Champagne), chilled
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle of seltzer, chilled
  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups tequila
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher (or punch bowl or drink dispenser), add the seltzer and Prosecco.
  2. To a blender, add the frozen strawberries, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar. Blend until smooth and pour into the pitcher. Top with fresh limes and strawberries. Stir to combine.
  3. Rim your glasses with a slice of lime and then dip them into salt. Add ice to your glasses, and fill them with the punch. Garnish with a slice of lime and fresh strawberry.

Strawberry Margarita Punch #summer #cocktail #entertaining #margarita #recipe

To help you celebrate the summer season, today I’m sharing a delicious and easy recipe for Margarita Punch. I also have tips for getting your outdoor spaces prepped for entertaining. This post is sponsored by Clorox. As always, all opinions are my own. Can you believe it’s finally summer? I’m beyond excited. As you may know, […]




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Sometimes a good chicken salad recipe can totally hit the spot. Whether you serve this Snow Pea and Chicken Salad for lunch or at a summer gathering, I know you’re going to love its fresh and delicate flavors.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and easy recipe for entertaining or a quick meal.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

I have been a fan of chicken salad since high school when I worked at the small cafe in my hometown. They had THE BEST chicken salad. All these years later, I can still taste it in my mind. (Which reminds me, I need to track down that recipe.)

Recently, I had a variation of this Snow Pea and Chicken Salad. Because I enjoyed it so much, I decided to recreate my own version at home. As I’ve been moving into my new house over the past couple weeks, this salad has proven to be a great meal when I’ve needed a quick bite.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and easy recipe for entertaining or a quick meal.

It’s also super simple to make.

For the chicken, I like to roast chicken breasts on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees F. I sprinkle the chicken with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper. I think this gives the best flavor. (Credit for this idea goes to Ina Garten.)

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and easy recipe for entertaining or a quick meal.

From there, everything else just gets tossed together in a bowl. You then pop the salad in the refrigerator for a bit before serving. It’s also great the next day, and it lasts a couple days in the refrigerator.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

What makes this recipe unique is the lime and ginger in the dressing. Together, they give the salad a bright and fresh taste.

To serve, you can just eat the chicken salad as is or on a bed of lettuce. However, it also is wonderful in a sandwich or wrap. (A lettuce wrap works well too if you’re watching carbs!)

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

No matter how you serve it, I think you’ll enjoy this modern twist on the classic chicken salad recipe.

Looking for more great summer salads? Try these:

Give this Chicken and Snow Pea Salad a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

 

Snow Pea and Chicken Salad
  |   Prep Time: 15 mins   |   Resting Time: 1 hr
This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 2 votes
Whether you serve this Snow Pea and Chicken Salad for lunch or at a summer gathering, you're going to love its fresh and delicate flavors.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast (a little over 1 pound uncooked chicken breasts)
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag snow peas, roughly chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, snow peas, water chestnuts, and red onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken and snow pea mixture and mix gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

This Snow Pea and Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and unique take on classic chicken salad.

Sometimes a good chicken salad recipe can totally hit the spot. Whether you serve this Snow Pea and Chicken Salad for lunch or at a summer gathering, I know you’re going to love its fresh and delicate flavors. I have been a fan of chicken salad since high school when I worked at the small […]




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Okay, dear friends, I’m finally ready to share renovation and home improvement plans for the new house.

However, before we get to that, let’s talk about all the love you sent on my new house post. I was blown away by your comments on the blog and social media. I am overjoyed with this new house, and it makes my day when I see that excitement echoed in your responses. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

As you saw on the tour, the house is nice as-is, but it also has areas for improvement. I have a vision of what I want it to be, so today I thought we could dive into my initial renovation and home improvement plans.

In this post, I’m going to just lay out my plans for the first two years. (Otherwise, this post could go on forever.) Down the road, most of these projects will be expanded on, so if you’re wanting more details, they’ll be coming.

While this post is mostly informative (We’ve got to start somewhere.), if you’re curious about my vision for the home, be sure to follow along with IBC on Pinterest. I have a board dedicated solely to the house.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Furnishing and Decor (In Progress)
Even though I had a big house and a small apartment, I have limited decor and furnishings. If you’ll recall, the people who purchased my St. Marys home also bought all of its furnishings. In addition, much of what I do have doesn’t match the aesthetic of this new house.

The plan with decor and furnishings is to take my time and find pieces I love. Although I do have an aesthetic in mind, once I get settled, I’m hoping to figure out a strong look and style for the house. I’ve had fun playing with different styles in the past so I’m confident this new place will guide my decisions as I put my stamp on it. In the meantime, I will be using what I have.

Kitchen Remodel (In Progress)
This is the first major project, and it’s already begun. In fact, the rough plans for the new layout have been drawn up. (More details on that coming SOON!) I’m so excited to share this process with you. It’s been a bit daunting trying to plan a major kitchen remodel while moving, but I want to get this started right away in hopes of finishing it before Christmas.

Also, as you may have noticed, the kitchen did not come with a stove or refrigerator. I purchased an inexpensive refrigerator, but I’m going to work without a stove until the kitchen is finished. (This could get interesting.)

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Because the kitchen is connected to so many spaces, this renovation will also affect other rooms. This includes:
– Turning the full downstairs bath into a smaller powder room and pantry;
– Adding two additional windows to the dining room and replacing the French doors; and
– Replacing the slate in the entry with hardwood.

New Roof (Summer or Fall)
This isn’t a very exciting way to spend money, but the roof of the house is 25+ years old and needs to be replaced. I’m looking to schedule it for this summer or fall.

Front Yard Tree Removal (In Progress)
My front yard contains a patch of 15 trees. Even though I love all the green and shade, unfortunately, they have to go. There are a couple dead trees, countless dead branches, and the rest of the trees are being taken over by invasive vines.

