Spiritual Sunday - "Anyways..."

This quote says it all.  Make today a great one full of love and smiles.



Sublime Saturday - "Buttermilk Blonde Sheet Cake"

Oh man do I adore sheet cake.  Yummy is an understatement to this classic dessert, but sometimes I need something a bit lighter in taste then classic chocolate texas sheet cake.  And that is why I have this Blonde version of the original masterpiece.  Oh heavens is this divine.  I whipped this up a few Sundays ago for dessert, and the entire sheet was gone in three days from our little family of four.  Unfortunately I was the one who ate half of it, too bad it's swimsuit season!  Oh well, the extra calories were worth every single incredible bite.  Enjoy and have a Super Saturday with your loved ones.  We will be busy swimming with the kiddos, having a make your own pizza party with friends and all the boys, and enjoying a much needed date night with the Hubs. 

BLONDE  Buttermilk TEXAS SHEET CAKE, with Coconut (adapted by Me!)
  • 2 C. Sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 egg whites, beaten and at room temperature
  • 2 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt (I use sea salt)
  • 1 1/2  C. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (pure, not imitation)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (pure, not imitation) 
Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg whites.  Mix together flour, soda and salt, and set aside.  In a bowl mix extracts with buttermilk and set aside. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternating with the buttermilk mixture.  DON'T OVER MIX. Pour on a buttered jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with sides).  Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, just until barley golden around edges only.  Cool completely then top with Buttermilk Icing.  Enjoy!
  • 1 stick (1/2 a cup) room temperature butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1, 16 ounce box of powdered sugar, or 3-4 cups.
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes
  • 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, I always do half the pan with nuts, the other half without)
Melt Margarine on stove on low heat, then remove from stove.  Add buttermilk. Whisk in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Add extracts and stir, then mix in coconut and nuts.  Cool completely then frost cooled cake. 


Fashion Foward Friday - "Statement Rings"

A big, bold statement ring is definitely one of my accessories of choice.  If asked whether I would choose a bangle or cocktail ring, the ring would win by a land slide.  My love affair with statement rings is borderline obsessive and unhealthy.  I have so many vintage inspired rings that they are spilling out of my jewelery cache.  I could look at them all day, little bits of beauty and perfection.  Some of my favs for the summer are my turquoise and aged gold ring that is HUGE, and I also love my mother of pearl little white lovely.  Somehow I always feel complete after slipping one of those babies on.  Enjoy your Friday babes, and please do yourself a favor and wear a fabulous statement ring this weekend.  You'll be so happy you did. 



The Beauty Bag Thursday - "Natural Beauty"

I've always taken the liking to a Natural look when it comes to style, makeup, and hair.  I adore when women embrace themselves and look "undone" yet put together, as if they didn't try to get ready but flawlessly rolled out of bed that way.  Who wants to spend an hour in front of a mirror when the day has so much to offer?  Personally, I'd rather spend 30 minutes, tops, getting ready and the other time having fun with my kiddos and hubby.  For this reason I rely on my tinted Tarte lip stain and eyebrow pencil as I have mentioned before.  These two products along with my Cerave skincare routine set me in the right direction, naturally. Luckily for me the Hubs actually prefers me natural, sans makeup so I really do try and apply this look to everyday.  The photos below are some of my favorite natural looks.  And on the note of natural beauty, is there anything more great then messy hair in a braid, ponytail, or bun that somehow looks polished and effortless?  I LOVE it!
Happy Thursday Loves!  XOXO

All photos VIA


Whimsical Wednesday - Toy room storage

Hello Darlings.  Toy storage has been on my mind as of recent due to the kiddos being home all summer, and the addition of a few new Lego sets.  By the way does any other mama out there have a kiddo who LOVES Lego Hero Factory Bionicles?  The new 3.0 series just came out, so we made a trip yesterday to the Lego store with my sister over at Swirls of Happy, and all four of our boys.  My oh my were those boys overly ecstatic.  Anyway, we personally do not have a toy room, because our extra room is currently vacant waiting for a little angel that will hopefully join out family in the next year or so (no, not preggo yet)!  Due to this we have the Ikea expedit storage cabinet that is PERFECT for toy storage.  We have the largest size and it truly is a godsend for an organized freak like me.  I have been working on cute little labels for all the bins and I will post photos as soon as I am done with this DIY project.  In the meantime though enjoy these toy storage solutions that are simple divine!  XOXO loves!  Make today a Happy Day!

