Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

Friday, November 21, 2014

15 Festive Appetizers

Check out 15 Festive Appetizers
by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Check out 15 Festive Appetizers
 by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe it's the final weekend before Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday season! This year has to have flown by faster than any other year I can think of. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving a little early, opting for a family dinner at my Dad's house this Sunday and then at my Mom's house on Monday. They both live 3-4 hours away so we don't travel down to see them very often with the kid's busy school schedules. 

I'll still be doing most of the cooking, and then on Thanksgiving we will be back up at home and have been invited to my friend's house to feast - and I'm planning on bringing a variety of appetizers to snack on, so I've been collecting recipes on Foodie.com. Who doesn't love munching on meats and cheeses? Appetizers are sometimes my favorite thing from a holiday feast! 

15 festive appetizer ideas from #foodie #sp

There are a several staple ones that I make every year, like the bacon wrapped Lil' Smokies and meat and cheese pickle wraps, and of course a big meat and cheese platter, but then I like to find a couple of others to serve as well - I make the stuffed sweet peppers one year and it was a huge hit! Sometimes I feel that everyone is so busy prepping for the 'big' meal that appetizers get a little bit forgotten, and they shouldn't be! I think it's because in some cases they are tiny bites of art pieced together into a pretty presentation.

What are your go-to appetizers to make? Do they differ during the holidays versus the rest of the year? (More festive?) I'd love to hear!

~Melissa
Compensation was provided by Foodie via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Foodie”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flowers in The Fall

 The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

Today was a pretty good day without too much running around. I did a little grocery shopping this morning, then my friend Jessica and her son came over for lunch and Noah and her son Gage played for a while while we chatted, then I tackled cleaning out our Expedition - I don't know why it still amazes me just how messy kids are...at least mine. We are heading down to southern Oregon this weekend for a few days to visit my family and have an early Thanksgiving, so I'm trying to get everything ready and packed for our little road trip.

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

So I've been meaning to share this for a while, but it's been busy and I just haven't taken the time to upload the photos until now. These were the beautiful flowers I received last month from The Bouqs Co. I don't normally write a lot of reviews on here, but when I was offered a gorgeous bouquet in exchange that I share some pretty pictures with you - um well I couldn't resist! The flowers were delivered to me on October 30th, but with Halloween and all of the parties that week, I didn't get to photographing my pretty display until a week later. Yes, these flowers are taken after a week of sitting on my kitchen table. There's a tad bit of darkening on the tips of the roses, but seriously? I was in love. 

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 The flowers stayed on my table for two weeks before I finally said farewell to them. Two weeks of beauty in my house. I have always loved flowers, loved how delicate and intricate they are, and how they always seem to brighten and freshen up any home. With the short winter days now in full swing and the darkness creeping in by 5:00 pm, I really need something colorful to cheer me up and these definitely did the trick... plus what girl doesn't love flowers delivered - even if you ship them to yourself?? :) 

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 The Bouqs Co. offer a bunch of different gorgeous fresh bouquets for you at a really good price too - they are shipped to you 2-4 days after being cut unlike many other places that send them after 10-14 days.

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 Looking at this (the BBQ'n Bouquet) makes me want to jump and order another bouquet right now!! Do you keep flowers in your house during the winter?

~Melissa
^This post contains affiliate links. No compensation was received for my review. All opinions are of my own.^ 

Register with The Bouqs Co. & receive 15% Off your next order & FREE SHIPPING! Get your discount code and send gorgeous flowers today. Click here!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

Two posts in one day? Yep, I've had two cups of coffee, the girls are in school, and Noah is busy playing so I decided to catch up on posting more things that I've been up to lately! After I came home Saturday night (we were home by 9:30) I decided to have a little girl’s movie night, so I hopped into my favorite flannel pajamas and pulled out a few movies that I bought at Walmart last week. They have a huge selection of $5 movies, many of which I haven’t seen yet because, well, I’m a busy lady. J I of course grabbed one of my favorites of all time The Notebook, and a couple of others – The Blindside and Horrible Bosses.  When I purchased the movies I also stocked up on Orville Redenbacher’sPopcorn and M&M's® because what lady doesn't want to snack on those while relaxing on the couch??

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

But you know me, sometimes I tend to get a tad creative and find myself coming up with new ideas…and so somehow I thought, ‘Popcorn…popcorn is good….caramel popcorn is better….butterscotch popcorn might be good – oh and with M&M's® mixed in….wait, what about with ice cream….like a popcorn ice cream sandwich??’ – Yes that’s truly how my mind rambles, and anyways Chocolate Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches were born – and they are pretty darn good.

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

I made them Friday afternoon, so they were all ready for my movie night on Saturday. If you've never made caramel corn before, it’s seriously one of the simplest things to create. I just altered it a tad bit, and thankfully it turned out! J

Chocolate Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

½ stick of butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butterscotch schnapps OR you can use vanilla extract (or another flavor!)
2 bags of Orville Redenbacher’s Salty and Sweet Popcorn
2 boxes of theater sized M&M's®
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cream, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the sides of the pan down.
  3. Meanwhile, pop both bags of popcorn and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Remove the butterscotch sauce off of the heat and stir in butterscotch flavoring. Pour into popcorn bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the M&M's® and then pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Spread evenly and transfer to the freezer to cool completely.
  6. When the popcorn is cooled completely, cut into desired size squares and place a scoop of softened vanilla bean ice cream in the center of a bar, topping with another bar. Wrap with parchment paper if desired. 

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

 And there you have it! The perfect movie night in treat!! I had some extra butter flavored popcorn so I made a double batch, but held the M&M's® and added ½ pound of cooked diced bacon, then shaped the popcorn mixture into small balls and inserted a toothpick. They had just enough sweet and salty combination to be rather addicting!

