Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Make the Perfect Rice + A Giveaway!

As a Brand Ambassador for Hamilton Beach I received the Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker to review, however, all opinions are 100% my own. This giveaway is sponsored by Hamilton Beach. 

Happy FriYAY!

I'm closing the month down with a giveaway from Hamilton Beach!


Ya'll know how much I love food and cooking so it's only natural that I'm chatting about and giving away one of my favorite kitchen tools,  a rice cooker. Rice is one of those things I've always struggled with. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I usually forget it's on the stove.... either way a rice cooker is seriously the only way to go.

The delay start makes breakfast and meal planning easier. If I know we're having rice bowls for dinner I'll set a delay start at lunch. Just one more way to make mom life easier.


This is actually my second Hamilton Beach Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker and it's just as amazing as the first. My sister inherited the first rice cooker after receiving a new one.

With the Hamilton Beach Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker you'll always have perfect rice. Personally, I'll make 3 cups of jasmine brown rice at a time. The key to perfection is a dash [or two] of salt and a tablespoon of oil olive or unsalted butter. Stir, set and let the magic happen. In the past I've used the Hamilton Beach Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker to make Spanish rice, herbed rice and steel cut oats [mostly when we have guests].


Oh, I almost left out the BEST part of the Hamilton Beach Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker! There's a steam basket so you can steam veggies or cook fish/meat while your rice is cooking. Talk about a one pot meal. My favorite combo it brown rice, salmon and broccoli -- it's simple and healthy.



Features 
+ 4-20 cup cooked rice capacity
+ Includes rice rinser/steam basket
+ Use your own recipe or packaged pasta & rice mixes
+ Automatically shifts to warm after cooking
+ White rice: cooks all varieties of white rice, including short- and long-grain rice
+ Quick rice: great for preparing rice in a hurry
+ Whole grain: for brown rice, farro, quinoa, and other whole grains
+ Keep warm: illuminates when cooking is complete
+ Delay start: prepare for cooking up to 15 hours in advance
+ Heat/simmer: use this function for flavored pasta and rice mixes, beans, soups, and one-pot meals + + Steam cook: vegetables, meats, fish, and more
+ Hot cereals: oatmeal, grits, and cream of wheat

What are you waiting for enter below for a chance to win or purchase HERE.
_________________________________________________________________________________ 

As part of my review, Hamilton Beach is kindly offering one lucky reader a chance to win a Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker [$44.99]!

Prize: (1) Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker

To Enter: Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph).

This giveaway is available in the lower 48 states. Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

10 Things You Should Buy at Target

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10
Like you, my love for target runs deep. I can't seem to leave the store under an hour! Even if I only end up buying one thing. You know you have to cruise the entire store. #firstworldproblems

Anyway, with all the remodeling I've been feeling like I need to start sprucing up the joint. If we're going to be honest all the rooms [expect Emerson's] need sprucing up. Since I'm not trying to break the bank here I'm turning to my trusty friend Target to help a girl and her wallet out. BTW - this is NOT a sponsored post. Target is on point with their home goods. Yup, this girl is rocking Target sheets on the master and guest room beds! Hello, soft and affordable. So I rounded up 10 things you need to buy from Target. These are items I've purchased or they're currently sitting in my cart just waiting for a sale.

10 Items You Need From Target

1. Sheet Set

Yup, my college self never thought my 30 year old self would say it, but Target  sheets are awesome. They're affordable, soft, wash well and the fitted sheet actual stays tight around the mattress! I also currently bought a new bedskirt for the guest bedroom.

2. Candles
Ah, Target seems to have the best priced and smelling candles. Make sure to pick up the Peppermint & Vanilla Vineyard Hill Naturals by Paddywax this holiday season!

3. Kids Clothes
Kids go through clothes fast and Target carries cute  affordable kids clothes. Plus, there's always a extra discount on cartwheel or so it seems. For example while the Cat & Jack play shirts were recently marked down I used Cartwheel and received an additional 25% off paying $3 or less per a top. Emerson currently has this, this and this on her wishlist.