The casters on these rustic wooden boxes are brilliant! 
Free printable labels from sissyprints.  I Love the industrial yet playful look of these!  Find them HERE
The numbered baskets are genius, and easy for kids to memorize
Chalkboard labels are always a DO and easy to make.


Tasteful Tuesday - "Teriyaki Sesame Chicken"

I LOVE Asian cuisine, and so does everyone in my little family of four.  In fact my boys fav dining place is Pei Wei.  This recipe is super easy, balanced, inexpensive and YUMMY!  I literally make it once a week as it is the most requested dinner in our home.  I wrote this recipe after making two styles of teriyaki chicken and tweaking both of them.  The combining equalled this great recipe.  Enjoy!
*** I always serve this over a large scoop of brown rice and sauteed broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms.
Top with green onion (scallions) and chowmein noodles is desired. 

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. of powdered ginger
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. of Sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 1 zucchini sliced into striped
  • 1 package of sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 crown of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces. 
  • Chicken Breasts cut into bite sized pieces
Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. corn starch
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce

  1. Whisk all the above ingredients together until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into bite sized cubes.  (I usually cut up 1 breast per person)
  3. Pour marinade into bag, and add chicken pieces.  Coat all the chicken and marinade in fridge overnight or for at least 5 hours. 
  4. Put oven on a high broil.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place chicken on sheet, making sure no pieces overlap.  Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sesame seeds over chicken. Broil for 10 minutes, then turn over chicken pieces and broil an additional 5 minutes.
  5. While Chicken is broiling saute' Sliced zucchini, mushrooms, and Broccoli Pieces in 1 Tbs. butter, and 1 Tbs Peanut Oil.  Before they are cooked through, add water to the saute' pan, put on the lid and steam until veggies are crisp tender.
  6. Next whisk the Brown sugar for the Teriyaki sauce with water, soy sauce  and corn starch in a sauce pan.  whisk continuously until mixture is a thick sauce. 
  7. Pour the sauce over the Rice and Chicken in bowls. 


Momma Monday - "It's all about the sandwich"

It's back to school time and that means sack lunches!  My kids do not like to buy school lunch unless it is pizza or chicken nuggets, so I almost always pack their lunch.  My boys are also picky eaters as I have mentioned before so I like to pack "mommy's lunch" anyhow so I make sure they are getting food they WILL eat to keep them fueled all day.  Below I have posted some fun ideas to make sack lunch sandwiches a little more fun. 
Sandwich Tips:
  • Try and always use 100% natural Peanut butter, and make your own low sugar strawberry jam so it is preservative free (and takes soooo much yummier)
  •   Load up sandwich goods on Aspen Valley whole grain bread with omega 3 and flax (Find it at Costco in bulk, I always freeze bulk loaves and defrost in fridge when needed)  
  • Use cookie cutters or sandwich cutters to make lunch exciting and put a smile on your kiddos face.  I own sandwich cutters which are sized to fit a bread slice perfectly so there is no waste of food.  They are adorable.  We own the dinosaur, and heart shaped one.  You can purchase your own HERE, compliments of Pottery Barn Kids.
  • Cut sandwiches into stripes and name them sandwich fingers.  Add a dipping sauce such as ranch for turkey, honey for PB&J, and honey mustard for Ham and cheese.  Kids will love dunking these fingers!  My boys gobble them up.
  • Don't forget a note from Mom or Dad or a sibling.  A simple note makes homesickness go away!
  • Always pack a little something sweet, We all need a little sweetness! I often add a Hershey kiss, or a Hershey's miniature candy bar.

This Sandwich on a stick is adorable.  Click here for the Recipe
All kids love crackers.  Pack some whole wheat crackers and lots of toppings so kiddos can create their own!  VIA


This is almost to cute to eat!  Make this with a Nutella and sliced banana filling add teddy grahams on the sideVIA

Love this!  It's beyond precious, and delish!  I adore croissants, and so do my boys. VIA


Sublime Saturday - "DIY Message Board"

I adore this idea!  It's so easy and use able.  Everyone has an empty frame laying around.  Grab some cute paper or fabric and place underneath the glass in a frame.  Grab some washable or dry erase markers and voila!  The frame becomes an instant message board.  I think this would be cute to put important phone numbers on for the kids, or the "rules" of the house, or even a quick inspirational message of the day.  Enjoy your sublime Saturday lovely ladies!


