5 Steps to an Easy Football Party

I’ve been so busy thinking about this historical blizzard that is currently hitting us that I have barely put a thought to this weekend’s big football game!  I’m pretty excited to cheer on the New England Patriots to (hopefully) another big win.  I have a feeling that most of our readers will be cheering on the Seahawks, but we all can agree on what makes this game so special- the food!  Are you hosting a big football game viewing party this weekend?  Evite and Qdoba have teamed up to provide a great article with 5 Steps to an Easy Football Party.

catering-taco-bar

My favorite tip from this article is #3- ordering a catered meal from a restaurant.  While I love to cook, I love to be able to have time to watch the game and hang out with my guests.  For parties, I love to have the party catered and then I can focus on making one or two of my own favorite appetizers or desserts.  Qdoba offers a variety of catering options, including their nacho, taco, and burrito bars…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  Then, save yourself even more time by using Evite to send special watch the game invitations.

Once you figure out the main meal for your football party, you can have fun deciding what appetizer and dessert you can make for your party.  Here are some of our favorite game day recipes from the 2 Sisters 2 Cities archives:

Tex-Mex-Pimiento-Cheese-Dip.jpg

Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese Dip- This recipe always make an appearance on my Super Bowl menu.  This might be true for you too after you try it!

Mexican Pinwheels

Mexican Pinwheels- This super easy appetizer recipe has been pinned over 6,000 times on Pinterest!

Chips and Spinach Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip- Better than any restaurant spinach artichoke dip- trust me on this one.  It’s so good.

Slice of Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie- Don’t plan on leftovers with this recipe- your guests will love it!

Boxed-Cake-Mix-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies_thumb.jpg

Boxed Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies- These cookies are so easy to make and always come out deliciously puffy and moist.

Delicious-Salted-Caramel-Brownies-_thumb.jpg

Salted Caramel Brownies- I can’t wait to make these this weekend!  I love the perfect combination of chocolate, caramel, and salt.

To all my fellow Northeasterners- start digging (once it’s safe out!) and start planning!  And to everyone else, please send warm wishes our way and have fun planning your game day festivities.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Evite. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread Biscotti

Happy holidays!  I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday and getting some quality cooking and baking time in.  K and I had a strategic blog meeting earlier this month and we opted not to do our annual 12 Days of Christmas Cookies this year.  December is always such a busy month and we decided we would be able to enjoy our Christmas prep without all the self-imposed deadlines.  If you are still looking for some holiday baking inspiration, we have our archive of cookie recipes saved under the Christmas Cookies tag.

Gingerbread Latte

While we were together this year for Christmas at my parent’s home, K and I decided to make some Gingerbread Biscotti.  We knew it would be perfect holiday treat to go with our morning coffee.  We even used International Delight Gingerbread Latte creamer with our coffee to help meet our official holiday gingerbread quota! (Be sure to check out the the International Delight Member Delights’ program for coupons and giveaways.)

Our mom had found us this recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti and we had a lot of fun one afternoon baking together during T & N’s nap time one day.  We don’t often get an opportunity to make stuff together since we live on opposite sides of the country.  It’s also always a fun time writing up a blog post together- I do most of the writing and K focuses on the food styling and photography.

gingerbread biscotti 1

Gingerbread Biscotti
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 20-30 pieces
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring hands
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • A few grates of nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg)
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, pepper and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the dark brown sugar, the granulated sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the sugar and butter ingredients to the flour and spice mixture and stir to combine.
  2. Separate dough into two balls. Transfer first ball to the prepared baking sheet and form it into a slightly flattened log (approximately 11 inches by 2½ inches.) Repeat with second half of dough on the other side of the baking sheet. Meanwhile, whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy. Brush the egg white over each log.
  3. Bake biscotti for 25 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Once the biscotti has cooled down, move each log to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut the log on the diagonal into approximately ½” slices.
  4. Arrange slices (keeping a cut side down) on baking sheet. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes. Turn each biscotti over and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly golden all over. Transfer biscotti to a cooling rack.

 Source: Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Enjoy your last few days of 2014 and happy new year 2015!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Holiday Coffee Bar and Thanksgiving Recipes

Holiday Coffee Bar 1

Now that we’ve officially wrapped up T’s birthday extravaganza, I’ve finally started thinking about Thanksgiving…which is probably a good idea considering it is next week!  I have a whole section in one of my recipe binders reserved just for Thanksgiving recipes.  I’m also always adding to my Thanksgiving Pinterest board for hosting inspiration.