The goal here is to remove everything and sow grass. Of course, I might opt to plant a couple new trees and create a little landscaping moment here, but that’s TBD.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Landscaping Clean-Up (In Progress)
Speaking of landscaping, many areas are overgrown and messy. My plan for the first year or two is to simply get everything cleaned up so we can see what I’m working with. It’s my guess that the general landscaping went unattended for quite a few years.

I’ve already been busy trimming bushes, cutting down trees, and weeding so things are starting to look a bit more kempt. I also want to determine how to make the best use of the backyard. It’s definitely underutilized. However, this whole process will take several years as I’ll be tackling it bit by bit.

Determine Property Lines (In Progress)
Before I can get too deep into landscaping, I need to figure out exactly where the property lines are. I have a general idea, but a surveyor is scheduled to stake the lines in the coming weeks.

Create Outdoor Fire Pit (In Progress)
The small area behind the driveway (on the right side of the house) would be the perfect spot for a rustic outdoor fire pit. My plan is to create something functional and cute on a limited budget. In the future, if money permits, I’d love to have it professionally hardscaped.

I’ve never had a fire pit on my property before, so this is something I’m especially excited about and hope to use a lot this summer.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Radon Mitigation System (In Progress)
When purchasing the home, part of the inspection process involved a radon reading. Unfortunately, my levels were a bit too high, so I need to install a radon mitigation system in the basement. This is scheduled to be completed next week.

Remove Storage Shed Below Deck (Late Summer or Fall)
Underneath the deck, there is a triangle-shaped shed that I plan to take down. I don’t need the extra storage since I have a two stall garage and only one car. The shed seems firmly attached, but I’m hoping to tackle the demolition myself.

While it won’t happen right away, I would like to create a private patio below the deck. Removing the shed will open up the area and let me eventually add a side door to the garage.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

New Windows and Doors (2019)
The windows in the house are somewhat decrepit. Many of the upstairs windows have condensation between the panes and won’t stay open without being propped up. They still serve their purpose, but after I install a few new windows and doors during the kitchen renovation, my hope is to replace the rest next year.

Guest Bathroom (Early 2019)
Both bathrooms need to be updated and expanded. Since I have five bedrooms I will most likely give one up to create larger bathrooms. The guest bath will need to be renovated first.

Laundry Room (Early 2019)
Losing a bedroom will also allow me to move the laundry to the second floor. (It’s currently in the basement.) I plan to tackle the guest bathroom and laundry room at the same time, followed by the master bathroom.

Master Bathroom and Closet (Late 2019)
Since the guest and master bathrooms are next to one another, I would love to do this all at once. However, I’m going to need a functioning bathroom, so I will probably finish one before starting the next. My plan is to create a much larger master bathroom with an adjoining walk-in closet.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Fenced-in Vegetable Garden (Early 2019)
I’ve been wanting my own vegetable garden for years and years. I was hoping to get something planted this season but quickly learned that having a tree-filled backyard means visits from deer. Therefore, I need to fence in my garden.

I’m hoping to use this summer to figure out the best location for the garden so that next year I can start building my first real vegetable garden!

Wiring (Ongoing)
When I had my internet-cable installed this week I realized that the placement of wires is not ideal. (The line in my den comes out of the closet and runs across the entire floor.) In doing renovations, I will need to plan for placement of cables and wires. The ceiling in my basement is drywalled, which looks great, but that makes moving or replacing wires more of a challenge.

Whew! I think that’s it for now!

I’m sure there will be lots of little projects that pop up along the way as well as bigger ones I’m overlooking at this moment. But this list will certainly keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

And because I’m in a list-making mood today, here are few more possible projects and a couple pipe dreams:

Future projects (?) to include:
-Update living room fireplace and change to gas operation. Create larger bookcases or add small windows.
-Replace deck and create ground-level patio area.
-Build office “treehouse” in woods behind the house.
-Create a larger front porch. Maybe.
-Add a pool. Maybe.

I’m looking forward to making lots of changes and taking you along with me on this new home adventure.

I hope this list gives you an idea of my plans and goals for my new home!

Okay, dear friends, I’m finally ready to share renovation and home improvement plans for the new house. However, before we get to that, let’s talk about all the love you sent on my new house post. I was blown away by your comments on the blog and social media. I am overjoyed with this new […]




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Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

I’m kicking off a new year of free printable recipe cards on IBC with this new honey bee design. Be sure to grab the free printable below.

Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

Yes, friends, a new series of printable recipe cards has begun. Because so many people liked the designs from 2016 and 2017, I decided to do another series of recipe cards.

I greatly appreciate all of you who have told me how you used the recipe card printables over the past couple of years. I’ve heard that folks have found them useful for capturing family recipes and writing down recipes from IBC and other blogs. Some people have also printed the cards and included them in gifts and party favors.

That is why I create and share these with you. I’m overjoyed they’re helping you stay organized or brighten the lives of people you love.

In years past, my inspiration for the designs has come from the change of seasons. (Last year I even added two bonus cards for Halloween and Christmas!) However, this year I decided to let the ideas for the recipe cards come from projects I’m currently working on.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

As I posted yesterday, I created this Beehive Honey Bundt Cake which helped to inspire the first card of this year’s series. (I also happen to be a big fan of Trixie Mattel whose one of many taglines is “Honaaay.”)

Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

No matter how you use these honey bee-inspired recipe cards, they are sure to create a buzz among your family and friends!

You can grab the free download for the recipe cards HERE. I recommend printing them on card stock for the best quality.

Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards – DOWNLOAD HERE

Download and Print these bee-utiful Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards #free #printable #recipecards #recipecard #bee #honeybee

Once again, I hope you enjoy these free printable recipe cards and continue to use them for your own delicious recipes or pass them along to bring joy into the lives of others.

I’m looking forward to sharing several more designs with you throughout the year!

