Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Cat Is My Muse

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCatMyMuse #CollectiveBias

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad


If you follow me at all on Instagram, you know I have become mildly obsessed with my new fur babies: Mimi and Spooks.

As someone who never had inside pets, there has been some getting used to the cat hair (seriously, I think they pull chunks out just to drive me crazy), the litter boxes and their smells and the two a.m. bursts of energy where I wake up to Spooks running around in circles!

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

Mimi is almost 19 years old and spends her day napping in random spots around the house but I can always count on her to crawl over to my lap when I am working on homework and literally pin my arms down so that I can't type. (I can't even get mad, I don't want to be doing homework anyway.)
She is such a sweet girl and will "talk" to Houston; he meows and she meows back.

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

Spooks is my sweet brown crayon. First, let me explain the name: she looks like a big fluffy raccoon and even waddles like one, a spy mask looks like raccoon eyes, a spies are sometimes called "spooks" - hence the name.  She isn't the brightest cat, I mean she will literally run into walls and scare herself with her own tail, but she is as sweet as can be.  She has no manners and will jump into my spot if I get off the couch, proceed to drool all over the place and then wonder why I am looking at her funny.

I have had great joy, and homework distraction, while watching them play with random objects and my favorite is a simple bendy straw. Spooks loves them! They slide all over our hardwood floors and she can bat them around with her paws. I think she likes the noise of the plastic against the floor and that when she "catches" one she can chew on it. We discovered her love for straws completely by accident when one fell on the floor and she pounced on it!

Houston had a great idea to punch a hole in one end of the straw and attach a toy on the end.  I liked the idea and made a yarn pom pom. The pom poms are super easy to make following this tutorial.

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

Wouldn't you know it, Spooks was annoyed with the pom pom and just wanted to play with the straw instead!


Spooks enjoyed running around with her toy straw for a good 15 minutes; which is incredible because she has the attention span of a gnat and doesn't like exercise!

After she was done playing and Mimi woke up from her third nap of the day but couldn't be bothered with a toy. I imagine she would have told me she was too sophisticated for yarn.

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

Mimi has lost a couple of her teeth in her old age and both cats are enjoying that they get delicious wet food on the regular because of it. I've tried a couple different brands, but they would lick off all the gravy from the food and leave a big stinky pile of cat food in their bowls. No good, fur babies. No good.

Well, the nasty food pile is no more since I tried Purina Muse cat food. The girls gobble it up and then walk around begging me for more; I guess that is why Muse has the clean plate guarantee! It obviously tastes better than what I was serving them before, and I feel like a better fur mommy.

I also love that with Muse you don’t have to choose between natural nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

I even managed to snag a coupon for Purina Muse and purchased six cans for the price of three at PetSmart (Muse is exclusively at PetSmart which is right down the street from our house).


We decided to replace the plastic mat that we keep in the kitchen with a DIY bowl tray. All the stands I found were either too high for our fur babies or only had space for two bowls (we have two bowls and one for water). I asked Houston if he could make something and my crafty man said: "no problem."


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

We picked up a piece of wood, trim and some door stoppers at the hardware store and then got to building.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

Houston started with drilling some holes for the future feet.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

Then he cut corner cuts in the trim and nailed it to the base board. The trim will keep the cats from pushing their bowls off the edge of the tray.


Once he patched the holes with wood filler and sanded everything down, we gave it two coats of navy blue spray paint.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

We gave it a couple hours for the paint to dry completely and then we attached the "legs" - Houston had such a great idea to use door stoppers as the feet, they kept the tray from being too high for the cats and the stoppers mean the wood floor won't get scratched.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

I am so impressed with our new cat tray and Houston's handiwork. It looks better than I could have imagined and the fur babies seem to really like it too!


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // DIY Cat Food Tray //#MyCatMyMuse #ad

Houston and I had so much fun playing with the fur babies and doing a little photo shoot with them; it is definitely something we will have to do again in the future.


My Cat is my Muse // Pet Photo // Cat Photoshoot // Natural Nutrition Cat Food // #MyCatMyMuse #ad

So, grab a coupon and bribe your fur babies with Purina Muse because natural has never been so delicious. Put Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Plaid

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


The weather in Southern California is finally cooling down, and you know what that means: roll out the plaid! I am so excited to start wearing my fall plaid shirts and scarves and getting into the fall shenanigans. (As I write this the weather forecast for the weekend is in the hundreds again.)  First on my to-do list: visit a pumpkin patch!

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad

We were able to meet our family and some friends at Bates Nut Farm again this year and we had a blast walking around the farm and watching the kids enjoy all the fun farm activities: pony rides, petting zoo, bounce house, it was a kids paradise. Unfortunately for us adults it was 102 degrees outside and pretty miserable in the blazing sun.

When it came time to pick our pumpkins, Houston and I were just too hot to brave the direct sunlight for another ten minutes and we opted not to pick up one at the farm.

