Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stitch Fix: April Fix Review and Reveal

April is almost over and I don't want to miss sharing my April Stitch Fix Box with you. I received my Stitch Fix box a few weeks ago, but then got swept up in weekend barbecues and other things, so I've had this draft on hold. I got some great pieces this month and could have easily kept the entire fix (and used the 25% off discount). I've been using Stitch Fix as a styling service since December, and I've gotten some classic versatile pieces to add to my wardrobe, without having to tow a three year old with me to the mall.

Haven't heard of Stitch Fix before? Stitch Fix is an innovative styling service that pairs real stylists with online clients, sending you 5 handpicked pieces each Fix that your stylist thinks you will love. You fill out a style profile online, and provide detailed feedback for each piece you are sent, whether you chose to keep it or return it. With each fix, your stylist learns a little bit more about you to tailor-make your fixes to fit your style.

Stitch Fix April Review and Reveal at Creative Mama Messy House
**This review is in full 100% my own opinion. I am writing this review out of personal interest only, and I'm in no way being compensated by Stitch Fix, or any other third party. That said, if you choose to sign up for your own Stitch Fix deliveries using the links provided on this site, you will be using my referral code. What does that mean: You will still pay the same price for your fixes, but I will receive a $25 credit when your first fix ships.**

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Last week, I swapped recipes with Deb from Bowl Me Over. She shared a light and delicious Cheesy Vegetable Soup recipe with us that I can't wait to try soon. I brought her a rich and fudgy Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownie recipe that is too good to miss. Dark chocolate chunks, chewy dried cherries, and crunchy cocoa nibs are loaded into a simple fudge brownie batter. I first made this recipe to help celebrate with my sister and brother-in-law their soon-to-be new arrival to the family.

Fudgy Chocolate Cherry Brownies. So good, you'll be amazed. If you like chocolate and cherries (who doesn't?) you need this recipe!

Yup, I'm going to be an aunt! My mom hosted a barbecue to celebrate, and we got a surprise during dessert! I will be welcoming a niece in September. The outdoor setting on an 80 degree afternoon in April was the perfect way to celebrate. My dad grilled up a heap of ribs and chicken, and we (of course) had way too many chocolate desserts.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Signs of Spring: Favorites from the Spring Craft Blog Hop III, week 6

April is almost over, does it feel like springtime yet? We're in the sixth week of the current Spring Craft Blog Hop, and each week new projects are being added! You guys have been busy creating beautiful crafts exemplifying the signs of spring. If only I could showcase them all! I've picked five of my favorites to show to you. This week, I found projects ranging from spring wreaths to planter ideas and even a free printable. Be sure to visit these bloggers and let them know how lovely their projects are!

We're into our third edition of the Spring Craft Blog Hop, our biggest and longest hop of the series. Each week, I will highlight five of the crafts linked up from bloggers around the interwebs. Be sure to stop by the party each week to see all the new crafts that have been linked up, and add your own as well!
What does spring look like where you are at? For us, it means plentiful sunshine, spring blooms, and lots of ladybugs. S-bug lives up to his nickname, on more than one occasion I've had a ladybug or two inside the house. The seasonal Farmer's Markets are all opening, and its picnic brunch weather. Speaking of picnic brunches, Mother's Day is coming up around the corner. Do you have a May Day or Mother's Day craft that you would like to share? Link it up at the hop now through May 25.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cheesy Vegetable Soup: Guest Recipe from Deb

Today, I'm turning my kitchen over to Deb from Bowl Me Over for a recipe swap. A fellow Californian with similar food philosophies, she created a fast and easy vegetable soup, perfect for getting anyone to eat more vegetables! I love her combination of peppers, mushroom and zucchini among all the other yummy veggies in this soup. And like she says, it's versatile! Choose whichever vegetables you have available to you seasonally and make this soup.

Be sure to visit Deb at Bowl Me Over to see the dessert I shared with her this week!

Let me start by thanking Renee for the opportunity to share a recipe with you!  I'm "Souper" Chef Deb from Bowl Me Over.   Why Souper Chef Deb do you ask? Well, it's a little play on words as many of the recipes I write end up in a bowl and today is no different! The recipe I'd like to share with you is Cheesy Vegetable Soup.
Cheesy Vegetable Soup, guest recipe from Souper Chef Deb at Bowl Me Over
You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this soup! Because we're getting closer to summer, I'm lightening things up and leaving out the meat, but just because it's meatless, don't think it doesn't bring the flavor.  This soup is mighty tasty AND it's done in just 30 minutes! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Meal Plan Monday- April #3

This week's meal plan is full of easy dinners that both kids and adults can enjoy, thanks to plenty of non-recipe suggestions from this post over at Pick Any Two. Getting the kids involved with dinner prep is fun for all and teaches valuable life skills. Even the youngest kids can get involved sprinkling cheese, washing lettuce, and other small tasks. Most of this week's dinners can be prepared within a short window of time, so we'll have plenty of time to do other activities with our longer daylight hours.

Between daily walks and visits to the park, we've had plenty of time to enjoy the bountiful sunshine that we've be having here in Northern California. Later today, I'm headed to the first family barbeque of the season. I baked up a batch of delicious brownies loaded with chocolate and cherries (which I'll be sharing this week in a guest post) to bring. You do not want to miss the recipe! Also, my April Stitch Fix came in, and I'm aiming to get my monthly review out this week or early next week.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Signs of Spring: Favorites from the Spring Craft Blog Hop III, week 5

I hope you didn't miss my Friday Favorites too much last week. The kids were on Spring Break and we ended up being out and about for most of the week. The Spring Craft Blog Hop is still going strong, and now that Easter has passed, let's see some more Earth Day and Mother's Day crafts! Did you see my dip-dyed canvas bags I shared earlier in the week? Made with 100% recycled cotton, they are perfect for saving the planet, one shopping bag at a time.

We're into our third edition of the Spring Craft Blog Hop, our biggest and longest hop of the series. Each week, I will highlight five of the crafts linked up from bloggers around the interwebs. Be sure to stop by the party each week to see all the new crafts that have been linked up, and add your own as well!
Since Earth Day is coming up on Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to share some of the recycled crafts that have been linked up to the Spring Craft Blog Hop so far. Have a recycled craft of your own you that you would like to have more exposure? You can link it up at the hop now through May 25.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Apple and Tarragon Chicken Salad

Apple and Tarragon Chicken Salad is one of my favorite uses for leftover roast chicken. I roast a chicken every few weeks, it makes a satisfying dinner one night and the leftover breast meat gets tossed into pastas, salads, and enchiladas. Chicken salad makes a excellent lunch option, and even an easy dinner option when the weather gets too warm to cook. Apples, pecans, and fresh tarragon give this chicken salad enough pizzazz to entertain with, but its easy enough to create for lunch any day of the week.

Apple and Tarragon Chicken Salad - this will be your new favorite chicken salad recipe. Tender white meat chicken, sweet apples, pecans, and fresh tarragon in a light greek yogurt dressing.
Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt creates the binder, so no mayonnaise is needed. Substituting Greek yogurt also adds extra protein (27g per serving) and keeps the fat content low (9g per serving). Most of the fat comes from the pecans, omit them and you bring the fat down to only 2g per serving. Pecans aren't your thing? You can use almonds, walnuts, or omit the nuts completely.

Perfect for Mother's Day lunch or a spa weekend retreat! Apple and Tarragon Chicken Salad with a tangy greek yogurt dressing (no mayo!)