I’m kicking off a new year of free printable recipe cards on IBC with this new honey bee design. Be sure to grab the free printable below. Yes, friends, a new series of printable recipe cards has begun. Because so many people liked the designs from 2016 and 2017, I decided to do another series […]




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This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as cute as it is delicious. Topped with a honey frosting and candy bees, this dessert recipe is a sweet and tasty showpiece.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

During this past week, I have been in full-on moving mode. However, I did take a short break to bake this Beehive Honey Bundt Cake.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

As you may know, I recently purchased a new home. If you’ve ever moved, you’re all-too-aware that it’s a time-consuming process. Over the last few weeks, I’ve emptied two storage units (which I needed because I sold my previous home several months before closing on my new one). I’ve also gradually been clearing out my apartment through countless car trips to my new place.

On top of all that, I’ve scheduled things at the new house – internet installation, tree trimming, gutter cleaning, radon mitigation system installation, and so on. It seems like I’m meeting another installer or delivery driver every day. (And you know how much fun it is having to wait for them to arrive in the 4-6-hour window you’re given. Ack!)

Needless to say, life has been a bit chaotic as of late.

I feel guilty about not posting much here on the blog and on social media, but my hope is to be more settled in a couple weeks when I’ve officially vacated my apartment.

Please know that telling you all of this is more explaining than complaining. I’m so happy and fortunate to be able to move into my new place.

I guess I’m feeling a tad stressed and just hoping this explanation will be the reminder I need to not put more pressure on myself.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

Well, enough of that. Let’s talk about this Beehive Honey Bundt Cake and *spoiler alert* the start of IBC’s 2018 Recipe Card Printables!

I went back and forth about whether to continue my yearly seasonal printable recipe cards. (You can find previous years’ collections here: 2016 / 2017)

Honey Bee Free Printable Recipe Cards

As you can see, I decided to continue, but with a little twist this year. Instead of making the cards seasonal (spring, summer, fall, and winter), I’ve decided to base them on a particular post or project I’m working on. They’ll still end up feeling a bit seasonal, but the inspiration is different.

You can grab all the details (and FREE download) for these Honey Bee Recipe cards HERE.

I’m super excited about the new design and format. Hope you like them, too!

Okay, NOW we can get back to the Beehive Honey Bundt Cake.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

Beehive Honey Bundt Cake

This cake (and the recipe cards) was inspired by this adorable beehive bundt cake pan. (I found mine at HomeGoods, but you can purchase it here.) [affiliate link]

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

By now, you’re probably familiar with my fondness for uniquely shaped bundt cakes. Right?

More fun bundt cake ideas:

Funfetti Coffee Cake
Gingerbread House Cake
Chocolate Skull Cake
Gingerbread Tree Cake
Mini Tombstone Cakes

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

Given the beehive shape, of course, I opted for a honey-based cake and honey frosting. If you like honey, you’re going to love this bundt cake!

It’s so simple to whip up the cake recipe.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

After the cake halves are baked and cooled, trim off the rounded part of each with a serrated knife to create a flat surface on each. Then, just stick them together with some of the honey frosting.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

Once the beehive was formed, I added honey frosting to a piping bag and drizzled it over the top of the cake to make it look like honey was dripping out. A few sugar candy bees and mini honey dipper sticks complete the look. [affiliate links]

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

How cute is that?

This is why I love these cake pans so much. They make creating a unique and delicious cake so effortless.

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Stay tuned for my FREE Printable Honey Bees Recipe Card. I’ll be sharing that soon!

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive

Beehive Honey Bundt Cake
  |   Prep Time: 15 mins   |   Cook Time: 1 hr 5 mins   |   Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful! #dessert #recipe #honey #bundt #cake #beehive
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 3 votes
This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as cute as it is delicious. Topped with a honey frosting and candy bees, this dessert recipe is a sweet and tasty showpiece.
Ingredients
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • sugar candy bees optional
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Then mix in the eggs, one at a time. Finally, mix in the honey and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Finally, add the sour cream and beat until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake 55-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before inverting and removing from the pan to cool completely.
  6. While the cake cools, prepare the honey frosting.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the honey, vanilla, and salt and mix on low until combined. Finally, add the confectioners' sugar and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  8. To assemble as a beehive, cut the rounded domes off both halves of the cake with a serrated knife. This will create a flat surface on each half. Spread a layer of frosting on each cut side and put the two halves together. Top the bundt cake with additional honey frosting and sugar candy bees.
Recipe Notes

To make your frosting thinner, add a splash of milk. To thicken, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistancy. 

This Beehive Honey Bundt Cake is as cute as it is delicious. Topped with a honey frosting and candy bees, this dessert recipe is a sweet and tasty showpiece. During this past week, I have been in full-on moving mode. However, I did take a short break to bake this Beehive Honey Bundt Cake. As […]




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This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

This Strawberry Basil Martini brings together two delicious flavors inspired by the summer! Made with homemade strawberry basil infused vodka, this cocktail recipe is a winner!

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

It’s summer and time for a light and refreshingly different cocktail. My suggestion: this delicious Strawberry Basil Martini.

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

I fell in love with fruit-infused liquors during my travels in the Caribbean, and when I returned home, I made a Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka that I told you about here. To take advantage of all that delightful fruity flavor, I decided to create this Strawberry Basil Martini.

What’s in a Strawberry Basil Martini?

In this Strawberry Basil Martini, the flavored vodka is the star of the show.

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

And the lemon juice and the St. Germain liqueur are extremely important supporting cast members. Together with a few fresh strawberries, basil, and simple syrup, they make a fresh, earthy, and quintessentially summer cocktail that is sure to get rave reviews.

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

This Strawberry Basil Martini brings together two delicious flavors inspired by the summer! Made with homemade strawberry basil infused vodka, this cocktail recipe is a winner!

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

This martini happens to be quite gorgeous. And It tastes as good as it looks.

I strongly recommend making your own fruit-infused vodka, but if you are pressed for time, you could substitute store-bought strawberry vodka.

This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe

Enjoy a Strawberry Basil Martini (or two) and have a fantastic summer!