Luckily Houston and I have an amazing pumpkin patch down the street from our house (I still get giddy saying OUR house) and we met there after work to walk around and pick up some pumpkins for the house.


Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


Houston wanted a tall pumpkin and I was on the hunt for a perfectly round pumpkin - the fatter the better!

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


Houston looked so handsome in his plaid shirt (because that is what you wear to a pumpkin patch!) and HUGE belt buckle. - I love my California redneck.

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


It was too bad that the weather was still too hot for him to wear his plaid Ralph Lauren sport coat that I fondly call "hobo plaid" - the bright colors and patchwork are so much fun. I don't think another guy could pull it off quite like Houston does. He constantly gets stopped on his way to work in Los Angeles by people who want to comment on his coat/pants/outfit in general.

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


Even without the sport coat, He looked so festive and ready for fall. Now if only the Southern California weather would get the memo and cool down already - we are tired of the drought and the scorching heat!

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad


The pumpkin patch looked so pretty when the sun was setting and all the lights clicked on; there is something so romantic about bistro lights. I just love them!

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad

Houston is apparently "on trend" with his plaid; we made a quick trip to Target after the pumpkin patch and the entire store is decked out in plaid everywhere you look. Even the the LISTERINE® bottles are getting in on the plaid fun!

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad

Clearly the blue (Cool Mint) is my favorite, but the green (Fresh Burst) was a close second.

Pumpkin Patch Plaid // LISTERINE® Rinse Made Rad Plaid Bottles // Fall Fashion // Target Sale #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias #ad

I was even more thrilled that Target currently has a Cartwheel offer for an additional 10% off LISTERINE® - good 9/30/15 thru 10/31/15. That means you can save some cash for up to four bottles per purchase!

Fun fact about me: I am obsessed with oral hygiene and I floss/brush/rinse constantly. I should buy stock in dental floss.

Don't let the plaid fool you, the LISTERINE® is the same awesome product as usual, it is just getting into the Fall spirit like everybody else. Protect your teeth, friends; especially with all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes I have been seeing on Instagram.

What color would you choose? -- And don't forget to use your Cartwheel for an extra discount!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How To Make Mini Caramel Apple Bites


This shop has been compensated by Vons. All opinions are mine alone. #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias


Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


Mini caramel apple bites are so much fun to make and they are super easy. I like to take snacks for Houston's baseball team on Sunday afternoons, and the guys appreciate them when the southern California weather is really hot. My normal "team mom" snack is ice cold orange slices, but every once in a while it's fun to bring a sweet snack instead. It has to be something that is easily transportable and that doesn't spoil quickly so when I saw these I saw mini caramel apple bites on Pinterest I thought I would give them a try.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


Imagine my shock when I needed to purchase a melon baller and the one I found at Target was $10! Luckily I happened to look while I was at Vons buying groceries and they had a melon baller for only $3 #winning!

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


Making the apple pops was easy. I cleaned the apples and then used my new (value priced) melon baller to carve out circles from the apple. I managed to get about 8 circles from each apple - I was trying really hard not to be wasteful. I lined the apple circles up on a plate and inserted an oversized toothpick into each one.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


I purchased melting caramels (they come in little balls so they melt evenly) and followed the directions to get perfectly gooey caramel. A quick dip in a bowl and mini apple bites were covered in caramel.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


When I came time to put the toppings on them I got a little creative. I took Honey Nut Cheerios, which are a staple in our house since they are Houston's favorite, and I threw them in our new food processor that we got for our wedding! A couple quick pulses in the machine and they were completely pulverized. I tested it out on one caramel apple and its stuck really well without absorbing into the caramel sauce.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad

After I saw that the Honey Nut Cheerios were sticking to the apple, I had the brilliant idea to go get a different box of cereal from Vons down the street: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Lucky for me, the General Mills cereals were on sale during the Vons Stock Up Sale.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


When I opened the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it smelled like my childhood; I'm a sucker for anything with cinnamon sugar: churros, snicker doodle cookies and good old fashioned cinnamon toast with butter (that was always my favorite when I went to my grandma Jay's house.)

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


Houston is always happy to be my taste tester and he loved the Cinnamon Toast Crunch topped mini caramel apple bites. He said they tasted like a bite of apple pie. So I spent the rest of the afternoon making apple balls with my melon baller and snacking on more caramel than I'd like to admit. It reminded me of when my mom would buy apples and caramel from the store and I would eat the caramel with a spoon (my sweet tooth is no joke).

The only mistake I made was being impatient and not allowing the caramel to harden in the refrigerator before I took them out to take some photographs. The caramel started melting and made a big mess, but it was easy to clean up with some warm water and soap.

