Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Party Time!!

This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SummerRefreshment #CollectiveBias

My Tropical Lemonade Stand Party!

 This was one of my favorite party themes thus far because it was so easy and fun, not to mention delicious. I was looking for a clever way to decorate my new patio, and show it off to my friends and family, when I came up with the coolest idea of a Tropical Lemonade Stand. All I did was pop up the folding table that I use for cookouts, cover it with a nude table cloth, and wrap a grass table skirt around the edges. I did this with all of the tables to carry the tropical theme throughout the whole set up. I then got a cute little tropical style chalkboard as shown above, and tacked it to the front of the table to give off the fun Lemonade stand theme, because summer is so much more refreshing with lemonade, especially when its Minute Maid® Lemonade!! I also added in some FUZE® Tea for those that love the traditional half and half. It came out so cute paired with an awesome lemonade recipe. It's one that I've been using as long as I can remember, and it's so super easy.

Tropical Lemonade Recipe!!

1 Jug of Minute Maid lemonade (I like the lemonade with mint)
2 cups of fresh sliced strawberries 
4 large sliced lemons 
1 handful or fresh mint 
4-6 cups of ice (depending on your taste)

Pour the jug of (already chilled) Minute Maid lemonade into the dispensing container along with the ice. (use as much ice as you feel necessary, according to the temperature. If it's a hot summer day you may want to add a tad more). Then add some sliced lemons, strawberries, and mint to each glass. In this case I used cute mason jars to match the dispenser. Then add the straws and the lemonade, it doesn't get any easier than that. I also added some of the sliced lemons, and strawberries into the dispensing container to add an extra hint of cuteness. I guess it just depends on what type of container you're using weather or not you can add some extra items. Everyone loved the taste of the lemonade, it's a good thing I made an extra batch because the first one went so quickly. (I added the pink swirled straws to match the napkins and plates for the table settings, plus fun colored straws look great in the drinks)

I also added a bowl of fruit salad, oh boy are you guys gonna like this next one. Since I was going with the tropical theme, I decided to do more than the usual basic fruit salad. I went with a much more interesting and fun tropical fruit salad, it had an amazing taste and texture. This was also easy to make, I usually pick things that aren't to complicated, that way they still remain fun to prepare. I love being creative and making things with my hands that in turn everyone enjoys. I also have to admit I loved it too!! 

Tropical Fruit Salad 

(makes about 12 cups)
12 mandarin oranges
2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 fresh cubed pineapple
5 sliced kiwis
3 cubed mangos

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
1 medium lemon
1 lime
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of poppy seeds

Dressing: Combine the honey, grated ginger and poppy seeds, along with the juices and zest from the citrus fruits (the lemon and lime) into a bowl and whisk. Then place it in the fridge to chill for serving when you're ready. 
Salad: For the salad itself just combine the mandarin oranges, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and mango into a bowl. Then when you are ready to serve it pour on the dressing, and gently mix to coat the fruit and serve. 

It is so fresh and tasty, not to mention full of color and pleasing to the eye. This is one salad that no party can do without. Paired with fresh watermelon and berries you're going to have one happy group of people. Last but not least I made some yummy jerk chicken and veggie skewers on the grill. Another quick and easy recipe!

All I did was marinade some cubed, boneless, skinless chicken thights in a yummy jerk chicken sauce. Then I chopped up some red, green and yellow peppers, purple onions, fresh pineapple, and mushrooms, placed them on skewers, then cooked them on the grill. I added a little salt and pepper, and with each plate put some of the heated jerk chicken sauce in small condiment cups, so everyone  could be dip their chicken or pour it on top. I made sure to cook the skewers well so that the sauce could caramelize along with the sugars in the pineapple, and they came out amazing. I made a huge bed of mixed greens and pineapple fried rice for the skewers to rest on. All in all I was very happy with how everything turned out. I also set up the cutest place settings for everyone. I made sure to continue with the tropical theme, and add a hint of pink. You guys know how crazy I am about!