Thanksgiving Coffee Bar

Over the past few years, I have hosted Thanksgiving at our home and I am always looking for fun new ideas and recipes for the big day.  This year I have decided to do a full coffee bar set-up so that my guests can have coffee and their favorite International Delight Creamers before, during, or after their Thanksgiving dinner.  I was able to find four of the I.D. holiday flavors at Target today.  It’s going to be a very hard decision to pick which one to try first- Gingerbread Latte, Sugar Cookie, Peppermint Chocolate Truffle, or Pumpkin Pie Spice?!  To set up your holiday coffee bar, just add freshly brewed coffee, coffee cups, your favorite International Delight Creamers, a couple of spoons to stir things up, and a few decorative Thanksgiving pieces.

Coffee Bar ID

A few coffee bar tips- You may want to throw your International Delight on ice if you plan to have it out for a few hours so it’s stays cold and fresh!  If you are stocking up on International Delight for your Thanksgiving guests, be sure to sign up for their Member Delights program to get a free instant coupon towards I.D.  Also, you can create an easy and cheap table decor piece by searching Pinterest for free Thanksgiving printables.  There is a lot of great stuff out there…just print and frame once you find something that catches your eye!  If you have a single-serve coffee maker (such as a Keurig,) you could also set that up on your coffee bar with your favorite K-cup selection so that your guests can make their own cups of hot coffee as needed.  

International Delight Coffee Bar

I’ve also started picking some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from the 2S2C archives to make for next week.  Here’s my current list so far:

rosemary parmesan popcorn

Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

Sweet-PotatoYam-Casserole-_thumb.jpg

Sweet-Refrigerator-Rolls_thumb.jpg

Apple-Sauce_thumb.jpg

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

Do you host Thanksgiving each year or do you usually travel to family or friends?  What’s your favorite go-to Thanksgiving entertainment idea and/or recipe?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Soft Sugar Pumpkin Cookies

Soft Sugar Pumpkin Cookies 1

Wow- it is utterly amazing to me that it’s already the last week of October!  I can’t believe Halloween is this Friday!  Halloween is the beginning of a very busy few months in our home- T’s birthday comes up next, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.  It all seems to come in such rapid succession each year.  I always struggle with enjoying the moment when things get busy, but I try to set aside a little time each day to enjoy a relaxing activity.

Today I made one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time and changed it up just a bit for Halloween.  I took K’s recipe for Soft Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting and altered them just slightly to make Soft Sugar Pumpkin Cookies!  You don’t even need a cookie cutter to make this super soft, buttery cookies.  I love how each cookie turned out to be a slightly different shape and size- just like pumpkins!

soft sugar pumpkin cookies

This month I have been trying International Delight’s French Vanilla flavored cream with my coffee.  It was just perfect with my afternoon pumpkin cookie treat!  I’m feeling pretty confident the kids and my husband will enjoy these soft sugar pumpkin cookies for their treat tonight as well.

Soft Sugar Pumpkin Cookie with ID

Soft Sugar Pumpkin Cookies
Author: 
 

Ingredients
Cookies:
  • 4½ cups AP flour
  • 4½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (1½ cup)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tsp. vanilla extract
Frosting:
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup (5⅓ tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
  • Food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions
  1. Line baking sheets with silicone non-stick mats or parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Next in a large bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer combine butter and sugar, Mix on medium–high until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Next mix in vanilla extract being sure to scrape down the sides to combine everything. Gradually add in dry ingredients on low speed until combined, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using the large cupcake scoop or a ¼ measuring cup scoop out portions of dough and roll into balls (reserve a small amount of dough to make the pumpkin stems._ Flatten each dough ball with hand and place cookies 2-3 inches apart from one another on baking sheet. Take reserved dough and roll out tiny dough balls and attach to top of large, flattened dough balls. Pinch each “stem” to resemble a pumpkin stem. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then move over to a cooling rack.
  3. In the bowl of the mixer with a whisk attachment add in 5 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add in melted butter, vanilla and milk and whisk at low speed until smooth. Continue to whisk for 1 minute. Reserve a small amount of frosting in a small bowl and add a couple drops of green frosting for the stems. Add in orange food coloring to the large mixing bowl at this time and mix to combine. When cookies are completely cool, frost the round part of the cookies orange and the stems green. Leave cookies out at room temperature until the frosting hardens on top. Place the cookies in an airtight container and place wax paper between the layers.