Fashion Foward Friday - "White Wash"

In my opinion there is nothing more classic for summer,as far as fashion is concerned, than a white dress.  Long, short, linen, gauze, cotton, silk, poplin... any fabric or cut, a white dress is best for any summer occasion.  With a few months left of our sunny summertime I plan on wearing white a great deal. 
Happy Friday Lovely Ladies, make it a Fabulous one! 

All images VIA


The Beauty Bag Thursday - "Thinking Pink"

I have been obsessing over Pink lips lately.  In this sweltering heat I really forgo the makeup all together and focus on a few key areas.  Mascara, Cream Blush, eyebrows, and Pink lips and I am set for the day and night.  Pink lips stand out and give so much color and warmth to the complexion that eye makeup isn't even necessary.  In fact if you don't apply minimal eye makeup with the pink lips you may risk looking "too made up".  I personally prefer the more natural, and easy going look for day, and stepping it up a notch for date nights with the Hubby.  My go to lip color of choice are Tarte's Lip stains as I have mentioned before, and Mac Lipglass in Pink Lemonade.  My twin sister at Swirls of Happy is an avid consumer of both beauty products as well.  Please go to your nearest Sephora as soon as possible and get pretty in pink.
XOXO my loves!  Make it a good Day!

Whimsical Wednesday - Yellow Kitchens.

Hello Lady friends!  Happy Wednesday.  I majorly dropped the ball yesterday on my Tuesday post.  For some reason blogger was having issues and my computer was not happy.  Any who, it's working today and the world is peaceful again :)  Today I am inspired by Yellow.  It's one of my fav colors, and I have accents of this sunny color all over my home.  It's cheerful, bright, happy, and reminds me of carefree summer days with my loves. Naturally, I adore this color pallate in the kitchen since this is where we spend most of our time, and this is where we are our happiest. So, lets get down to some inspiration shall we??  Enjoy these photos and I hope your inspired to add some yellow to your home design.  XOXO






Momma Monday - SIgning Off

Happy Monday!  Today my Momma Monday post is not a post... I know that is a little ironic "how can a post, not be a post"?  Let me explain... Today I will be home all day with my loves.  It's a play day, it's literally  momma Monday.   We will be baking, making play dough, watching movies, and making forts today.  With that said, I am signing off the computer and going to enjoy my kiddos.  I hope you also have a chance soon to sign off for the day and enjoy your lovies.   Come bake tomorrow for a delish recipe featured on Tasteful Tuesday. 


Sublime Saturday - Sprinkles Cupcakes

A few days ago I posted that I was on a mission to try the sprinkles strawberry cupcake recipe at home.  My lovely husband brought home a dozen sprinkles cupcakes for my birthday and I simply could not get enough of the strawberry one.  So I found the original recipe from Candace Nelson (Founder of Sprinkles) and started my mission.  All I have to say is "Mission Accomplished"!  They were divine, and the frosting was sensational.  I just adore that the frosting gets it's perfect pink hue from fresh strawberries as opposed to artificial red food dye.  I also am thrilled with the cake's texture and density. It is a very heavy, yet moist cake that's not to airy and crumbly.  It is mildly sweet, so next to the very sweet  frosting it is perfect in balance. The taste is VERY comparable to the real thing.  I was so happy with my results that I called my sister over at swirlsofhappy and she made the cupcakes the same day and also experienced success in her kitchen.  My next trial will be to conquer Sprinkles red velvet and traditional vanilla.  Wish me luck.  Please go make these this weekend, it will make your loves very very happy, and will make your taste buds sing. 
Happy Saturday Babes!
XOXO - Brooke
**This recipie makes 12 cupcakes, however I ate so much batter I got 11 out of mine.

Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.


