Yogurt Bark with Berries

I kind of stumbled across making this recipe today when I realized that my pint of yogurt was practically full and was about to go to waste because the expiration date was quickly approaching.

My son loves yogurt and loves berries and the occasional granola every now and again, I had just finished making some Chia seed pudding for the next morning so I was already on a roll for some healthy delicious snacks and breakfast alternatives for the next morning.

So I started off with cutting up some berries that I had on hand, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Next I put my yogurt in a bowl ,maple syrup and vanilla extract with a of salt and lemon juice and I mixed all my wet ingredients together.

Then I lined my cookie sheet with some parchment paper or if you don’t have that on hand you can use aluminum foil.

I then pour the yogurt mixture on the cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper and distribute evenly. Once the yogurt is evenly distributed, I then add the sliced berries along with a handful of granola and sprinkle it all over.

Once you add the berries and granola you will now put The cookie sheet in The freezer for the next 3 to 4 hours until the bark is hard. After the 3 to 4 hours and it’s hard, you can now break up the yogurt park and enjoy this little refreshing healthy snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Strawberries sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Granola
  • Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, honey, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer yogurt mixture to the previously prepared baking sheet and spread it around to an even thickness.
  • Top with berries.
  • Garnish with granola.
  • Freeze for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  • Break into pieces.
  • Keep in the freezer before serving,
  • Serve and enjoy!

The front porch redesign

A couple weeks ago the weather was unexpectedly warm I’ve been selfishly wishing for warmer type of weather so I can paint my front door. I didn’t necessarily want to wait till spring and unfortunately (due to climate change) but fortunately I did not have to wait until spring to transform my front door.

On a warmer Saturday morning s few weeks back I decided to take out my royal blue paint that I purchased at my local Hobby Lobby in hopes to be able to to transform my teal door sometime in the new future.

The paint color I chose was “Midnight Wave “ by Diamond Hard it cost only $10, but make sure to use the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby offers you for $4 savings.

I painted three coats and let it fully dry before I put a protective wax over it.

Once the door was completely dry I then started to add some of the decor pieces on the door itself.

I purchased on clearance a wicker basket from target, from the brand Threshold in the color espresso brown. This one isn’t on clearance, but its still a great price! 

I added some faux greenery garland that I had purchased at hobby lobby, again use that 40% off coupon that they offer on their website or wait until florals are 50% off, you could always guarantee that it will happen at least once in the month!

I then purchased the Half Circle Braided Coir Mat by Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia. I’m simply obsessed with this doormat it’s so adorable and gives off the right work that I was going for!

I paired it with a black and white buffalo plaid rug that I purchased off Amazon, it’s such a great big size 24” x 51” and only $18!

This front porch is far from being complete but I am so happy that I was able to get at least a little bit of it done because I was itching to do it!! I can’t wait to add more stuff when the spring time hits but until then I’m going to love what I have if you have any questions or want to know more please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, @urbanhippiect

 

Links

Mightnight Wave Paint for Front Door 

Mini Round Decorative Basket 11.25″x 8.75″, whicker basket 

Half Circle Braided Door Mat

Black and White Buffalo Plaid rug

 

Nutella Cookies…YUM!

Raise your hand if you love Nutella as much as I do!… Nutella on toast, Nutella on fruit, Nutella and pretzels, give me Nutella and I will find another way to eat it!

The other night I realized at an ungodly hour that I had to make cookies for my son’s school cookie swap as I am rummaging through the pantry, I come across an unopened jar of Nutella! A few things ran through my head, the first being, how is this still unopened?! The next thing, can I use this to make cookies?… With a little Google search, the answer was yes! After following the recipe I discovered the most delicious, moist (I HATE that word, but its true!) chocolaty heaven of a cookie that can ever be baked was baked and I NEED to share the 15 minutes recipe, 5 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to bake, and -0 minutes to devour.

I can’t hold it in any longer, I need to share the easiest recipe with you!

Nutella Cookies

Makes 32

Preheat oven at 365 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Nutella
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2.5 Cups of All purpose Flour

Mix the Nutella and the 2 eggs until completely mixed together.

Next add in the flour and continue to mix completely together.

Dough will now form, if sticky still store in the refrigerator for 20 min. If the dough isn’t sticking to your hands.Using your hands roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls. Place cookies on your baking sheet and flatten them slightly with your fingertips or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 10 minutes, until they are cooked around the edges and still slightly soft in the middle. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then cool on a baking rack. Enjoy!

 

For more DIY’s, recipes, and how to design on a dime, head over to my Instagram!

 

The Ultimate Gift Guide 2019

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season? Well me too! Just Kidding! I would like to think I have come up with the ultimate gift giving guide to help you narrow down your Google searches and hopefully you land here and impressed with the choices I have given you.

New/ Expected parents, I have probably listed this one first because let’s face it, I am still in this category and my toddler is not old enough to “ask” for things so this is my list of things I would hope he asked for to make mommy and daddy’s life easier.