Source- adapted from Annie’s Eats

International Delight is currently offering everyone who signs up for their Member Delights program gets a free instant coupon towards I.D.  This month, they are also giving away a DSLR camera to a lucky Member Delights participant!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} Apples by the bushel have finally started showing up in my local grocery store and farmers markets.  I will be the first to admit it- I’m a complete apple snob.  I grew up in upstate NY, home of some of the best tasting apples around.  We used to go apple picking several times each fall at our local apple orchard and I probably ate at least half a dozen apples  straight off the tree each time.  I have spent most of my adult life in Massachusetts and it can be a bit difficult to find really good apples around here…I find most taste like mush compared to the apples of my youth.*  However, I have found a few varietals at various vendors at farmers markets that can come close to my beloved Beak & Skiff apples.  And when it comes to baking with apples, my apple palate is not quite as particular. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} As we approach the end of September, our family is finally falling into the routine of our new school year.  T is attending his second year of nursery school in the afternoon four days a week.  We spend our mornings taking a walk, going to various activities, or running errands.  After I drop T off at school, N usually naps for a couple hours which allows me to catch up around the house and sometimes even start dinner.  This week, I was even able to find the time to make this Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake.  I’ve been buying up apples right and left around here in the search of delicious apples and now I have an entire fridge drawer devoted to them.  It’s also “Apple Week” at T’s nursery school so I knew he would love to try some apple cake for his after-school snack. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} Last year, T went to morning preschool and since N was a bit younger, he took both a morning and afternoon nap.  I used to spend those school mornings doing my catch-up work which has been shifted to the afternoon.  I tend to hit a wall during that post-lunch and have started using my Keurig again for an afternoon cup of coffee to keep my energy level up.  Nothing pairs better with coffee than a warm, delicious slice of cake!  I paired my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake with a cup of coffee flavored with International Delight’s Sweet Cream coffee creamer.  A perfect afternoon treat! Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10
 

A delightful autumn treat that can be enjoyed anytime of day. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for oil in baking and keeps the cake moist without the extra calories and fat.
Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (approximately 5 medium apples)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 pan. In a large mixing bowl, add in all ingredients through the chopped apples. Mix thoroughly and pour cake batter into the greased pan. Smooth into pan with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl with a fork. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over batter.
  3. Bake cake for 40 minutes or until set.

Source: Adapted from Pinch of Yum Here are some more 2S2C apple-inspired recipes from the archive:

Apple-Sauce.jpg

Crockpot Cider with Mulling Spices

apple, walnut, and blue cheese salad *If I ever start a band, I am totally calling it Apples of My Youth.  Don’t even try taking it. sister m signature

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hello Pumpkin Season!

While I am always a bit sad to see the summer come to an end, I am getting more excited by the day for one of my favorite seasons to arrive- pumpkin season! While it’s more  universally known as “fall” or “autumn,” I consider it the kickoff of a great season of pumpkin-flavored recipes and pumpkin pie spice coffee!


pumpkin pie spice

{Photo Courtesy of David from Spiced Blog}


International Delight is rolling out their Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer to your local grocery store over the next few weeks.  Be sure to grab a bottle to add a little spice to your morning coffee this September!  Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer is great with hot or iced coffee. Check out the ID website for more information on where you can find it.  You can also follow the International Delight Pumpkin Delight board on Pinterest for plenty of pumpkin pin-spiration.

Here are a few pumpkin-themed recipes from the 2S2C archives that I am looking forward to making this fall:

pumpkin bread

Stack-of-Pumpkin-Doughnuts.jpg

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Granola

Turkey White Bean and Pumpkin Chili

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Make Your Own Milkshake Party!

Make Your Own Milkshake Party

Summer is flying by (as always!) and we are trying to get everything on our summer bucket list checked off.  From time to time, we add new items to the list as we think of them.  We are enjoying our annual stay-cation this week and decided to start a new tradition- a make your own milkshake party!  While baby N was taking a nap one day, the rest of us concocted our own milkshakes to enjoy.

