Sunday, May 27, 2012

We need a Vacation!

This post brought to you by Newport Beach. All opinions are 100% mine.

The weathers warming up - but life is certainately not winding down!

Does anyone else feel like they are in major need of a vacation?! We do!

How does warm sunny weather, white sandy beaches, fun family adventures and relaxation sound? Newport Beach CA has all of that and more!

The VisitNewportBeach website makes planning your Newport Beach vacation a breeze!  The website offers information on everything you could ever need - Hotels, Restaurants, Acctivities, Beaches and more! You can even make your hotel reservations right from the website!

When I clicked on the "Things to do" tab I was amazed to learn of the seemingly endless amount of activites that Newport Beach has to offer! I know my family would love to try out some surf lessons and the boys will definitely be excited to go kayak fishing.

While they are busy on their kayaks, the girls I can can hit up one of the many spas and treat ourselves to some relaxation.  In my family a vacation isn't complete without some shopping - and Newport Beach offers tons of options!  They have all different types of shopping from the Boardwalk Shops at the Pier to Fashion Island which offers great shopping and dining options. 

Speaking of dining there are over 300 restaurants to choose from! My mouth was watering as I was looking over the different options.  I can't wait to try the homemade pastas at Villa Nova, especially the Lemon Linguine with Shelled Dungeness Crab Legs, Fresh Tomatoes, Shallots and Asparagus Tips in a Creamy Tomato Sauce! Tell me you're not hungry now!  If fresh pasta isn't your thing (then your crazy!) But there are still plenty of options to choose from.  If you prefer a relaxed environment then the Beachcomber and Crystal Cove sounds perfect! Who wouldn't enjoy some Blackened Swordfish Tacos or a Filet Mingon Cobb Salad while looking out at the ocean?

There are also tons of great camps and activities for the kids!  They offer so many amazing camps that it would be hard to choose which ones to sign up for! No matter what your kids are interested in, they have a camp for it - There are beach camps, water camps, sports camps, science camps and much more!

Now is the perfect time for families to book a room at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Hotel because they have a special family promotion going on - When you book one room a full price you recieve a connecting room for children 18 and under at half price! This way your kids are just a room away and you still get some private time to relax, sounds good to me! Plus with three pools, whirlpools, shuffleboard, ping pong and golf all at your hotel you can't go wrong! Call 800-233-1234 and mention the Family Plan to book today!

Check out this great video to learn more

We love to hear from you guys so tell us, Why are you in desperate need of a vacation?

What would you love to do in Newport Beach?

Thanks for stopping by!

Now I'm off to dream about sunsets on the beach.....




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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pizza Party

Last week we went a little Pizza Crazy!

I bought some pre-made dough from our local grocery store along with a hodge-podge of ingredients and we went to town making some of the most delicious pizzas I have ever had!

We opted for some traditional (who doesn't love a plain ol' pepperoni pizza) and we also went for some a little more out of the ordinary 
(yup those are eggs on that pizza up there!)

Let's take a closer look...

Fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella

Pesto, shrimp, mushrooms, red peppers and gouda cheese

Pesto, asparagus, prosciutto, mushrooms and feta

Tomato sauce, pepperoni and fresh mozzarella

Crispy Prosciutto, gouda cheese and sunny side up eggs

Next time you find yourself reaching for that pizza delivery number, 
try this instead! 
Trust me, making pizza at home is a lot more satisfying then waiting for the delivery driver!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beautify It Monday #9

Thank you all for participating in lasts weeks Beautify it Monday! 
We had so many amazing posts that left us inspired all week!


1 Breakfast Bananas Fosters - Quality Cheap Home . 2 Antiqued Clothespin Art - Burton Avenue . 3 Pesto Spaghetti Squash - Couponing and Cooking . 4 Coffee Tray - The Stonybrook House 

So what have you been working on this week? 
Don't have anything to share - stick around anyway and get inspired!

You know the rules..
Follow our blog with GFC or Linkys
Follow us on Facebook
Please only post original things that you haven't shared here before
View at least two other posts and leave a comment to make someones day!
Who doesn't love comments?

Bringing Beauty

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Almond Cookies

This is the post that we did for last week's Blog Swap hosted by 

In case you missed this post over at My Favorite Finds you can check it out now!

Peanut Butter Almond Cookies! 

If your a peanut butter lover (like us) then these just might 
be your new favorite cookie! 

These cookies are so moist and bursting with chunky peanut butter....

(Is your mouth watering yet?)

Here's what you need..

1. Cream together peanut butter, butter and sugars in an electric mixer

2. Add the eggs one at a time
3. In a separate bowl sift together the remaining dry ingredients

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture
5. Refrigerate between 30 minutes and an hour
6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls

7. Flatten with a fork and top with almonds 

8. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

Grab a glass of milk and Enjoy!

We hope you guys enjoyed this recipe - 
We are so happy to share it with you!

Thank you for stopping by!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gumpaste Roses

For those of you who look at beautiful cakes with sugar flowers and think, "I'll never be able to do that," it's time to THINK AGAIN!  Sugar roses are easier than you think.  This was my first time making them, and I was amazed (and a little proud) of how nicely they turned out, not to mention that they're the perfect accessory to my communion cake.

What You Need:
- Gum paste
- Floral wire
- Green floral tape
- Petal cutters (various sizes)
- Soft pore-less sponge (I used a clean make-up sponge, but a large kitchen sponge would be better if you can find one.  Think magic eraser but without the chemicals on it) 

Step by Step:
1.  Start out by wrapping your floral wire in floral tape.  Wrap it thicker on the top.
2.  Next, roll a small ball of gum paste, and create a cone shape at the top.