Let’s talk about this portable high chair from the Paper Store,

highchairThis highchair is an easy on the go  chair with how innovative, practical, and portable it is. I loved this thing and still use it today! It cleans so easily and perfect to have just in the back of your car for “just in case” purposes. Not only that it’s so lightweight and fold’s up just like a lawn chair.

This highchair is usually listed at $69.99 at the  Paper Store but if you purchase The Paper Store’s 2019 Exclusive Cardinal Ornament (Only $3.99, in store or online) they will take 20% off your entire order, that’s a $14 savings on a great gift!

Another awesome gift idea for the parents of a toddler and a toddler that just wants to be involved in the kitchen or whatever their parents are doing. The Adjustable Kids Learning Stool, Kids Kitchen Step Stool with Safety Rail-Solid Hardwood Construction from Amazon 

stool

I love this stool for so many reasons! It grows with the child from ages, 18 months to 60 months!

It helps elevate your baby to counter height. Kids can help out in kitchen: baking, mixing, preparing food, cleaning up, or other hands-on situations. It will make your kitchen full of fun! You could also put it in washing room so kids can brush teeth by themselves. It’s 4 feet high and has settings that can help accommodate the average height of a 12 month baby up to a toddler of 6. It’s made from solid hardwood and carefully coated with durable, nontoxic, lead-free coating. Fences around big standing platform(19.5*13 inch), so kids won’t fall out from high place. The dimensions are, 19.5″L x 14.8″W x 37″H. And they are offering a 30 days free return and life time free parts guaranteeThe price point is a little steep at $130 but this isn’t a one season gift, this is something that can be used day after day!

The Home Bodies: Nothing says “home body” like a warm comfy Sherpa weighted blanket! I love anything Sherpa and then you go and add a weighted blanket to it and now I don’t want to leave my bed or couch. Walmart has a great selection and plus their black Friday deals are insane! blanket

Weighted blankets may be used to help people with anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, or autism to relax, sleep, and wake feeling refreshed.

 

 

 

 

Moms: As a mom I never knew how much I would love a set of new and stylish… towels. There I said it! I love when my kitchen and bathroom display adorable linens that go with my decor! I found the most amazing, soft, and stylish towels at Olive and Linen. Their linens are actually Turkish Towels and I am obsessed! Turkish towels are flat woven, lightweight towels that are both beautiful and functional. IMG_7635_395f4640-5a1f-45d4-bddd-c6276b2560e0_1024x1024Also known as peshtemal, fouta or hammam towel, Turkish towels are more compact and versatile than terry looped towels. They can be used as a bath, beach or kitchen towel as well as a picnic blanket, scarf, sarong, tablecloth and even curtains. They are the ultimate go to piece that you will reach for everyday. Olive and Linen are having a great Black Friday deal, everything is up to 75% off with free shipping!

 

Dad’s: Self Charging Wallet. Say that 10 times fast. This ultimate gift for dad or really anyone will have them thanking you for the thoughtfulness. For the minimalist traveler or just someone thats phone is always dying, this slim case has been designed in tannery leather that softens over time. A modern take on the classic wallet, the updated find has four card slots, one cash slot and holds a full charge to keep you connected during busy work-to-play days. It’s also ready for foil-debossed personalization. slim-leather-charging-wallet-c

The wallet is listed for $79 and to add the personalization it’s only an additional $10 but if you use the code: “Friends” you will get $15.80 off your total and it will only be $77.85 with FREE shipping! What a steal!

 

 

 

 

Long Distance Friends/Loves: So you are far away but still want to show each other you are on each other’s mind. The perfect gift for people who are long distance is the awesome, Long Distance Friendship Lamp found at Uncommon Goods

lightsOn the website you have the option to get one ($99) or two ($198), but what I really love about these lamps are that they, light up loved ones’ lives—across town or across the world.  The function is still the same: Touch yours, and theirs emits the same glow to send a little “thinking of you.” Creating a group? You can also assign colors, so each person gets their own special hue.

Grandparents: The truth is grandparents typically don’t “need” or “want” anything than to be around their grandchildren, so to make them feel near their grandchildren all the time the best gifts for them would be anything personalized. You can find a ton of gift idea’s with personalization on the website, Etsy.  For instance, this blanket that was personalized is so adorable and is one of the great personalized gifts offered on Etsy. il_794xN.2101987871_quml

Etsy connects people looking for unique goods with independent sellers around the world. When you shop on Etsy.com, you can choose from millions of handmade, vintage, and craft supply items created and curated by millions of independent sellers. This is one of the reasons why I tend to use Etsy because I love supporting small business’ and local artist. Local Artist and Small Businesses don’t necessarily need to be the people right outside your home, these are people all across the world and Etsy allows you to support small by doing so.

The Give Back/Stylish gifts:  Have you heard of Pura Vida? Well two Southern California friends—Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman—took a college graduation trip down to Costa Rica in the summer of 2010, they came across two artisans whose colorful string bracelets captured the simple beauty of Costa Rica. Sadly the artist were struggling to survive on their artisan wages, living with their family in a single room with three beds. Desperate to find some way to help, Griffin and Paul asked the artisans to make 400 bracelets to take home with them, they put the bracelets on display in a local boutique, selling out completely within just a few days. And it hit them: These pieces were more than just simple friendship bracelets.3F9A2520_1200x1200_crop_center

I love these bracelets and not just what they mean and stand for but because they are so stylish! Pura Vida is having an awesome Black Friday sale, everything is 50% off! I also have a coupon code: DanielleGiordano20, this code will also give you 20% off your entire order!