To get started, I bought several types of ice cream flavors and International Delight flavored creamers.  I opted to pick out two of the Cold Stone creamery flavors since we wanted a great ice cream flavor.  The two flavors I selected were the Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream and the Cold Stone Cream Founder’s Favorite (it tastes like a brownie sundae!)  We also added in a small amount of milk, blended it up, and enjoyed our own personalized milkshake recipe.

My three year old son went first and he (predictably!) picked chocolate ice cream and the Sweet Cream creamer:

chocolate and sweet cream

Since I love my coffee and cream so much, I picked coffee ice cream and the Sweet Cream creamer:

coffee and sweet cream

And finally, my husband -a huge Brownie Sundae fan, picked vanilla ice cream and Founder’s Favorite Brownie Sunday creamer flavored.

vanilla and founders favorite

Milkshakes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup ice cream (I used vanilla, chocolate, and coffee for our 3 types of milkshakes)
  • 3 tablespoons International Delight flavored creamers (I used Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream and Founder’s Favorite for our 3 types of milkshakes)
  • ½ cup milk
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Instructions
  1. Have each milkshake party participant pick out their ice cream and International Delight flavored creamer combination.
  2. For each milkshake, add the ice cream, International Delight flavored creamer, and milk to a blender. Blend for 30 seconds (or until fully blended.) Pour into a glass cup and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if desired. Serve with a fun colored paper straw! Rinse out the blender and repeat for any additional milkshakes.

We were all very happy with our milkshake combinations!  Speaking of milkshakes, what do you call these?  I know in New England, most people refer to ice cream and milk blended together as frappes.  I grew up calling them milkshakes and the word frappe doesn’t come to mind as easily for me.  What’s your favorite milkshake/frappe flavor?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mama’s Pickles

Mama's Pickles

T is the kind of 3-year old who loves pickles.  He’s the kid who requests them for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.  He’s the kid at the summer cookout who will be holding a pickle in one hand and a chocolate chip cookie in the other.  When I made my own pickles for the first time last summer, T was elated and started to refer to them as “Mama’s Pickles.”  The name stuck in our house and homemade dill pickles henceforth were known simply as Mama’s Pickles.

garden

One of the vegetables that I have planted in my garden this summer are pickling cucumbers (in addition to Marketmore cucumbers.)  The cucumbers have really taken off and are climbing all over my garden fence and the other plants.  I’ve already harvested quite a few of them so I knew it was time to make my first batch of Mama’s Pickles for the season, this time with my own homegrown pickling cucumbers!

Cucumber_plant

This recipe is very flexible and you can cut the cucumbers whichever way you see fit (spears, slices, whole, etc.)  T prefers “stick pickles”…his terms for pickle spears, so that is how I cut them for this first batch.  Feel free to halve this recipe or double as you see fit.

pickle ingredientsprepping pickles

Mama’s Pickles
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 6-8 pickling cucumbers, washed and ends cuts off
  • 6 cups water
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt

Instructions
  1. Gather three to four clean mason jars and put a couple sprigs of the dill and some of the pressed garlic on the bottom of each jar. Next, slice the cucumbers up into spears, slices, or keep them whole depending upon your pickling preference. Place the cucumbers into the mason jars.
  2. In a large bowl with a spout or measuring cup, mix together the water, vinegar, and salt. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture into each mason jar until it fully covers the cucumbers. Place a few more sprigs of dill and more of the pressed garlic on top (if desired.) Screw on mason jar covers.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 days. Then, enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you have the same love of pickles as my little guy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

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S’more Cookies

S'more Cookies

Well, it is officially the week of Fourth of July and you know what that means..S’more season is here!   What is better then (or equal to a s’more,) but a S’more Chocolate Chip Cookie combination.

S'more Chocolate Chip Cookies.jpg

The boyfriend and I have a bit of an obsession with chocolate chip cookies.  I feel like we haven’t baked much of anything else this year except for white sandwich bread and chocolate chip cookies.  My boyfriend has become a chocolate chip cookie baking-pro over here.  While he was gone today, I decided to make a new cookie recipe.  We had this bakery near our old house in New Jersey that sold really good cupcakes and cookies.  They had the most amazing S’more Cookies and ever since then I have been trying to recreate them.  This recipe is pretty darn close!