Overall I think my mini caramel apple bites were a huge success and I can't wait to take them to the next baseball game (we got rained out this weekend - the field was a muddy mess). I'm hoping to win some more points as "team mom" with my snacks. The mini caramel apple bites will be great to take to the baseball game, mostly because they are bite size, and a regular size caramel apple takes a while to eat. The guys can just munch on these while they are in the dugout without everything getting sticky or wasting apples.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad

I have so much fun watching Houston play baseball and I like going out on the weekend and cheering for him and the rest of the Legends. Now I will just be able to do that and enjoy a yummy snack.


Mini Caramel Apple Bites with Granny Smith Apples and Creamy Caramel // Easy To Make Snack // Baseball Team Treat // #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias #ad


What other General Mills cereals would you try as a mini caramel apple bites topping?


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to Make Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Treats4All #CollectiveBias

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

I will never forget the first Halloween that Houston and I spent together. He tried to warn me how many kids would be out trick-or-treating, but I brushed it off until the sun started to set and children began pouring out of their homes and onto our street. When I thought we had hit a limit on the number of people in the neighborhood, Houston pointed to the cars that lined the main street into the neighborhood; parents literally drive their kids to our neighborhood for trick-or-treating. It was like the neighborhood from Hocus Pocus and it was so much fun.

Needless to say, we were out of candy (30 pounds of candy) in less than an hour and a half and were only giving one piece of candy out at a time. Yikes!!!


So the last three years I have stocked up on candy. Like, "the world is going to end and I have an entire storage bunker full of candy" kind of stocking up. I generally start working on my stockpile in September and use coupons and in-store deals to get as much chocolate as I possibly can!

Well this year I was a little preoccupied in the month of September (hello wedding month!) and I have just now started shopping for candy. Enter the JUMBO candy bags from Walmart. I love the Nestle assortment bags since they have Houston's favorite (BUTTERFINGER®).

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

While we were picking out our JUMBO bags, I couldn't help but grab a small bag of BUTTERFINGER® to make Houston's mom's amazing BUTTERFINGER® ice cream pie! She probably made six of them when we celebrated Thanksgiving last year and I have been craving one ever since; so, I decided to make one with Houston.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

I also decided that I was going to need something to eat, so I grabbed some STOUFFER'S® Classic Mac Cups from the frozen aisle - just microwave and eat. (That's my kind of cooking!) Normally Houston and I have to rush to get home from work on Halloween, but this year we can relax and enjoy a nice dinner before the kids start knocking on the door (Halloween is on a Saturday this year!)

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

BUTTERFINGER® ice cream pie is so easy to make - good if you need a quick dessert and bad if you have a sweet tooth like me.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Start with softening your vanilla ice cream - I scoop some out of the container into a bowl that I place in the fridge.

Defrost a package of whipped topping per the container's instructions.  Personal note: it will make you really frustrated if you forget to do this and have to wait two hours to eat your pie. Trust me, I know.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Chop up BUTTERFINGER® candies in a food processor (be careful, that blade is sharp!) until they are dust. Set to the side.

Chop Biscotti cookies in the food processor until they are fine. This will be your pie crust, so not too dusty.

Melt one cup of butter in a microwavable bowl and then mix with Biscotti cookies. Mix well so that the cookie crumbs are moist and cover the base and sides of the pie pan to create the crust.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Remove softened ice cream from the fridge and mix in the processed BUTTERFINGER® candies.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Carefully add the ice cream to the pie pan.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Place the pie in the freezer to set.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Add whipped topping, crushed BUTTERFINGER® candies and chocolate shavings to the top of the pie.

Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie with Halloween Candy // Perfect Fall Dessert // Fall Entertaining // Halloween Party Dessert #Treats4All #ad #CollectiveBias

Serve and enjoy!


BUTTERFINGER® Ice Cream Pie
_______________________________________________

Ingredients

1 bag of BUTTERFINGER® Fun Size candies 11.5 oz bag
1 cup processed Biscotti cookies
3 cups softened vanilla ice cream
1 container of whipped topping/homemade whipped cream
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons chocolate shavings for garnish

Instructions

Start with softening your vanilla ice cream - I scoop some out of the container into a bowl that I place in the fridge.
Defrost a package of whipped topping per the container's instructions.
Chop up BUTTERFINGER® candies in a food processor until they are dust. Set to the side.
Chop Biscotti cookies in the food processor until they are fine. This will be your pie crust, so not too dusty.
Melt one cup of butter in a microwavable bowl and then mix with Biscotti cookies. 
Mix well so that the cookie crumbs are moist and cover the base and sides of the pie pan to create the crust.
Remove softened ice cream from the fridge and mix in the processed BUTTERFINGER® candies. 
Carefully add the ice cream to the pie pan.
Place the pie in the freezer to set.
Add whipped topping, crushed BUTTERFINGER® candies and chocolate shavings to the top of the pie.


Serve and enjoy!

I would love to hear what you make with your leftover Halloween candy in the comments!