Fashion Foward Friday - "Braided Please"

Today's fashion post does not involve threads.  No, it involves Hair, and Braids, and things that are Bohemian, Chic, and effortless.  Ladies I am referring to the summer trend of the side braid.  This braid has been on runways lately across the globe.  Not only is it just stunning it is quick, easy, and looks so natural(like your not trying) which marries perfectly with the summer weather and its carefree sunny disposition.  Salons in New York and California have been quick to jump on the braided boat also.  Some salons are offering braiding services usually at around $25 and will let you choose from their braid menu.  Some requested braids have been "the Bohemian" (side braid), "the crown" (braid on forehead going horizontally), and "the skinny" ( a simple single braid(s) placed sporadically around the head).  You better believe I have been rockin this trend as of recent.  Actually at least three times a week the side braid is my go to choice.  It literally takes 5 minutes, and leaves more time for loving, laughing, creating, and baking.  Go get your braid on and have a Fantastic Friday my Loves.
XOXO Ciao!

The lovely Bachelorette who remains a California beach beauty.

LC ALWAYS possesses gorgeous locks.
Sienna Miller (one of my fashion Icons, rockin the crown... STUNNING!

The Beauty Bag Thursday - Skin Savior

Being comfortable in your skin can have many meanings.  It can mean being confident, having a positive self outlook, and also it can be defined as literally being comfortable, as in not having an oily or itchy feeling on your skin.  Look no further to feel comfortable in your own skin both literally and figuratively.  I introduce to you such a great product it should be a secret.  Luckily for me my husband works in the dermatologist field so he brings home lots of great products.  I have mentioned one of my favorites before Cerave... My skin never had it so good until I used Cerave cleanser and lotion.  Anyways, the other day he brought home Skin Cueticals sunscreen fluid.  A fluid I said ? I was skeptical.  It's SPF 50 but I had been on a search for an effective, potent, new facial sunscreen.  I tried it.  WOW!!!!! It is indeed a fluid, and a tinted one at that.  I don't even have to wear my mineral makeup.  It seeps seamlessly into your pores, leaving a sheer tinted powder finish.  My skin is protected and left luminous.  I layer Stilla tinted moisturizer on top and my skin is good to go without makeup that would otherwise melt in this 115 degree summer heat.  This sunscreen has been featured in Allure and Glamour as editor favorites.  Go get some asap and feel good in and about your skin! 
PS, you can only purchase in your Derms office, but it does not require an RX.  Or you can purchase online HERE or from Amazon
Enjoy your new skin!  XOXO and have a thrilling Thursday Lovelies!


Whimsical Wednesday - Ice Cream Party!

I love thinking of fun ideas that get friends and families together. I also LOVE Ice Cream.  It's Creamy, and Cold and comes in so many delish flavors.  Gelato is even better. I will never forget the day I had blood orange Gelato in Newport.  That day changed my life, yes gelato is too blame.  Anyway,  how about an Ice Cream Sundae Bar for a Party?!  Any takers?!    This idea is perfect for summer.  It's casual, simple, and inexpensive!  It's an Ice Cream Party for cryin' out loud, who wouldn't love it.   This idea could easily be tailored for adults or children or both! 
I love the idea of using paper rosettes with some bunting to decorate above the Ice Cream Bar.  Find the Tutorial on making Paper Rosettes HERE by the fabulous Amanda Parker for Shindig Parties to go. I think these would make adorable Garland.

Get creative and make a color coordinated sign that says "sundae Bar" so guests know they can help themselves.  I think putting toppings in Mason Jars would be adorable.  I would add dimension with different heights.  Adorn cake stands with the mason jars, use teird stands to hold ice cream cones, and label liquid toppings such and Fudge sauce and Caramel drizzle.  Be sure to use all types of toppings.   Some of my favorites are  Crunchy such as Walnuts and Pecans, Granola, and Chocolate Chips.  Sweet such as Fresh Berries, Sliced Bananas, and Pineapple, and lets not forget the Sprinkles(especially for kids, because to kids life is complete with sprinkles)! Using chopped Brownies and diced Chocolate chip cookies is divine also!  On the note of Ice Cream has any one tried the new summer flavor from Blue Bell, Coconut Fudge??? Oh my let me tell you it is simply irresistible.  The first time I bought it I ate half of the tub by myself.  Please do yourself a favor and go to the store ASAP and treat yourself to this delish Ice cream, Okay I digress... Enjoy some inspiration Below and have a Sensational Wednesday Lovely Ladies.  XOXO