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

 After a full night of having a ladies night out, and then a movie night in, I fell asleep pretty happy and relaxed that night! I’m pretty sure I should make at least the movie night more of a routine – as well as making recipe creations. It’s fun to just let loose and try new things!

~Melissa

You can find these fun movie night displays with special movies discounted through the 24th at the locations HERE.!

How to Style Your Hair and Create Perfect Curls

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #HeartMyHair 
An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

Good morning everyone! I hope your weekend went well! I had a bunch of fun Saturday night with my friend at the food festival for a girl’s night out (I’ll share pictures soon!) and enjoyed having the opportunity to dress up and do my hair. Most of the time I’m finding myself wearing yoga pants more and more, and even though I do my makeup most mornings, not much happens to my hair. Having a reason to fix my hair was really nice, and I decided to throw some curls in it and enhance my wild-child look. It’s a funny thing – for so many years when I was younger I tried so hard to be someone I wasn't. I’d dye my hair colors that weren't even close to my natural color, or I’d cut or always have to change my hair styles or straighten my hair which is naturally pretty big an wavy. Luckily I've grown to embrace who I am and how I look and am not trying to visually be someone I’m not.

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

To be completely honest, even though I feel like I’m sort of a closest beauty junkie (I seriously have way too many products covering my bathroom ) I hadn't updated a couple of the most import beauty tools – my hairdryer and curling irons! Then I found these new Conair products, first the InfinitiPro by Conair® 3Q™ Brushless Motor Dryer which is AMAZING! I hadn't updated my hairdryer in like…..a decade (really) and when I switched I realized just how much time I wasted trying to get my hair dry! This dried my hair so fast and it didn't frizz as much as it normally does when I blow dry it. 

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

The second item is The Infiniti Pro by Conair® Curl Secret. All I can say is it’s an amazing new product that gave the curls I wanted incredibly fast!

First thing I always do is gently towel dry my hair, then add any products that I want. This is generally a good leave-in conditioner and a root lifter if I’m really styling it. Next I will dry it and will use the Conair Professional Round Brush to lift and dry my roots and bangs, then will use the Conair Velvet Paddle Brush to dry the rest of my hair in a downward position


An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad
An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

After my hair is dry I then section it off…in other words I’ll clip all but one section of it up so I only work on one part at a time. I then use The Infiniti Pro by Conair® Curl Secret – all you have to do is take a small section of hair (about ½-1 inch width) and clamp the Curl Secret on. It draws the hair to it and curls it incredibly fast. I continue to do this throughout my hair, letting more pieces down as needed until I have the curls I want all over. I then always finish up with a strong hairspray.

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad
An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad
An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

I have this crazy cowlick up by my bangs, so 99% of the time you’ll see my hair parted just off the side a little, and I normally will always have side bangs. When I curl my hair I’ll often pin my bangs back with a couple of Conair Bobby Pins – I always buy the 90 pack because I always seem to lose them! Please tell me I’m not the only one? 

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

And there you have it – how I created my girl’s night out curls in just a few minutes with some amazing salon quality products! You can find them in the hair care aisle in Walmart.

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad

So, the question is – which do you prefer for a night out, silky and straight or crazy and curly? ;)

An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad
An easy way to create curls #HeartmyHair #ad


~Melissa

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #DrinkTEN
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop

Happy Sunday everyone! Last night I had the opportunity to sneak out for a couple hours and attend another fun food event with one of my friends – it’s always good to have a few kid free hours to catch up and taste new things. At the event (which I’ll post pictures of soon!) there was a cocktail class that we sat and watched for a little while, and I left so inspired! I have always been intrigued with the art and history of cocktail making and even though I know absolutely nothing about the ‘proper’ way to create a cocktail (maybe someday I will learn more!) I never let that stop me from making some mean drinks! I have noticed that over the years I have definitely gone through my phases of my ‘signature’ drinks that my friends always knew I’d have to offer if they came over, it all started with Pina coladas! I then got into strawberry daiquiris, began my exploration with mojitos and fell in love with lemon drops. Recently I’ve been purchasing different flavors of vodka as well as a few other specialty liquors and stocking up on some sodas for the upcoming holidays like any of the #DrinkTEN products ( like the Dr Pepper TEN, Canada Dry TEN, 7UP TEN, and A&W TEN). I don’t drink soda too frequently but when I do love buying the TEN products because they taste delicious and also save me a bunch of calories (since I’ll be adding the alcohol calories in with it) plus it’s nice because non-alcohol drinkers, kids, and guests watching their sugar or calories can also drink up! 

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop

You can mix the soda with just some liquor on the rocks, or you can set out some juices and cocktail shakers and really get a bit more creative! The other night we actually had a family night in and watched our first Christmas movie of the year (!) and I made some orange and A&W TEN floats for the kids with vanilla bean ice cream, and then made an orange cream cocktail for Wayne and me.

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange CreamCocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange CreamCocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop

And here’s how I created it.

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop

Orange Cream Cocktail

1.5 ounces vodka
.5 ounce triple sec
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce heavy cream (you can use light if you are REALLY watching the calories!)
Ice
Sunkist TEN soda
Orange gel color for d├ęcor


Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and cream and shake until thoroughly mixed. Pour into glass and then top with Sunkist TEN Soda and create a simple design on top if serving to guests – but it’s just for looks, so if you’re just serving for your self – it’s totally not necessary.

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop

The #DrinkTEN products can be found at any Kroger store (I love Fred Meyer!) in the drink aisle.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?

Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop
Orange Cream Cocktail with #DrinkTEN products. #Shop



~Melissa