I kept it all pretty simple as not to go overboard with the cost. I found these great paper plates that look gorgeous and are full of color. They also match my decor perfectly, along with the cute pink napkins. Then I figured I should use my knives, forks, and spoons instead of the plastic ones. I also made sure that whatever party items I did purchase, I would be able to use afterwards so nothing went to waste. The good thing is there wasn't any leftovers after the party, which let me know everyone was happy with the food and drinks. Thank goodness for Peapod, they delivered all of the groceries that I needed to put the party together. I have a very busy and on the go lifestyle, so it's hard for me to plan parties, but with the help of Peapod I was able to pull it off. They have fresh quality products, and great prices, with friendly and reliable service. Just go to their website, type in your zip code, then select your city, and start shopping. 

 They made it so easy, all you have to do is adjust the amount and click add to cart. There's a great little colored image of the products so you know it's exactly what you want. It's all laid out for you in your cart, and added up along the way so you know what you're total is as you add the items, that way you don't overspend. This is something that I commonly do, except when I shop with Peapod. All of the clever tools make it so much easier for me to shop and plan my meals. You get $20 off your first Peapod order and 60 days of free delivery. They have 1000's of weekly specials with savings in every category like the regular grocery store...just look for the red tag! They even double manufacturer coupons up to 99 cents. There's to many pluses not to use Peapod. Definitely check out their website, grab their app and give it a try, it's just to convenient not to. You definitely won't regret it, they have my full recommendation that's for sure. 

For the party I dressed in a pair of leggings and a tank top to look cute and remain comfortable. I had to run around and make sure everyone was good so comfort is always my number one goal. Fortunately it only hit 76 degrees so the weather was perfect. Thanks goodness because the smallest amount of warm weather makes me very uncomfortable, then add to that running around and doing a million different things and you have one sweaty and uncomfortable day, especially when it's an outdoor event. Everything went so well that next time I'm going to double the party in size, we're hoping to have a great halloween party in October, since my birthday is on the 5th. That way I can theme it for both Halloween and my birthday, what fun that should be to put together. Well, I hope you all enjoyed my little party as much and my friends and family did, I look forward to many more in the future. Please feel free to comment below with any fun party ideas you would like to see in upcoming posts, I'm always on the look out for new and fun ideas.
Have a wonderful week Everyone!!

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cupcakes, Makeup, & A New Outfit!!

Cupcakes, Makeup, & A New Outfit!!

Happy Saturday Dolls, the Dessert Diva is back with some super sweet treats from a great little spot called Fresh Bakery!! They're in a shopping center located at 10351 Reisterstown Rd, in Owings Mills MD 21117. I just love their adorable square cupcakes, boy are they good. 
Cupcake listed as shown in the image above. There are four fabulous flavors.
Top left: Outerbanks (chocolate on chocolate).
Top right: Key Lime.
Bottom left: Raspberry lemonade (my fave)
Bottom right: Nantucket (vanilla on vanilla)

The bottom left was my favorite, only because raspberry is my absolute fave. Plus it had a yummy lemon twang that gave it a fantastic flavor profile. The cake was super moist and full of flavor, but not overbearing so it paired perfectly with the super sweet icing. I really loved their fresh flavors, and can definitely say I'll be going back for more. They also deliver, so I can see myself getting chubby this winter!!

They also make cakes for weddings and special occasions, but I think I have a cake that is gonna blow you guys away!! This is the cutest cake I have seen all year, I definitely can't wait to hear what you guys think. Have you ever seen a cooler cake? Unicorns are definitely one of my big loves and they're also super popular right now. What gal doesn't love a unicorn, especially when it's covered in icing flowers!! If you look at the 2nd image, you'll see how they created a mane of flowers.

 They used pink and yellow roses, with little blue pearl centered filler flowers.  Then if that wasn't awesome enough, as you move your eyes a little bit you'll see that they added glitter so that the flowers sparkle. I just couldn't think of a more awesome idea, though I should have asked her if the horn and ears were!! I can see myself getting one of these for my next party.  Then they added a dripping effect with the tiny candy dots at the bottom, boy did they knock this one out of the park. Hmmm.. I wonder what cake flavor I would get....chocolate, vanilla, or something crazy like that birthday cake mix that has the little multi colored dots inside. That way it would be just as colorful inside as outside. What do you think, what flavor cake would you go with?