Want more summer cocktail recipes ideas? Try these:

Strawberry Basil Martini
Servings: 1 cocktail   |   Prep Time: 5 mins
This Strawberry Basil Martini is like sipping on summer! #cocktail #strawberry #martini #basil #recipe
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 1 vote
This Strawberry Basil Martini brings together two delicious flavors inspired by the summer! Made with homemade strawberry basil infused vodka, this cocktail recipe is a winner!
Ingredients
  • 2 strawberries quartered
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka
  • Ice
  • Strawberry and basil leaf for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the strawberries, basil leaves, and simple syrup. Muddle together. Top with lemon juice, St. Germain, and strawberry vodka. Shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.
Recipe Notes

I strongly recommend making your own fruit-infused vodka (you can get my Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka recipe here), but if you are pressed for time, you could substitute store-bought strawberry vodka.

This Strawberry Basil Martini brings together two delicious flavors inspired by the summer! Made with homemade strawberry basil infused vodka, this cocktail recipe is a winner! It’s summer and time for a light and refreshingly different cocktail. My suggestion: this delicious Strawberry Basil Martini. I fell in love with fruit-infused liquors during my travels in […]




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Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

These Picture Perfect Summer Picnic Ideas will make it easy for you to create a beautiful outdoor meal or celebratory moment.

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Pennsylvania we seem to have skipped spring and now summer is in full swing. For me, that means taking advantage of every opportunity to spend time outside.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

This post is sponsored by Oyster Bay Wines. As always, all opinions are my own.

That’s why I’ve partnered with my friends down under at Oyster Bay Wines to share ideas for setting up and styling a beautiful summer picnic.

New Zealand wines are some of my favorites, and Oyster Bay is always a go-to for me. Their wines capture the special character of New Zealand – elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavors. Love them! You may remember that this past winter I served up their Pinot Noir; this summer I’m enjoying their refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

With wine in hand and these five ideas for putting together the perfect picnic, I think we’re all ready to celebrate summer!

1. Set Down a Blanket

It’s a picnic, so bring a blanket! Whether you’re setting up your picnic on the ground or using a table, it’s nice to have a clean and fresh surface to dine on.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Being outdoors it’s likely that your blanket will get dirty, so I recommend using something that you can toss in the washing machine without much worry. I chose a blanket with a large gingham print because it suits the occasion.

2. Bring Wine

If you’re looking for a winning picnic libation, pick wine. Here I’m serving Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

White wine, specifically Sauvignon Blanc, is one of my favorites for summer. This particular variety is very fresh with a lingering zesty finish. With its magical combination of passion fruit, bright citrus, and tropical flavors, Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a fragrant, vibrant wine. It thrives alone but also pairs beautifully with a range of cuisines, making it perfect for any summer picnic.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

I also love that the bottle features a screw-off top which makes it easy to serve at a picnic. Keep your Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc on ice in your cooler for an especially crisp sip!

3. Pack Easy Snacks

In thinking about food for a picnic, let me recommend a few things. First, handheld items always seem to work well. Think sandwiches and single-serving containers.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Second, offer a spread of snacks where people can pick what they like. One example: a big cheese plate with crackers and crusty bread paired with fresh summer fruit. That’s what I did here. I also couldn’t resist serving jars of my Southwest Pasta Salad. It’s so good!

4. Mix Luxe with Casual

When styling a picnic, I like mixing luxe with casual. If I use disposable cutlery, I pair it with something a bit fancier such as linen napkins.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Because I’m not a big fan of plastic drinkware, I use an array of inexpensive wine glasses. If you’re like me, you probably have a random assortment of wine glasses that don’t match your best stemware. Take along those singletons, and if one gets broken at the picnic, no worries.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas

To protect the glasses during transit to and from the picnic site, I pack them in the napkins used at the picnic.

5. Add Pretty Details

Finally, don’t forget the pretty details. Use a stylish cooler, a pretty picnic basket, and / or snip a few seasonal flowers from your garden and add them to a jar. Even a sprinkle of fresh herbs on your snacks makes them special.

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

Be intentional about how everything looks together to make a wow-worthy picnic set-up.

With the official beginning of summer almost here, I hope these picnic ideas inspire you to create your own casual dining experience al fresco!

Don’t wait for the moment. Make it!

Picture Perfect Picnic Ideas - Entertaining Outdoors #picnic #styling #outdoor #snacks #wine

You can find Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc at select liquor retailers nationwide or online via Drizly. For more information about Oyster Bay visit oysterbaywines.com.

 

These Picture Perfect Summer Picnic Ideas will make it easy for you to create a beautiful outdoor meal or celebratory moment. I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Pennsylvania we seem to have skipped spring and now summer is in full swing. For me, that means taking advantage […]




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Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails

Combine the flavors of summertime to make Homemade Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka. It’s a delicious addition to your spring and summer cocktail recipes.

I love using flavored liquor to make special cocktails, and I especially enjoy creating my own fruit-infused liquor, such as this Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka.

Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails

Strawberries are plentiful right now, so it’s the perfect time to whip up this Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka. In case you haven’t tried your hand at making fruit-infused liquor, I recommend doing so for several reasons.

First, you can use fresh, delicious, and natural ingredients, such as strawberries. My guess is that most of the manufacturers’ flavored liquors aren’t infused with fresh fruit.

Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails

Secondly, you can go crazy with flavor combinations that you aren’t likely to find in any store. This strawberry infused vodka is just the start of a lot of infusion fun.

Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails

And finally, as you’ll soon discover, the process is simple. Put the strawberries in the vodka, wait a week or two, and you’re in business.

Besides a little patience, the most important things you’ll need are quality ingredients. Choose fresh strawberries that are ripe but not overripe. And although you don’t need top-shelf vodka, buy a brand that you would actually drink.

Now it’s time to infuse! Let me walk you through the recipe.

Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka
  |   Prep Time: 10 mins   |   Total Time: 10 mins
Learn how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka! #strawberry #basil #vodka #cocktail #cocktails
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 1 vote

Combine the flavors of summertime to make Homemade Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka. It's a delicious addition to spring and summer cocktail recipes.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 2 cups vodka
Instructions
  1. Place the quartered strawberries and basil leaves in a large, air-tight container. Pour the vodka over the strawberries and basil, covering them completely. Seal the container.
  2. Allow the berries and basil to soak in the vodka for one week. Lightly shake the container and turn it over every day or two.
  3. After the infusion is complete, drain the vodka from the strawberries and basil and store the infused vodka in an air-tight jar in your refrigerator for up to three months.

Looking for more summer cocktail recipes? Try these:

Strawberry and basil go together like peanut butter and jelly, so this combination is delicious. If you like making your own flavored liquors. You should try this recipe for Homemade Pineapple Rum!

 

Now that your Strawberry Infused Vodka is ready, it’s time to add some of it to your favorite summer libations.

Cheers!

Combine the flavors of summertime to make Homemade Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka. It’s a delicious addition to your spring and summer cocktail recipes. I love using flavored liquor to make special cocktails, and I especially enjoy creating my own fruit-infused liquor, such as this Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka. Strawberries are plentiful right now, so it’s […]




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Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

In the summer, there’s nothing better than dining al fresco with family and friends. That’s why today I’m going to show you a few ideas for creating a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget!

It is so exciting to finally have a home with a large outdoor space. As you can imagine, my brain has gone into overdrive with ideas for outdoor living and outdoor entertaining. While I will have lots more for you over the summer, I thought a backyard table setting might be a great place to start.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

This post is sponsored by TIKI Brand.

This year I am honored to be working with TIKI Brand to share creative ways to add style and ambiance to your outdoor life. I’ve had a bunch of fun working with and styling their TIKI Brand Table Torches. If you remember, I used several of them on my apartment balcony. They are a simple and beautiful way to add a natural flame to your outdoor spaces.

So let’s get into how I created this backyard table setting on a budget!

In the interest of full disclosure, I took these photos in a park near my apartment. However, these ideas are so versatile you could recreate this backyard table setting anywhere.

Thinking about how I wanted to style this table, I immediately realized I needed a table. I recommend something wood that folds. I found this particular table, and it worked perfectly. Not only does it have great style, but I can easily store it when it’s not set for dining.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

For the chairs, I considered the same thing – what looks great and can easily be stored when not in use. You might be surprised, but these chairs actually stack. However, I do plan on using them on my patio when not styling outdoors.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

And because we’re doing this on a budget, it’s important to make things multi-purpose. For example, you don’t need all new chairs to create a beautiful backyard table setting. Think creatively. The chairs from your dining table might work, or maybe you could make a bench from stacked cinderblocks and a sturdy board.

Using what I had on hand, the rest of the table came together quickly.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

I’m not a fan of melamine dinnerware or plastic cutlery so I used pieces from my own kitchen. To me, this ups the specialness of outdoor entertaining. Plus, you don’t need to purchase and store extra dinnerware.

I should also note that I have simple and inexpensive white plates and glassware I know I can easily replace. Accidents are bound to happen, and I never want a guest to feel upset or embarrassed if something breaks.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

Adding a little lighting to a table is the perfect finishing touch. Not only does it have an inviting glow, but the flicker of the flame also creates movement on the table.

This is where my TIKI Brand Table Torches come into play. I used two of the Mixed Material Votive Table Torches because the design works perfectly with the rest of my table.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

Besides the design, I love that TIKI Brand makes a Clean Burn Torch Fuel which provides a brilliant flame without a smoky mess. It’s ideal for entertaining!

You can check out the full line of TIKI Brand Table Torches here to see what would suit your style or celebration!

And finally, a touch of nature was required to bring this whole table together.

I purchased some inexpensive blooms to style this table, but I would encourage you to look to your own backyard for a botanical touch. For example, you could style your table with a few potted plants from your patio, a bouquet of cut blooms from your perennial garden, or cut herbs tucked into several small mason jars.

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

I also like to get creative with my flower vases. My go-to’s are white pitchers and mason jars. You can find them almost anywhere, and they work so well with a backyard/garden party aesthetic.

With that, my backyard table setting on a budget is complete and ready for food and friends!

Tips for styling a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! #outdoor #backyard #decor #entertaining

For more details on the other products I used to style this table, you can visit the Outdoor Entertaining section of SHOP IBC.

You can also grab more information about the TIKI Brand products via their website. I’ve also pinned a few of my favorite ideas to their Pinterest Board here.

Happy outdoor entertaining!

In the summer, there’s nothing better than dining al fresco with family and friends. That’s why today I’m going to show you a few ideas for creating a beautiful backyard table setting on a budget! It is so exciting to finally have a home with a large outdoor space. As you can imagine, my brain […]




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Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

It feels a bit surreal to be typing this, but let me welcome each of you to my new home!

My house hunting adventure has finally ended. I now have a new home here in Pittsburgh, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! *cue Leslie Knope dance* Today, it’s my pleasure to show you around via photos and a short video at the end of this post.

I have so much I want to tell you about this new house. I wish I could just invite you over for snacks and cocktails so we could chat about my plans and any questions you have about the space.

In order to keep this post a reasonable length, I’m only going to show you around and save discussions of needed repairs, future plans, and my current brainstorming for separate posts. Sound good? We have a lot to talk about. I hope you’re ready for all things house.

Without further ado, let me give you the Before Tour of my house!

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

As you can see, the house is a colonial with a mix of white siding and white painted brick. Although it has a Pittsburgh address, it’s located about 20 minutes from the city.

