Thursday, July 31, 2014

DIY: Gold & Marble Coffee Table

My moving date is coming up extremely soon. I'm excited and nervous about moving to Philly and living alone in my own one bedroom apartment. To keep myself busy (aside from work) I've been daydreaming about an apartment with perfect decor. But, of course I have a budget and I can't afford a $300 coffee table. So instead of wasting money on pieces that I will likely get bored of in a year I did a quick DIY project and the result was just what I envisioned. I got an expensive looking coffee table for $79, not bad!

What you need:
  1. Assemble the metal part of the coffee table according to Ikea instructions.
  2. Attached the gold spray paint can to the spray trigger.
  3. Spray paint the metal - easy enough! Let dry for 24 hours.
  4. Cut two pieces of adhesive film 31" long. (If you splurged on the White Marble Peel and Stick you can skip steps 4 and 5.)
  5. Lay them side by side on the black shelf. I overlapped a little to make sure there would be no black showing through.
  6. Carefully peel the adhesive film and start adhering to the shelf. Just do a couple inches at a time making sure there are no air bubbles.
  7. Once both sides are adhered to the shelf, flip it over.
  8. Using a box cutter or x-acto knife cut around the shelf as close as possible to the edge. Make sure you have cardboard underneath. You don't want to cut your floor or table!
  9. Finish by adding the shelf to the dried metal frame per Ikea instructions. Add glass to the top.
  10. Done!

Monday, July 28, 2014

M&M Cookie Bars

It's Monday and I am counting down the days until I move to Philadelphia. I move in less than two weeks... 12 days to be exact. This weekend was filled with last minute errands and wrapping up my DIY projects (which I will be sharing soon). The best part of my weekend was being surprised with a going away party that J planned for me. I got to see a lot of my friends, eat good food, and play some games! I can't believe I'm moving so soon!

Who doesn't love cookies and milk? But, what about cookie bars and milk? Cookie bars are just as good, if not better! These super soft, easy to make cookie bars are filled with M&M's and chocolatey goodness. I made these for fun, but they would be great to take to a potluck or fun gathering this summer. I love baking and I especially love it when a recipe is simple. I will be making these again and I think next time I'll try some different add-ins.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 24

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup miniature M&M's


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredeitns to the wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of M&M's until evenly distributed.
  7. Press cookie dough into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of M&M's on top and gently press into the dough.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blueberry Protein Overnight Oats

This is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. All you have to do is stir, microwave, and sleep! It's ready in the morning after you roll out of bed and it's a great start to they day. It's packed with whole grains, protein, and antioxidants. I haven't tried any variations on the flavor yet, but I'm still craving this blueberry and vanilla version!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Serves: 1

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or enough to cover the mixture)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking stevia

  1. Combine ingredients in a mason jar or microwave safe container.
  2. Cook on high without the lid for 1 minute, 30 seconds.
  3. Close jar and place in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy in the morning!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July Obsessions: Throw Pillow Edition

Well... I am long overdue for a Current Obsessions post. My last one was back in March and I have to say I'm still obsessed with the T-Shirt Bra from Victoria's Secret. BUT. I have yet to buy the Go Be Lovely Candle from Anthropologie which I will be buying as soon as the Columbia Mall store opens. Yay!

This months obsessions are a definitely a sign I've been daydreaming about decorating my apartment for too many days now! Basically it's all about throw pillows. Throw pillows everywhere. I've made significant progress in buying pieces I love that are on sale and exactly what I want. I've also been doing some DIY projects to keep my budget in check.

  1. Fuzzy Pillow - Pier One $24.95Literally the fuzziest and softest pillow you will ever feel and it's under $30! There is pretty much no reason to pay more than $30 for a pillow. Ever.
  2. Diamond Ikat Pillow - Four Chairs Furniture $28.00
    I've been staring at this pillow (in magenta) for months now. There are several places that sell this pillow online, but I haven't found magenta at any other stores. I haven't bought it yet, but I'm sure I will justify purchasing it soon...
  3. Pic-A-Poppy Throw Pillow - Wayfair $19.82
    I bought the red oblong version of this pillow and I am in love with the bright, adorable pattern. I wanted some color in my living room and this was my solution. Not only is it a great pattern, but the oblong shape adds visual interest to the couch.
  4. Trellis Toss Pillows - Target $29.99
    The perfect pair of pillows for under $30 that will do the job of being neutral. I received a free brown sectional couch from a relative and these were my first purchase towards my first apartment. Love them and love the price.

Don't forget to check TJ Maxx, Marshalls, & HomeGoods!

Having an afternoon available means perusing the aisles of these great stores for ideas and great deals. I bought an amazing ivory shag rug from HomeGoods recently and yes I'm aware that red wine can come no where near my living room. These are my go to stores for cheaper pieces, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond is where it's at for all the essentials.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea with Mint

Summertime is in full swing and that means it's also time for refreshing cocktails and mocktails. I made this delicious iced tea that is perfect for any cookout, BBQ, or relaxing dinner. Brewing iced tea can be a nuisance, but these Cold Brew Family Size Tea Bags from Lipton make it so much easier to concoct flavored iced teas. This recipe plus some Firefly Peach Tea could be the key to a fun summer day! I can't wait to try out some more fun drinks this summer. Just looking at all my pins gives me a couple ideas that could make for a very refreshing afternoon.

This past weekend I went to a wine tasting at the Linganore Winecellars and came home with a raspberry wine... I think I'll be sharing a fun summer cocktail with that soon!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 Cold Brew Family Size Lipton Tea Bags
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, thawed
5 tablespoons agave
Fresh mint

  1. Place two tea bags in 8 cups of cold water. Steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of brewed iced tea.
  3. Place fresh or frozen and thawed fruit in a blender with agave and reserved iced tea. Blend until smooth.
  4. Strain fruit mixture into brewed iced tea. Stir and serve with fresh mint.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing

This light and fresh salad is a delicious side dish that is packed with protein and flavor. A quick addition to any meal is made possible by Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils and they are a beautiful thing! You can use them in so many different ways and can add any flavor your heart desires. Of course you can also use uncooked lentils and cook them yourself, but I'm all for convenience when it comes to legumes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-6

1 package Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils
Juice 1 1/2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the chickpeas, radishes, and fresh mint. Add the dressing and set aside.
  3. Heat the lentils according to package directions in the microwave or on the stove. Once warm add them to the other ingredients. Stir and enjoy warm or cold.