Birthday Chip Frapp

This post was sponsored in part by Social Spotters on behalf of Shamrock Farms, all opinions are my own. 

With Brando’s 1st birthday party quickly approaching I wanted to pick a theme that matched what he’s in love with. After a lot of deliberation we decided to have a “This Little Piggy” foodie themed birthday. So basically, we skip out on all the kitschy party decor, and go straight to what matters most: good food. While Brando won’t be partaking in this beverage, I wanted to create a non-alcholoic foodie friendly beverage for the party. This is an adults-only drink because of the amount of caffeine in it, but it’s so fun and festive for his birthday party.

Coffee drinks are my jamm, and I’ve literally only met like 3 adults in my life who didn’t LOVE a good coffee beverage, so this idea seemed perfect to match the foodie theme, and be a fun treat for our party people.

This recipe makes 4 drinks so adjust for the amount of party-goers if you’re preparing ahead of time.

What You’ll Need:

2 cups of ice 

1- 12 oz bottle of Shamrock Farms Cold Brew Coffee & Milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

How to make it: 

  1. Fill blender with 2 cups of ice.
  2. Add all ingredients to blender- save 1 tbsp rainbow sprinkles for garnish
  3. Pulse blender until ice is good and blended, then hit “smoothie” setting for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour into glass and top with leftover sprinkles.
  5. ENJOY!

This was such a delicious treat to kick start my mid-week slump, and it will be such a delicious treat for our baby boy’s party guests! Combining all of our favorite flavors (coffee, birthday cake, and chocolate) made for one spectacular concoction.

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Creating a Dining Nook on a Budget

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review. #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome #CollectiveBias

The newest member of our family, Baby Brando, is much more demanding than my first child Cash ever was. He loves to be held all the time, and wakes up much earlier than I had been accustomed to before he was born. While he goes to sleep early- around 8pm- he also gets up for the day SUPER early between 5-5:30am. For a while, I tried feeding him at 5:30 then laying back down and grabbing some extra sleep for an additional 45-90 minutes depending on his temperament, but I discovered in doing this I was actually wearing myself out even more. So recently, I started actively beginning my day at 5 when he wakes up.

It took a few days to fully adjust, but now I LOVE starting my mornings off super early. Typically after Brando is fed, he will go back to sleep for a bit and this gives me time to myself to get some blog work done, eat a good breakfast, and actually have some quiet time to mentally prepare myself for the long day ahead.

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In having this quiet time each morning, I like to have some space to lay out my laptop, coffee, and daily planner. Since we don’t have a formal dining room in this house, I was doing this on the bar/barstools for a while when I realized I did actually have space to put a table and chairs in my living area. I put this dining nook together on just $50 and I’m going to show you how!

First, I came up with my visual concept. The area by my front door has an excellent window for natural light to come through, and it was just housing a playtable and easel for Cash, with plenty of extra room. I took measurements of this area to know what size table would best fill the space without making it look overcrowded.

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After taking my measurements, I took to the internet to find a second-hand table and chairs within my budget. Since I wasn’t buying something brand new, and am not above painting things in my garage I wanted to stick within a $50-60 budget for everything including the cost of paint. I always use a spray paint with built in primer that costs $4 per can, for an average table & chairs which I wanted to paint white, I figured I would use about 5 cans so I factored in $20 for paint. That left me with $30 for a table and chairs, and while it took about 2 weeks of daily looking at the online listings, I found a deal to get a table with 3 chairs in my area for $25. The asking price was $40, but I simply messaged the seller and asked if he would take $25 to keep me within my budget and he happily obliged. I always recommend negating furniture prices online, as most people are just trying to get rid of the pieces for space, and if you’re willing to pick it up they are happy to be letting go of it!

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Once I had my pieces at home, I laid out a tarp painted them. This took about 12 hours in total for dry time. I did two coats of paint on the table to prevent scratching and get a nice even look, then one coat of paint on the chairs. Once the chairs were finished drying I went over their edges with a piece of sandpaper, to create a more “shabby chic” look.

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After I moved the kid’s table upstairs I brought my brand new dining table and chairs in, and set up an adorable Halloween centerpiece. To separate the living areas even more, I made a mini gallery style wall above the table with wedding photos and a wall art piece we were gifted for our wedding.

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With my dining nook finally done, it was time to relax and enjoy this space! My morning ritual is quite simple. After Brando is fed and laying peacefully back in his crib, I pop in a K-Cup® and let the caffeine work it’s magic. My favorite new way to start my day with my Keurig is with Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® Pods.

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Made from milk with no artificial flavors, these Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® Pods enable me to enjoy my favorite latte’s in the comfort of my own home! They come in 5 different flavors- 3 classic ones (Caramel, Mocha, and Vanilla), and 2 seasonal flavors (Peppermint Mocha & Pumpkin Spice, only available for a limited time). What’s even better is that they are available at grocery stores everywhere, so there’s no need to have to hunt for them! The process of making them is slightly different from brewing your typical K-Cup®.

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First you add your flavor packet to your mug, then you brew your K-Cup® pod, stir well, then enjoy!

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This morning routine is so much nicer enjoyed in my dining nook, and starting my morning each day with a Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® Pod is the perfect way get myself up and going on these super early mornings.

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What time do you get up in the mornings? What flavor of these Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® Pods would you try first to start your day with?

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2016 Starbucks® Corporation. All rights reserved. Keurig, Keurig HOT, K-Cup and the K logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission.

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Back to Brie

So you know what I’m OBSESSED with? Bistro Boxes at Starbucks, it was upon eating my first Cheese&Fruit box that I discovered not only was Brie cheese delicious, but it was also good for you! So for a while before I got knocked up I used to live off of Cheese&Fruit boxes, they aren’t too expensive, but at around $6 each (plus you have to buy them at Starbucks and you know you’ll end up getting an iced latte too, making it a $10 meal) they aren’t exactly wallet friendly.

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Starbucks Cheese&Fruit Bistro Box

However, for around $15 you can actually get enough stuff to have 6 at home boxes!!!
Here’s what you’ll need:

1.Apples
All you need is half of an apple to make a serving at home, while in the box they are Granny Smith apples, I honestly prefer a Washington Red, so I customized mine a bit.

2.Brie Cheese
A whole package is around $7 and it’s a whole circle not just the little triangle!!

3.Multi-Grain Crackers
I’m doing a low carb diet so I grabbed these flax seed crackers, super tasty and only 13g of carbs per serving! Also it doesn’t hurt that these are also GMO free and all organic! 😁

4.Almonds
To keep it healthy you want to use all natural, nothing added raw almonds, to keep it cheap I used the already sliced ones and just sprinkle them atop the Brie.
And last but not least

5. Dried Cranberries
Now don’t just go buy Craisens and think that’s okay, you want to ensure you get health benefits and no added chemicals or sugars, otherwise this isn’t a healthy snack. I bought Stoneridge Orchard organic ones and you can see the quality difference just buy looking at them, not to mention the amazing taste difference.

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So now you have all your ingredients the rest is a cake walk: cut a one inch section of Brie (100 calories), half of the apple (30 calories), 3 crackers(120 calories, and break them up into small pieces to feel like you’re getting more), and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (64 cal) and sprinkle some almonds on the plate (20 or less calories). There you have it, a mid-day snack or very light lunch that’s barely over 300calories, very low carb, and incredibly satisfying!
I’m scarfing mine down right now!

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Water and Waistlines,
B

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