The house sits on two acres and has a big front yard, good-size backyard, and small wooded area out back.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

The garage is underneath the house (specifically, the dining room and living room.) While the garage is considered a 2-stall, I’m calling it a 1 1/2.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

The home also has a semi-finished basement. I didn’t photograph it for this post, but this is where the laundry is located. There’s also a funky wood-paneled bar and another big wood-burning brick fireplace. I’ll save that for another post.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Off the family room, there’s a small side porch. I love this porch. In fact, I’m sitting on it as I write this post. From here I currently see a bunny as well as a couple chipmunks “playing.” And there are birds singing away. It’s so peaceful. I’ve also been told that deer are often in the backyard.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Speaking of the backyard, there is a big deck on the back of the house. It was added in the 90s. It’s not my favorite thing about the house, but its unique shape is growing on me.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Now, let’s go inside through the front door.

You can head straight back to the kitchen or use the stairs to reach the second floor. If you turn left, you’ll be in the family room. Turn right and you’re in the living room.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

In the living room, there’s a wood burning fireplace and big bay window.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

There’s also a large opening which leads into the dining room.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Once in the dining room, a set of French doors open onto the deck. On the opposite wall, through the swinging door, is the kitchen.

From this perspective, you can see most of the kitchen. The dining room is straight ahead, and the front door of the home is to the right. There is a set of doors that lead to the deck on the left.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

This is the opposite wall, which takes you back to the front of the house. The door on the right goes to the basement.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

The kitchen also connects to the family room.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

I’m in love with this room. The big fireplace, ceiling beams, and Dutch door (which provides access to the side porch I mentioned earlier) tugged at my heartstrings and ultimately sold me on this house.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

On the back wall of this room, you’ll find a small closet and full bathroom (with shower). There’s even a wet bar behind those sliding closet doors. (You can see the kitchen peeking through next to those doors.)

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

That wraps up the first floor. Now let’s go upstairs.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

At the top of the stairs, on the left, you’ll find the master bedroom. This room has a semi-walk-in closet and bathroom.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

If you make a right at the top of the stairs, the first door on your left is the main bathroom which has a tub/shower combo and large linen closet.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Continuing down the hall, there are two bedrooms on the right, one on the left, and one at the end of the hall. (If I did my math right, that’s five bedrooms in all.)

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

There is also an attic, which can be accessed from pulldown stairs in the hallway.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

I think that’s it! Your first look at my new place is complete!

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Because I have a feeling someone may ask (A few of you did on Instagram.), I do not have specific paint colors used in this house at this moment. However, there are some paint cans lying around, so when/if I can figure out paint colors, I will be sure to share those with you.

Now, if any of that was confusing to you, I made a short video per your request. I just filmed it on my phone, so it’s nothing fancy or well-edited, but I agreed that a video walkthrough would be really helpful. You can watch that below.

VIDEO TOUR:

 

I know many of you are curious about my plans and ideas. I am too! Have no fear, I will take you along every step of the way so that you can see how this house becomes my home.

And this isn’t all about me. I hope to share ideas that you can implement in your own space too. So if you have questions, want specific advice, or need more details about something, please let me know. The more we can communicate, the better journey is for all of us.

One final note: I know that naming things can be kind of annoying and weird (I get it.), but I couldn’t resist giving my new home a name. I decided to call it Bayberry House. Bayberry is a super special name to me because my late-grandparents lived on a street with that name. Before they passed, it was my intention to purchase their home. Since life has had different plans for me, naming my house is my small way of keeping that memory and other memories of them alive.

Thank you so much for being a part of my adventures. I’ve never been more excited to take you with me into a new chapter of my life. Let’s do this!

It feels a bit surreal to be typing this, but let me welcome each of you to my new home! My house hunting adventure has finally ended. I now have a new home here in Pittsburgh, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! *cue Leslie Knope dance* Today, it’s my pleasure to show you […]




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This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

This Southwest Pasta Salad is a twist on the classic. Wagon wheel pasta tossed with corn, beans, roasted red peppers, and creamy ranch dressing creates a flavor combination you and your guests will love.

This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

Summer is the season of pasta salad, which is why I whipped up another fun pasta salad recipe to share with you today! You’re going to love this Southwest Pasta Salad.

As much as I enjoy classic pasta salad (You can find my go-to recipe here.), you know I also like to put my spin on it. To me, it’s always exciting to serve something a bit different at a party, picnic, or barbecue. I’ve noticed it’s the unexpected that gets conversations going among guests, including requests for the recipe.

Made with pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and jalapeños - this Southwest Pasta Salad is a winner! #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #recipe

This Southwest Pasta Salad recipe likewise reminded me of how wonderfully designed wagon wheel (a.k.a. rotelle) pasta is. The little openings in the pasta have a way of holding onto lots of that delicious dressing and even some beans and corn. It’s perfect! Almost too perfect, I’m still trying to drop a few pounds before summer, and this pasta salad didn’t help. (Totally worth it though!)

Made with pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and jalapeños - this Southwest Pasta Salad is a winner! #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #recipe

Made with pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and jalapeños - this Southwest Pasta Salad is a winner! #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #recipe

So how do you make Southwest Pasta Salad?

It’s simple!
– Prepare the ingredients and toss them into a bowl.
– Mix up the homemade ranch dressing.
– Add the dressing to the pasta mixture.

This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

Voila! Your pasta salad is ready!

I like to let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, however, you can serve it right away. At first, it may seem like a lot of dressing, but I recommend using all of it. The pasta will soak it up.

This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

No matter when or where you serve it, this salad is a winner!

This Southwest Pasta Salad is a twist on the classic. Wagon wheel pasta tossed with corn, beans, roasted red peppers, and creamy ranch dressing creates a flavor combination you and your guests will love.