Now thats enough about sweets, I better get off the subject before I am on my way back to Fresh Bakery for some! I want to share a cute new outfit that I got with you guys. I really love the embroidery trend that's super popular right now, so I scooped a couple of cute pieces. The top came from American Eagle Outfitters and the shorts I got from Amazon. The roses aren't exact but I think they're close enough. I decided to sport my white Micheal Kors sandals and vanilla crossbody bag set to finish it off. I really love the white color for the summer season, especially with a white top such as this one. All together this outfit (shorts and tank top) costs me $40 bucks, so I'm pretty proud of myself. A sale is one thing I just can't pass!! Do you think the embroidered roses are to far off, or they go together good? I have been looking all over for shorts with the embroidered roses and these were the only ones I could find in my size, that were really cute. If you know a place were I can find a pair, please let me know below in the comments, because it's really been a task. 

I really like the destroyed denim, though I do wish they were a little bit longer. Either way they're super cute, and in the meantime I'll just keep on looking. I hope to score a cute pair of jeans for fall and winter with a good embroidery design. Have you seen the new embroidered Gucci jeans...omg are they gorgeous. I wish more than anything that I could afford them, but $1200 dollars for a pair of jeans is a bit out of my price range, so I'll try to find the next best thing. 

This adorable top is made of the softest cotton and feels amazing on my skin, this is what convinced me to buy it about 2 months ago, that and it was on sale. I just got lucky that it matched the shorts really well. Don't you love it when that happens? AEO always has cute tops, it's one of my favorite spots to schmy around when I go into the mall because I always find something cute at a good price. 

Last but certainly not least I added this little beauty to the outfit. It's a Welly Merck watch and it's gorgeous, not to mention it has a classic look in gold that matches just about anything. It's goes especially well with the pink embroidered roses on my outfit. The face is so feminine and chic, it has quickly become my favorite watch. To get one of your own check out the Welly Merck Website  and use the code DANAWM20 at checkout and get 20% off of your order. You can't beat that, especially when it comes to such a beautiful time piece. 

I also have a great beauty product to share, as well as a shot of a yummy meal I put together this morning. I call it my famous Southwest Grits and wow is it good. It's so easy to make that anyone can do it. Just make yourself a nice bed of grits, with fresh roughly chopped cilantro mixed in. Then top it with a mound of black beans, and garnish it with tomatoes, green onion, cheese (mozzarella or feta will work) and top it with a fried egg or two. Make sure you have a runny yolk, because this adds an amazing flavor to the grits and fresh veggies. Make sure you cut all of the garnishings and have them ready because you want to eat it while it's all still hot hot!! It tastes best that way.

Then I washed it all down with a fresh glass of OJ, nothing is better for breakfast. Notice that the Raspberry lemonade cup cake from Fresh Bakery is making an appearance again here...boy was it good!! Then also making an appearance is the newest beauty product in my daily routine, it's a loose powder by Lancome called Translucence. As most of you that follow my Instagram page know, most of the beauty products I use are made by Lancome, because they're quality products that I can feel good about buying. This loose powder is fantastic. I can wear it and get great coverage without feeling like I'm wearing a ton of makeup on my face. There's nothing i hate more than my skin feeling all caked up, and this powder is weightless on my skin. I like to sport the natural look and Translucence let's me do that with confidence. I definitely recommend you give it a go, you won't regret it!!

To see the review video on Translucence just check out my Instagram page. 
I received the Translucence free of charge from Lancome, and all opinions are 100% mine and mine alone!! #honestreview #gifted #octolyfamily. To get some of your own check out Octoly Have a great weekend everyone, I'm going to Six Flags on Monday, and I'll definitely share the trip with you guys. Also check out my Instagram Page for a couple HUGE GIVEAWAYS going on right now, and starting tomorrow Sunday Aug 6th 2017, at 4pm est.