Tag Archives: summer

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1  cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

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Pour the rice and water into a  blender.  Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie

Tart, Ginger Cranapple Juice

homemade cranapple juiceIt seems like everyone is juicing lately. I have to admit, I’ve been on a couple of juice cleanses and I absolutely hated it. Let’s be real, ya’ll. No green juice is ever better than a real bacon and egg breakfast. And to be honest, I feel better eating high protein, low carb instead of the other way around.

But George loves apple juice. He is such a little kid sometimes. And I do worry about the boy’s sugar intake. I can be a real mom sometimes. So, I was looking for  a way to make a healthier, lower sugar, apple juice. Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup of cranberry juice (no sugar added)

I don’t have a juicer, so I made this one in my blender. It works well, but it would be smoother if you choose to make it in a juicer.

Peel, core and cut the apples into bite-size chunks. Peel and cut up the ginger. Add the cranberry juice to the blender first, then add the apples and the ginger. Blend until smooth and pour over ice. Enjoy!

Cranapple ginger juice

Tart and gingery! Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Do you think it lives up to the hype?

love,
melanie

DIY Ombre Sunglasses

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It seems like the ombre trend will never die, huh? Oh well. I love it and I’m not afraid to omber-ize everything– including my sunglasses.

Here’s the how-to:

sunglasses1Supplies:

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Step 1 (Optional): (Enlist your husband) to drill small holes into the ends of your sunglasses. This will allow the ombre effect to be carried to the ends of the sunglasses. If you skip this step, you will just have to end the thread earlier on the sunglasses and leave the behind-the-ear-part empty. (Fancy terminology, huh?)

sunglasses3 Step 2: Place a piece of tape sticky-side up onto the back of the glasses. This makes the process much easier because the thread won’t slide around.

sunglasses4 Step 3: Tie a knot on the end of the of glasses closest to the eye.

sunglasses5 Step 5: Begin neatly wrapping the thread around the sunglasses. This is where you can be creative with the process and switch up your colors.

Step 6: End the thread by neatly wrapping through the hole drilled in the end of the sunglasses. Tie a knot and dot the ends with fabric glue for extra strength.

Step 7: Repeat on the other side!

sunglasses6Annnnnd done! We’re ready to hit the beach!

love,
melanie

 

 

 

Saffron Lemonade

lemonade3 I watch the Cooking Channel while running on the treadmill at the gym. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not. No shame in my game.

The other night My Grandmother’s Ravioli was on and Mo Rocca was cooking with two adorable, little Indian women. I absolutely love the flavors of Indian cooking, so I was enthralled. Before the ladies began cooking, they served Mo saffron lemonade. My head almost exploded. I quickly typed it onto the notes on my phone and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

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I googled their recipe, but I modified it a bit. I try to watch my sugar intake.

Saffron Lemonade: Makes 16 oz.
5-6 lemons
1/4 cup of sugar
2 pinches of saffron
1 cup of cold water
A handful of ice

Squeeze the lemons, add the sugar, water and saffron, then add a handful of ice and shake. The longer you let the saffron steep in the lemonade, the stronger the flavor will be. I let mine steep about an hour and it turned a gorgeous orange color.

lemonade

The flavor kind of reminded me of kombucha, but less tart. Saffron lemonade is the perfect spring drink!

love,
melanie

 

DIY Dolce and Gabbana Floral Sunnies

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Do you ever see something you want and you just can’t get it out of your head? That is how I felt about these sunglasses. It was irrational, but I after seeing them on Pinterest could not stop! I was a mad (and broke) woman desperate for a pair of Dolce and Gabana sunglasses. Knowing that my bank account & I are not friends, I decided to break out my trusty glue gun and get to craftin’!

I’m super pleased about how this DIY turned out. It was super easy & so, so cheap!

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Step 1: Break out your supplies. You will need a pair of sunglasses (I found mine at the Dollar Store), a hot glue gun, rosettes, scissors and spray paint (optional).

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Step 2: (optional) I loved the look of the black flowers so I spray painted them. You could leave the flowers as is for a more colorful look. You’ll notice I enlisted the help of George for this one. He is way better at spray painting than I am. He also had the brilliant idea to tape the flowers to a piece of cardboard, so they didn’t roll around during the spraying process.

Step 3: Let the rosettes dry & heat up your glue gun. I also cut some of the “leaves” off the rosettes to place them closer together, but that is an optional step.

Step 4: Working your way inward, place a small dot of glue on the sunglasses. Put rosette into the glue and hold for 10 seconds or until cool.

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Step 5: (optional) Hit the beach in your fabulous new sunnies! You’re a doll!

love,
melanie

Love Friday: June 15th

Today I’m keeping it short and sweet. I’ll be in professional development at work all day. Ugh. And quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I’ve had very little time to do any internet souring this week. But I did stumble on the best flowchart I’ve seen in a long time via Teach.com.

I think I even discovered a few new books!

Have a beautiful and restful weekend, ya’ll.

love,
melanie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magicians

Tell me a book is about young adults dappling in magic and I’ll read it. Tell me it’s about borderline alcoholic, young adults dappling in magic and I’m grabbing the book out of your hand and running for the door.

The book I just gracefully snatched out of your clutches is The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

The Magicians is easy to compare to the Harry Potter series. Both are about young magicians attending a school for magic. Both feature a young man as a protagonist and are written from a third-person perspective. But that is where the similarities end.

The Magicians was surprisingly fast-paced and modern unlike the Harry Potter series, which is timeless, but can be a bit slow. The Magicians was also very adult, so I wouldn’t recommend this one to the kiddos.

Quentin, the protagonist, is an unhappy young guy who stumbles through a garden in Brooklyn and ends up at a school for magic. Quentin, always dissatisfied with life, thinks this new school may be the key to happiness. He makes friends, he meets a girl, he studies diligently, but he still isn’t happy.He graduates and soon after, his childhood fantasy comes true, but will it lead him to happiness? Dun. Dun. Dun! You’ll have to read it to find out! (How very Reading Rainbow of me!)

My favorite part of the book? The reality of it all. Magic, if real, would exist in the world of Grossman’s novel.The characters have major flaws. They drink, they do drugs, they have sex with the wrong people. They don’t wave wands or wear capes. They truly seemed like real people with a talent.

I also enjoyed the peach-Schnapps-drinking bear. Just read it, you’ll understand.

Have you read The Magicians? What did you think?

I’m checking out the sequel today!

love,
melanie