This Southwest Pasta Salad may become your new go-to summer side dish. #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #beans #corn #recipe

Want more pasta salad recipes? Try these:

Made with pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and jalapeños - this Southwest Pasta Salad is a winner! #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #recipe

Southwest Pasta Salad
  |   Prep Time: 10 mins   |   Cook Time: 10 mins   |   Total Time: 20 mins
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
4.5 from 2 votes
This Southwest Pasta Salad is a twist on the classic. Wagon wheel pasta tossed with corn, beans, roasted red peppers, and creamy ranch dressing creates a flavor combination you and your guests will love.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound wagon wheel rotelle pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn thawed
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 2/3 cup canned black-eyed peas rinsed
  • 2/3 cup canned pinto beans rinsed
  • 2/3 cup canned black beans rinsed
  • 2 jalapeños thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Dressing:
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, corn, red peppers, beans, jalapeños, and cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, dry ranch dressing, and milk.
  3. Pour the dressing on the pasta salad mixture. Toss gently to evenly combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Made with pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and jalapeños - this Southwest Pasta Salad is a winner! #pastasalad #pasta #salad #southwest #recipe

This Southwest Pasta Salad is a twist on the classic. Wagon wheel pasta tossed with corn, beans, roasted red peppers, and creamy ranch dressing creates a flavor combination you and your guests will love. Summer is the season of pasta salad, which is why I whipped up another fun pasta salad recipe to share with […]




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Inspired by Charm - New House: Modern Colonial

Happy Tuesday! With lots happening in the past couple weeks, I thought I’d spill the tea on what’s new and notable in the life of IBC!

For starters, I closed on a house!

Inspired by Charm - New House: Modern Colonial

Yes, I’m officially a homeowner again. I’ve been sharing sneak peeks over on Instagram, and I’m hoping to do a full home tour here on Friday.

Although I’ve already snapped lots of pictures, I also want to share a video to give you an idea of how the house is laid out. I know many of you are curious, but please bear with me a little longer. My goal is Friday. (Saturday at the latest.)

I won’t be moving into the house until late June. As you will see on my tour, the hardwood floors need some work. The former owners pulled up all the carpet upstairs to show the hardwood. There are mismatched stains and markings from the carpets so it just makes sense to refinish the floors before moving in.

In the meantime, I will be slowly clearing out my storage unit and apartment, which should make move-in day a little less intense. Fingers crossed.

Inspired by Charm - New House: Modern Colonial

I suspect I’ll be talking about my new home non-stop because my mind has been in overdrive the past week. I want to do so much. It’s a bit overwhelming but in a good and exciting way!

I’m also trying to figure out the best way to include you in the process without being “in your face” with new house talk. Thank you for your patience and understanding as I navigate these waters.

In other news, last week I had a chance to hang out at Julie Blanner’s lake house for a blogger retreat. Not only is she a fabulous host, but it was great to connect with blogger friends and talk shop.

Lake House Blogger Retreat

Lake House Blogger Retreat

Me, Becky – The Cookie Rookie, Chloe – Boxwood Avenue
Coutrney – Pizzazzerie, Julie – Julie Blanner, Emma – A Beautiful Mess

Blogging has changed a lot in the past couple of years. It’s an ever-evolving machine that shifts almost daily. Taking time to stop and evaluate what you’re doing and how you’re doing it has never been more important.

One of these days, I want to show you what is entailed in putting together a blog post. It’s a lot more involved than snapping a few pictures and writing copy. You might find the whole process interesting in case you’re thinking about starting your own blog or just like to be in the know.

Lake House Blogger Retreat

Becky – The Cookie Rookie, Coutrney – Pizzazzerie
Julie – Julie Blanner, Lisa – Farmhouse on Boone, Me

Anywho, the retreat was a joy! Most of the details would probably bore you, although I will say that if you’re ever near Branson, Missouri, be sure to visit Top of the Rock. It’s truly a magical place with breathtaking views.

Top of the Rock - Branson, MO

Top of the Rock - Branson, MO

And finally, a couple blog updates:

1) I’ve updated the SHOP IBC page with new product selections as well as a section for outdoor living. There are some fantastic outdoor goodies on the market this year, so I was excited to incorporate that section into the shop.

2) As I mentioned in my last What’s the Tea update, I’m still working on behind-the-scenes blog post organization work. If you’ve been following along for a while, I’m sure you recognized the content in a few posts. Thank you in advance for your patience as I get things a bit more organized. Hopefully, you’re enjoying a new look at some previous postings.

I think that’s it for now. I hope all is well with you and that spring has brought you sunshine, blooms, and buckets of happiness.

Happy Tuesday! With lots happening in the past couple weeks, I thought I’d spill the tea on what’s new and notable in the life of IBC! For starters, I closed on a house! Yes, I’m officially a homeowner again. I’ve been sharing sneak peeks over on Instagram, and I’m hoping to do a full home […]




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This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

My mouth waters just thinking about this Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini. Inspired by a charcuterie, the wonderful flavors of this crostini will delight you and your guests, whether you’re hosting a large gathering or an intimate dinner.

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

If you’re searching for an appetizer that will wow your friends and family, this Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini is it. The sweet fig and salty prosciutto against the smooth brie are a heady combination.

As I’ve shared, a crostini is a tiny, open-faced sandwich that’s layered with ingredients such as meats, cheese, fruit, veggies, and spreads. If you ever need a beautiful, flavor-packed, all-occasion appetizer, look no further than a crostini.

To make this Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini, first I sliced a baguette on the diagonal and toasted the slices until they were just beginning to brown.

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

Once the toasted bread was cool, I spread it with a bit of fig jam for a touch of sweetness. Up next, was a slice of creamy brie followed by thinly sliced prosciutto.

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

I finished things off by topping the Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini with a few leaves of peppery arugula tossed lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bellissimo!

Don’t these Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini look delicious? (I promise they taste as wonderful as they look.)

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

I love cheese and enjoy delighting others with classic and unexpected flavor combinations.

Here are a few more crostini varieties for you to try:

Enjoy every delectable bite of crostini goodness!

This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto

Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini
Servings: 24 crostini   |   Prep Time: 10 mins   |   Cook Time: 5 mins   |   Total Time: 15 mins
This Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe makes a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #fig #arugula #brie #prosciutto
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Inspired by a charcuterie, the wonderful flavors of this Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini will delight you and your guests, whether you’re hosting a large gathering or an intimate dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces Brie
  • 4 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by diagonally slicing the baguette. Then, place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and broil the bread 4-5 minutes until it is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, gently toss together the arugula, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.
  3. Begin by spreading the toast with fig jam. Top with a slice of brie and prosciutto. Finish it off with a few pieces of arugula.