Plate of S'more Cookies.jpg

One Thanksgiving, my mom was making Martha Stewart’s recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and asked me to cut up large marshmallows to put on top because that is what the recipe called for.  We joked that maybe Martha didn’t realize they made mini marshmallows.  This particular cookie recipe calls for mini marshmallows, which of course I forgot at the grocery store.  Luckily, I had large marshmallows and got to cut them up like old times!

More S'more Cookies.jpg

S’more Cookies
Author: 
 

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup AP flour
  • 1 cup graham crackers crumbs
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3-4 Hershey Bars broken into squares
  • 1 cup of mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut up

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and then add both sugars. Once mixed, add in egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add the dry mix into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips (not the Hershey’s squares yet.)
  6. Scoop the cookie dough into 24 balls and spread out on two cookie sheets lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  7. Bake one tray at a time for 8 minutes, take out of the oven, closing the oven door so you do not lose heat. Press marshmallows and Hershey’s squares into the top of the cookies (I did 1-2 squares and then 3-4 marshmallows in each cookies). Put tray back in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. Repeat for second tray.
  8. Let cookies cool for 5-10 minutes and then move to cooling tray. Store in an airtight container.

Source- Adapted from Carl’s Bad Cravings Blog

Looking for more S’more desserts?  Try these:

Smore-Ice-Cream.jpgS’more Ice Cream

raspberry_truffle_smores

Raspberry Truffle S’mores

Frozen Cupcake S'mores {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}Frozen Cupcakes S’mores

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5 Things I’m Loving: June 2014 Edition

Keelin and I have been talking since the beginning of the year about putting out a monthly post with some of our favorite things each month.  Since we are approaching the halfway point of 2014, it seems only fitting that I actually get going with my first post of this new series!  We hope to continue these types of posts in the future as our way of sharing our latest finds!  Without further ado, here are my top five things I’m loving this month:

International Delight Iced Coffee

1.  International Delight Vanilla Flavored Iced Coffee: Although I love to make cold-brewed iced coffee, sometimes I don’t plan ahead and it can take 12-24 hours to “brew.” International Delight’s iced coffee line is perfect when I’m in a time crunch and need my iced coffee fix for the day!  ID’s iced coffee also comes in Original, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato.

fitbit

2.  Fit Bit Flex: Our entire family has recently jumped on the Fit Bit bandwagon!  The Fit Bit Flex is a pedometer that you wear on your wrist to track your daily steps, but is also estimates your distance, active minutes, calories burned, and sleep efficiency.  You can add friends who have a Fit Bit to compare 7-day step counts and that has proven to be a great motivator for me!

Here’s what the main dashboard on the iPhone app looks like:

fitbit stats

It measures my daily steps in 15-minute increments throughout the day:

fitbit steps

It even measures your sleep efficiency (at least I’m efficient at something!)

fit bit sleep

 

raised garden beds

3. Raised Garden Beds: Earlier this spring, we built raised garden beds using these very detailed and helpful directions from the Pioneer Woman.  We planted lots of vegetable plants about a month ago and we love checking out how things are growing every day.  I’m crossing my fingers that we will soon be making Caprese Salad and Mediterranean Dip with our garden bounty (that is if our pesky forest critters stay away!)  I’m chronicling my gardening journey this summer with Instagram- follow me at 2Sisters2Cities and search for the hashtag #barryfamilygarden.

Audible

4. Audible: One of my favorite hobbies is reading books, but I struggle to get through a lot of books these days with my two little guys pulling me in all directions.  I try to read at night before bed, but I usually get through a page and a half before I’m falling asleep.  I recently started listening to audio books via the Audible app on my iPhone and I’m loving it so far.  I’m already on book #3!  I try to use the app whenever I’m cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, or out running errands (without T in the car as he pretty much insists on listening to kid’s music 100% of the time.)
Dark_Sky_App

5. Dark Sky app: I love that the kids can play outside almost everyday lately, but summer weather can be a bit unpredictable with sudden rain and storms.  Someone recommended I try out an app called Dark Sky.  It can tell you (pretty accurately) if it’s going to rain or not within the next hour.  It also has detailed forecasts of periods of rain or clouds for a full 7-days on a hyper-local level.

So there you have it…my first round-up of things I’m loving this month.  What are you currently crushing on this summer?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

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