4. Workout Clothes
You didn't think I wouldn't include workout gear, did you? I love mixing target tops with my Lululemon or The North Face pants. I'm currently loving/eying this tank.

5. Snacks
No explantation needed....

6. Basically all Kid Gear
Kids require a lot of stuff and Target seems to have it all! We've purchased everything from food, bath soap, to toys. You name it we've probably bought it. I should mention Target prices are very competitive with Amazon so don't forget to research bigger items first.

7. Cleaning Supplies
While you can pick up Mrs. Meyer's or Method products anywhere if you're already there why not?

8. Planner
People 2017 is just months away. While I live by my iPhone I still love a planner/notebook to write notes, etc. I'm currently loving the Sugar Paper line.

9. Wall Decor
I always browse this section, but have rarely bought items until recently. Hello Pillowfort and all the other fun collaborations such as Oh Joy! I recently purchased this Pillowfort Unicorn for Emerson's room.

10. Kitchenware
Here's the thing my everyday dishes, serving platters, etc are from Crate and Barrel and all white. The best way to spice things up is by adding fun pieces. Whether it's seasonal or everyday I just like to add a little color to my "clean" looking kitchen. For example, I recently purchased new striped placemats. Currently lusting over this, this and this! Yes, completely random item, but so practical.

So there you have it 10 items you need to purchase at Target  However this list could have easily been 20+ things.

What are some of your favorite purchases from Target?

Psst, some deals you won't want to miss!

Prepare for sweater weather with 30% off Men's, Women's and Kid's Outerwear when you use the code FALL30 at checkout. Speaking of cool codes, also get up to 25% + an extra 10% off Home items with code FALLHOME. And for those early planners Target has a deal on Halloween indoor and outdoor decorations - Spend $30 save $5 and spend $60 save $10.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Giving Our House a Facelift + Paint Inspiration

Because when you're born in 1959 you deserve a facelift.... Yup, bouncing around on you today and chatting about another house project. Hey the kitchen is 99% done! But until we build a barn door I'm going to move onto the next.

The hubs really wanted to paint the house this fall, but not without a lot of prep work first. I'm not just talking about scrapping, sanding, etc. I'm talking about a new front door, mudroom door, a few windows, replacing some boards, framing out the porch post and adding cedar shakes. WOW, that's a lot of work! Enter our handy friend Steve -- he's been helping Nick out big time and even putting in work while Nick's at his day job. Someone has to pay for all the work ;)

Here's the current state of our house....


Once painted I hope it looks something like this [minus the coral clay door]...

Trim: Extra White | Body: Repose Gray | Peaks: Gauntlet Gray

Sherwin Williams has an awesome paint visualizer! You can upload any space and paint it! Talk about a great visual. Of course, I still have to pick up paint samples to make sure we like it. 

The first round of samples were a bust. I tried something out of the box, but it just didn't work for us. Check out the new door and  post framed out.

Everything is coming together nicely and we hope to start painting within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed the weather holds for us.

Home Doormat
Without further adieu some inspiration!

Holman Ranch Wine + Zucchini Fritters

Football, crisp mornings, apples and changing of the leaves can only mean one thing, fall has arrived and it's in full swing. We've been busy spending our spare time prepping the house for paint along with checking items off the never ending list of house projects like the kitchen backsplash. I promise our kitchen is nearly done!

Ok, back to the topic Fall. It's also a perfect time for wine tasting, but then when isn't it a perfect time for wine tasting? I've always wanted to go wine tasting in Monterey County. Wine, the coast and gorgeous views are kind of hard to pass up. Having a little one at home with grandparents thousands of miles away makes weekend getaway nonexistent. Instead we'll just have to bring Monterey County Wines to us.

Carmel Valley has always been on my weekend getaway list, but after hearing about Schue Love's recent trip it's moved up even higher on the list.

While I'm not sure why I've been holding onto a bottle of Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Holman Ranch [c/o] for the last month. Yesterday, we decided it was high time to enjoy a glass. I made some Zucchini Fritters and we sat back watched some football, sipped on wine and enjoyed apps.