My mouth waters just thinking about this Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini. Inspired by a charcuterie, the wonderful flavors of this crostini will delight you and your guests, whether you’re hosting a large gathering or an intimate dinner. If you’re searching for an appetizer that will wow your friends and family, this Brie, Fig, and […]




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This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

This Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini is made with homemade berry watermelon limeade, vodka, and St. Germain and is the perfect cocktail recipe for chilling out this summer season.

This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

TGIF! As promised, today I’m back to share a martini recipe using the Berry Watermelon Limeade that I posted last week. That’s right, we are shaking up a Berry Watermelon Limemade Martini.

I’m all about cocktails that take advantage of the fresh flavors of the season. Bursting with the summertime flavors of strawberries and watermelon, this martini does just that.

This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

In case you missed it, you can grab the recipe for the Berry Watermelon Limeade here. You’ll need that to shake up one (or more) of these martinis. You can mix up the limeade recipe on a Monday and enjoy it all week.

Whether you drink it on its own, add liquor to create a cocktail, make a refreshing salad dressing with it, or use it to shake up one of these martinis, it’s handy to have a pitcher prepared and waiting in the refrigerator when you need it.

This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

As you’ll see below, I recommend straining the limeade with a fine mesh sieve before using it for a martini. This will remove any pulp or seeds, giving you a smoother and more attractive cocktail.

Some of you might remember that I’m a big fan of St. Germain. I’ve been talking about it here on IBC for years now. If you haven’t yet picked up a bottle, I hope this recipe will give you the nudge you need.

One more thing: In case you prefer gin over vodka, you can easily substitute gin in this recipe.

Let’s shake up a cocktail. You deserve one!

This Berry Watermelon Limeade combines all the flavors of summer into on delicious cocktail recipe. #strawberry #watermelon #lime #limeade #martini #cocktail #recipe

Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini
Servings: 1 martini
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
5 from 1 vote
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces berry watermelon limeade strained
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • Lime wedge
  • Strawberry, lime slice, or watermelon wedge for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the berry watermelon limeade, vodka, St. Germain, and juice from a lime wedge. Shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with your choice of a fresh strawberry, lime slice, or watermelon wedge.
Recipe Notes

You can find the recipe for the Berry Watermelon Limeade here. As noted in the ingredients, I recommend straining the limeade with a fine mesh sieve before adding it to your martini shaker. This will remove any pulp or seeds and yield a smoother martini.

Want more tasty martini recipes? Try these:

That’s it, my friends. You can make this refreshing and flavorful summer cocktail in just a few quick and easy steps. Oh, and if you like those gold cocktail picks (aren’t they beautiful) you can find them here. (affiliate link)

Give this Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini a try and let me know what you think.

Have a happy, sun-filled weekend!

This Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini is made with homemade berry watermelon limeade, vodka, and St. Germain and is the perfect cocktail recipe for chilling out this summer season. TGIF! As promised, today I’m back to share a martini recipe using the Berry Watermelon Limeade that I posted last week. That’s right, we are shaking up […]




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This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

This recipe for Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini makes my tummy happy. The pear slice and drizzle of honey are the perfect complement for the blue cheese and toasted baguette slice.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

You are going to enjoy making this Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini and serving a platter of them to your guests. This appetizer is simple to put together, however, it will give our next party a gourmet touch.

I often like to serve a variety of crostini as an appetizer. If you’re looking for other delicious crostini ideas, check out my Mozzarella Caprese Crostini recipe or my Brie, Fig, and Prosciutto Crostini recipe.

What’s a Crostini?

A crostini is a tiny, open-faced sandwich. Like a sandwich, it’s layered with ingredients such as meats, cheese, fruits, veggies, and spreads.

To make a crostini, first, slice a baguette on the diagonal. Doing this creates larger, fancier-looking slices.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

Then place the bread slices in a baking pan. I also brushed them with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

Next, pop the slices under the broiler for 4-5 minutes. Slightly browning the bread not only adds flavor and crunch but also makes it a sturdy support for the toppings.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

While the bread cools, gather and prepare your toppings for the Blue Cheese Crostini.

To assemble the Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini, I first put a slice of fresh pear on the crostini. Then I crumbled on some blue cheese and added chopped walnuts for crunch.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

Because blue cheese pairs so well with something sweet, a drizzle of honey came next. Finally, since I had fresh sage on hand, I added some of the smaller leaves.

What a cute and tasty bite! I’m in love.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

Beyond being delicious and beautiful, one of the wonderful things about crostini is that you can make it your own. If you’re not a fan of the ingredients I used, swap them out for what you prefer. For example, an apple slice with cheddar would also be a wonderful combination.

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

 

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini
This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
This recipe for Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini makes my tummy happy. The pear slice and drizzle of honey are the perfect complement for the blue cheese and toasted baguette slice.
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces blue cheese
  • 2 pears sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • 12 fresh sage leaves chopped
Instructions
  1. Begin by slicing the baguette on the diagonal. Then, lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and broil for 4-5 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a small bowl, toss the sliced pears with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

  3. To assemble, layer the ingredients onto the toast, beginning with a pear slice. Follow that with a few crumbles of blue cheese and a sprinkle of walnuts. Finally, drizzle with honey and top with fresh sage.

Get creative with new recipes. The options are endless.

You can find more of my blue cheese-inspired recipes here:

This Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini make a flavorful and easy appetizer. #appetizer #crostini #bluecheese #pear #honey #recipe

Happy snacking and entertaining!

This recipe for Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini makes my tummy happy. The pear slice and drizzle of honey are the perfect complement for the blue cheese and toasted baguette slice. You are going to enjoy making this Blue Cheese, Pear, and Honey Crostini and serving a platter of them to your guests. This […]




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