3.  Roll out the gum paste, and use your petal cutter to cut out the first layer of petals.

4.  Place the petal on your sponge and use your round petal tool to round out the outer part of each petal by lightly pushing down and rubbing the edge.

5.  Pierce a hole through the center and thread your floral wire piece through the hole.  Attach each petal with a paint brush and egg whites.  Alternate the pattern by using the petals across from each other instead of the ones next to each other.
6.  Repeat this step several times until you achieve the look and size that you want.  If you are making larger roses, start with a smaller petal cutter and increase the size with each layer.

7.  Hang each rose upside down to dry.  I placed a wire rack on the counter and let if hang off the edge a little for easy drying.

8.  Allow the flowers to dry for 1-2 days before using.  If you are pressed for time, you can get away with using them after a few hours, but the more time they have to dry the better.

Happy Flower Making!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Beautify It Monday #8

Welcome Back  to Beautify It Monday!
Sorry for the delay this week but we were very busy with Mother's Day yesterday!

Here are last weeks most viewed:

Apple Pie Apples from Deep in the Heart of.. Arkansas!

Stenciled Rug from Days of Chalk and Chocolate

You know the rules..
Follow our blog with GFC or Linkys
Follow us on Facebook
Please only post original things that you haven't shared here before
View at least two other posts and leave a comment to make someones day!
Who doesn't love comments?

Bringing Beauty

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blog Swap: My Favorite Finds

Hi everyone! We are over at My Favorite Finds today guest posting.. 
The Beautify It Monday features will be up tomorrow morning..

Here's our guest today..

Hi, Bringing Beauty readers!  My name is Carrie, and I blog over at My Favorite Finds.  My blog is a compilation of recipes, tutorials, Disney travel tips, menu planning, and organizing tips.  I hope you'll stop by and find some joy!

I'm super excited to be here today as part of the......

We are getting ready to head to the "World" this summer....for the fourth time :).  As we've been working our way through the countdown, I thought it would be fun to add a little "surprise" every time we hit a "10" day {30, 20, 10}.  

Each time we take off the countdown day for a "10" day, each of the kids is going to get a fun treat in these Mickey bags I made.  Seriously, it took me twenty minutes.  I've been collecting Disney themed treats over the past few months, and I've got quite the stash going on!  

Here are some items that I've been collecting:
*Disney Pjs 
*Toy Story and Cars Word Search Puzzle Books
*Disney sunglasses
*Phineas & Ferb and Tinkerbell Pez dispensers
*Park Maps {you can design and order these for FREE on}
*Glow sticks, wands, and bracelets {for the night parades}
*Princess Color Wonder coloring book/Princess markers
*Gummy bears, mentos, Lifesavers peppermints

I've got more stuff, so I'll save some for surprises in the car and when we get there.  If the bags survive the next 40 days, I might take them with me and put their surprises in their bags at our resort.  We'll have to see how long they last :).


Cut two sizes of circles out of Disney scrapbook paper.  Using a glue stick, attach the circles in the shape of a Mickey head to the bag.

I got my bags at the Dollar Tree, and used some of the paint chips from the countdown to initial each child's bag using scrapbooking stickers.  I think I have an obsession with monogramming, or the teacher in me wants everyone's things labeled, or.....I'm must be crazy.  Who knows.  

I think these would be cute for treat bags if you're having a Disney themed birthday party, too.  

How do you make vacation special for your family?  

Looking for more Disney travel ideas?  You can find me on Chip and Co. {my FAVORITE Disney planning site} where I share my tips with thousands of readers every week.  

If you liked this tutorial, you might also enjoy:

Carrie thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this great craft idea!

We hope that you will all take a minute to check out her blog - 
You won't be disappointed!

Come back tomorrow for Beautify it Monday and features from last week!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Because It's Friday - Liven Up Your Garden

Here are some of the most unique and attention grabbing planters that we've come across

Use those out-grown or thrifted rain boots to liven up your garden fence!

Recycling old tires as planters can add interest to your garden and help the environment at the same time!

Vintage colanders make perfect planters with built in drainage! 

With a little imagination old tin cans can become spectacular planters

Add some whimsy to your garden with old furniture

Have these planters ignited your the creative gardener inside you?
Well, if anything we hope we've left you with some  
inspiration for your weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spider Man Cookies

If your short on time and need that special snack for an upcoming play date, don't get caught in a web, these spider man cookies are quick and easy to create and will have your guests believing that you're the one with SUPER POWERS...

What you need:
- Round cookies
- Fondant (Red, White, and Black)
- Black Royal icing in a pastry bag with a #2 tip
- Xacto knife
- Eye Template (

To Make the Eyes:
1.  Copy and paste the template into the program of your choice (I use Microsoft Word, Paint, or Power Point). 
2.  Draw a circle the size of your cookie, and resize the eyes to fit in the circle

3.  Cut out your eye template.
4.  Using the template, cut out the Black part of the eye first using your xacto knife, and then repeat the process for the White part of the eye.
5.  Attach the White eye to the Black eye using a paintbrush and a little water, and set aside.

To Make Spider Man:
1.  Cover your cookie with Red fondant
2.  Pipe a spider wed with your Black royal
3.  Add the eyes

To Make the Web Cookie:
1.  Cover your cookie with White fondant
2.  Pipe the spider web with your Black icing
3.  Add a Red fondant spider to complete the look

Being that there's no drying time needed for fondant cookies, you'll only need give your royal icing webs about a half an hour to dry and you're good to go. 

One look at these edible masterpieces, and you'll have the neighborhood kids lined up at your door for a play date!

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