Holman Ranch Wine
Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($30)

There's something about this quaint little winery. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, Californian historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning mountain views and serenity, this private estate affords old-world charm while providing modern day conveniences. This stunning Property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and more.

Holman Ranch’s 21 acres of vineyards lie between 950 and 1150 feet in elevation, rich with the root stocks and soils that are most important in producing excellent fruit from the vineyards. The surrounding Santa Lucia Mountains play a crucial role in Carmel Valley viticulture, holding back the marine layer and broad breezes, which is beneficial to producing consistently good fruit.   

Holman Ranch’s wines are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to table. Purity and passion are key ingredients in the wine-making process, and this is where Holman Ranch truly stands out. Holman Ranch is 100 percent estate vineyards and winery. I 'm happy to report they don't use chemical herbicides or pesticides on their fruit and have their sustainable and organic certification.

WINE + ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

The Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc paired perfectly with the savory Zucchini Fritters. It's ideal with appetizers or after dinner in lieu of dessert. This Sauterne inspired dessert wine is the perfect blend of sweet & tart. Only 180 cases were made!! You can purchase a bottle HERE.

Let's talk about those Zucchini Fritters! What does one do when they have more zucchini than they know what to do? Start baking. Over the weekend I made Lemon Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Zucchini Fritters! Oh and I froze fours cups of shredded zucchini for a later date. Yes, I had A LOT of zucchini.

Without further adieu...

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Zucchini Fritters
[Adapted from Today.com]
Makes 14

Ingredients
4 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cups Almond Meal [or all purpose flour]
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sliced scallions [green and white parts]
Avocado oil
Sour cream, for serving [optional]
sweet chili Sauce, for Serving [optional]

Directions
Place the shredded zucchini in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for 10 minutes.

Squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl. Add the almond meal, eggs, sliced scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the bowl, stir until combined.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Liberally coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with avocado oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 1-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan, pressing them lightly into rounds and spacing them at least 2 inches apart.  Depending on the size of pan you should be able to cook 3-4 at a time.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked throughout.

Transfer to the paper towel-lined sheet and immediately sprinkle them with salt. Repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture.

Serve the zucchini fritters topped with sour cream or sweet chili sauce  (optional).

Enjoy!
WINE + ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Pin for later:

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

While I received a sample of the Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc for review, all thoughts and opinions are 100% authentic. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this blog possible.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gourmet Dinner in 10 Minutes with Gobble

No, I'm not already talking about Thanksgiving. I'm talking about Gobble a "you cook" meal delivery service.


While it's not a new concept, Gobble is a new service to our busy family.  Yeah, yeah I know I work from home, but there are seriously not enough hours in the day for work, cleaning, cooking. working out, family or friends. I don't know how some of you do it.

I decided to take control and use a meal delivery service and I'm on the verge of hiring a cleaning lady. Yup, there are so many other things I would rather do with my time. Like hang out with my sweet girl.

Recently I was approached about testing out Gobble. After checking out the website and meals I figured why not. Based off their menu and our family preferences I picked Chicken Tikka Marsala and Pan-Seared Barramundi with Sweet Potato & Poblano Hash. Oh and they happen to throw in a few slice and bake cookies. While they were a welcomed tasty treat my diet wasn't too stoked about it. ;)


We've tried a few meal delivery services and Gobble has been the easiest and quickest to date. I'm talking one pan and dinner is ready in 10 minutes! Talk about mom win! We gave a little of the  Chicken Tikka Marsala to Emerson and she keep asking for more. We might have a foodie in the making.


Get $50 off your first box of 6 dinners when you use my link (original price $71.70)!


All in all Gobble is a win in my book. While it's not something we use every week it's definitely something I'll use when I know we have one of those weeks coming up, return to a empty fridge after vacation or just need a break from meal panning. Plus, their meal kits are so simple your eight year old could make dinner!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tips For a Successful Playdate #WaterWipesMom

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. #WaterWipesMom

Oh life with a toddler, it's loads of fun. These days I just can't find the time for much, but one thing that's important is getting together for playdates with other mamas. Whether it's for the tiny humans to play or the adults to have real conversations it's important. Luckily we have a number of friends with kids around the same age.

When it comes to playdates I have one rule -- Keep it simple. Don't stress out. Make a few appetizers, keep pouches handy and have plenty of wipes around. Playdates can get messy.

This summer I was introduced to WaterWipes and have been telling all my mama friends how amazing they are. Especially boy mamas and those with sensitive skin. WaterWipes are both durable and effective without containing any of the harmful chemicals that may be found in other baby wipes, WaterWipes proves a safer, natural option for your little one.

But let's get back to how I'm keeping our playdates simple...

Tips For a Successful Playdate

1. Get Outside
If the weather permits host a playdate outside. We're luckily enough to live in Lake Tahoe which means summer days are spent at the beach with friends. Emerson and Wyatt are two peas in a pod. The key is to let them run themselves wild. ;)


2. Switch up Houses
While it's always easy to host at your house it's good to switch things up. Your tiny humans gets out of their comfort zone. Toys are different. Plus you don't have to stress out about your house being clean enough. [Even more reason to hire a house cleaner]



3. Get Baking
With cooler temps playdates might need to be spent inside. [eek] I know what are you going to do? Depending on age get crafty or bake some delicious toddler friendly cookies! We prefer oatmeal raisin.


4. Mama Talk
While the kids play have a 'real' conversation while enjoying those cookies you just made. Need some starter topics? Share some of your favorite products kid or non kid related. Maybe the killer item you just scored at Target. You know the love for Target runs deep in all of us.


5. Keep Wipes Handy
Playdates can get messy especially when you have cookies or popsicles! We like to keep WaterWipes throughout the house for those just in case moments. At a recent playdate I received a number of questions about WaterWipes and why we switched. Well, because they're awesome! Plus, they're a chemical free baby wipe that contains only two ingredients, 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Casual Winter Jackets

As you might know I live in Lake Tahoe and it gets cold. Like feet of snow cold. Which means I need an awesome jacket to keep me warm when I decide to leave the house. Yes, it happens. Anyway I could easily wear my ski jacket and while I have it's not really my jam.

This year I'm on the hunt for the prefect casual winter jacket. It must be warm, water resistant and somewhat stylish. We'll call it functional fashion. It's possible people. Of course during my hunt I turned to some of my favorite brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, Prana and Columbia. I  found some great options!

Here are my top five.










Want more? Check out these options:


Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Finds

Good morning ladies and gents. It's finally Friday! Anyone else excited for the weekend? Life's been crazy busy hence the lack of blogging lately, but I hope to ramp up again very soon! Until then here are a few things I'm loving.

All things Loft [still]
Everything is currently 40% off with code FIRSTLOOK. I'm eyeing this, this and this.


Cat & Jack at Target
Ok, ok I know there's been a lot of talk about Cat & Jack, but the line is cute, durable and affordable! Last weekend I purchased Emerson this, this and this.


Toddler Snow Gear
How could you not love this... For Emerson's first snowsuit we went with Obermeyer [jacket, pants]. To round out her outfit I'm eyeing these boots and gloves.


Nordstrom Summer Clearance Sale
There are so many great items you might need to add to your closet. The following are currently sitting in my cart: black moto jeans, black faux leather jacket, Zella leggings, sandals and jacket.


Interior Define
I've been on the hunt for the prefect, comfortable and affordable couch. Well, enter Interior Define! Each couch is made to order so you can practically customize it. Oh and if you place an order before 9/20 you'll receive 15% off. This only happens once a year. We decided on a bigger version of the Kelly with a double chaise.





Thursday, September 8, 2016

How to Create a Well Balanced Toddler Breakfast

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

Not to brag, but my toddler loves to eat and will eat about anything I give her. I'm not kidding.... she loves salmon, broccoli, green smoothies, oats, etc. The key is to mix it up. Over the last 6 months I've learned that Emerson loves variety. For example if she has chicken at lunch I better not give her chicken for dinner. She's a funny one.

Did you know that September is better breakfast month? We don't skimp at our house. Breakfast usually consists of either a green smoothie, eggs and avocado toast  or something like that. But then there are those mornings, as a mom, you need something quick and nutritious! On those mornings I turn to Lender’s Bagels, Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions and Milk. If we have it I usually add sausage or a hard boiled egg to the mix. Oh and there's always a tall glass of Great Value 2% Milk.


Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help power childhood activities – are missing. Now, you can help feed a childhood – by purchasing 1 or more of these products, you are helping Feeding America provide nutrient- rich milk to kids and families in need. Visit http://cbi.as/54hdj to learn more.


How to Create Well Balanced Toddler Breakfast

1. Start with a fun plate.
I love the divided plate pictured above.

2. 1 Part Fruit/Veggie: I say start with their favorite, but if you need something quick try Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions. Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions is the only fruit cup product that provides 1 serving of fruits and veggies in a single cup. The veg is in the juice but you’d never know it. Tip: Look for specially marked Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions packages on shelf at Walmart for valuable coupons for Del Monte and Lenders products.

3. 1 Part Carbohydrate: While fruits and veggies are considered carbohydrates I also give Emerson a small serving of toast with avocado or nut butter. Recently to mix things up I purchased blueberry Lender’s Bagels! Bagels for breakfast are timesaving, easy, tasty and nutritious. Lender’s has a bagel for Everyone! Plain, Blueberry and Cinnamon-Raisin flavors are kid-friendly, great for the whole family and re filling – sustaining kids all morning. Tip: Lender’s Bagels are available in the refrigerated dairy section at Walmart.


4. 1 Part Protein: We switch it up between sausage, a hard boiled egg or scrambled eggs.

5.  Glass of Milk: Milk is also a great source of protein, but since we have a growing girl we make sure she has milk readily available at all times.  Milk is naturally nutrient rich and powers potential - if you have access to it. Milk's 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow.

Our 5 Favorite Breakfast Combos

1. Green Smoothie: Handful spinach, 1 cup water, 1 tsp nut butter, 1/2 frozen blueberries, 1 half orange and ice.

2. Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs

3. Hard Boiled Egg, Blueberry Lender’s Bagel and Mixed Berries

4. 1 Sausage [diced] and Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions

5. Overnight Oats with Berries and Nut Butter


Join Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry children and families who need it most. More than 14 million servings of milk have been delivered to food banks through this first-of-its-kind initiative.

#BuildABetterBreakfast Sweepstakes

Friday, September 2, 2016

It's all about the Backsplash

Hi friends remember a long, long time ago when I mentioned we were remodeling our kitchen, living room and anything else that happen to rear it's ugly head in the process? It's been a long year, but we really did remodel our house. I was just a bad blogger and didn't keep you in the loop. Well folks times are changing! I'm about to get down blogging about my house. Why because you deserve it and honestly it's time to step away from sponsored posts. Don't get me wrong sponsor posts make remodels possible plus it's fun introducing you to new products. With that said, they are not going away completely, but you'll probably notice a lot less or a lot more me content! YAY!

So let's kick things off out of order because that's how I roll. Since we're wrapping up our backsplash installation it's only fitting I chat about backsplashes [for sneak peaks check out my IG stories @Tiara_Wasner or snaps @tiarawasner]. Then we'll get back to the beginning next time. ;)

I'm not going to lie picking a backsplash was hard. Like really hard. As in it took me a year to finally pull the trigger, but I'm happy with it [mostly]. While I knew white subway tiles would  be safe and probably look the best EVERYONE is doing it. I wanted our kitchen to be different, but not over the top. And no I didn't go with glass -- not a fan at all, sorry. Nope not sharing the reveal today, but here's the idea.

 via





A few backsplash reads:

CHOOSING KITCHEN BACKSPLASH TILE
How to Choose the Right Subway Tile Backsplash : Ideas and More!
A Backsplash Bash
More Tile Tips
Everything You Could Want to Know and More