 

 

 

 

Child(ren) Gifts:  Let’s be real for a second, toys are what every child wants for Christmas, but lets be practical this holiday season. Toys come and go, they break, pieces get lost, and ultimately, that toy isnt “fun” anymore. But do you know what is fun and what a child may cherish? Experience gifts!

What is an experience gift you may ask yourself, well an experience gift is one that provides a child a memory. From museum memberships to sporting passes, you can give your kids more than just another object for their playroom. It can create memories, help build skills and provide fun for the entire family.

Need some ideas? Here is a few to think of as options,

  • 1. Children’s theater season passes
  • 2. Trampoline jump passes
  • 3. Zoo membership
  • 4. Full session for new sport (gymnastics, football camp, etc.)
  • 5. Trip to the bookstore to pick out new books
  • 6. Local + national state park passes for a year
  • 7. Plane ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)
  • 8. Pass to an art museum
  • 9. Cooking class for kids
  • 10. Tickets for child + friend for a local play
  • 11. Pottery making classes
  • 12.  Out of country airfare + accommodation (if you want to be truly indulgent)
  • 13. Swim lessons
  • 14. Aquarium yearly pass
  • 15. Subscription box
  • 16. A train ride to somewhere they’ve never been
  • 17. Musical instrument + lessons
  • 18. Flower or herb seeds to plant a garden
  • 19. Ballet classes + tutu
  • 20. Ceramic painting class

 

I hope the gift guide can assist you with coming up with the perfect gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. If you are not interested in purchasing gifts, I will be posting some awesome DIY gift idea’s in next weeks blog post. Check back!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

 

Baby “Flurry” … the winter “Baby Sprinkle”

Have you all heard of a baby shower for the second child? Well if not, its typically called a sprinkle. Get it, a baby shower for the first child and a baby sprinkle for the second?… Well, have you heard of a baby flurry? Probably not. It’s my take on a baby sprinkle that takes place in the cold winter months when it normally won’t sprinkle rain it will snow flurry.

My sister is pregnant with my littlest niece and the last time she had a baby was 5 years ago so she needed the necessitates again, bodysuit onesies, socks, bibs, hooded towels, the whole nine EXCEPT the big stuff like the crib and stroller and those things. So my mother and I decided lets throw a small intimate baby shower. So while I was looking up with theme ideas I thought a winter wonderland theme would be adorable and than I thought about calling the shower a flurry instead because of the winter theme.

Now that we have a theme, we needed to get the decorations and get the menu straightened out. I headed over to my local Hobby Lobby and saw that all their Christmas decorations were 50% off! So I did a happy dance in the aisle and I stocked up on as much silver glittered decorations, snowflakes, and lights I can get my hands on.

This theme does allow you to get pretty much all winter decor that you can possible think of PLUS I was able to use my own decor that I have for the holiday season and since I was buying some new things I would be able to incorporate in my holiday decorating too. A nice win for me! For the centerpieces we made wreathes with shatter proof ornaments and for the party favor we gifted snowflake ornaments.

The menu was your typical Italian American cuisine, except instead of getting it catered my mom, who once owned an Italian deli and market, opted to make all the dishes. I also decided instead of your typical salad, we would offer a salad bar so the guests could create any type of salad they would want with all the sides they can think of. The food was a hit and everyone raved about it. The salad bar will probably make its return to other parties that I plan and put together because it was easy to prepare and set up.

The Flurry was extremely successful, it was so nice to see all of our family and friends come together to celebrate the newest upcoming arrival of our family member. I do suggest having a second shower/sprinkle/flurry for the mom to be because a lot of the time these events take place years after the first child was born and unfortunately not all moms keep the items from their first child and they have to start from scratch again.

For Holiday gift ideas and decor check back to our previous blog post 

“What do you want to do?” “I don’t care, whatever you want to do” … Date Night Tips

Do you ever struggle to come up with something different than the typical dinner and movie date? I mean that is a classic date idea, I love anytime someone feeds me and I get to be quiet and watch a movie but the truth is, I sometimes fall asleep during the movie, especially if I am really full from dinner. It’s not so much a buzz kill to me but maybe to the person I am with, they probably wouldn’t be too excited while I am catching some Z’s while the new Marvel movie is playing, well truthfully, I love Marvel movies so I probably wouldn’t be catching up on my sleep during that one.

My husband and I are tired of the “what do you want to do?” “I don’t care, whatever you want to do” conversation. After a while, things get old and we fall into the same routine. Well this chick decided to spice things up a bit, don’t worry this is a PG post.

Last Valentine’s Day I made my own unique 52 Date Idea’s, so basically it gave us an idea for a date every week and take the “fun” out of being indecisive. Can you hear my sarcasm?

datejar

My husband loved this idea, not only did it get him off the hook on not being spontaneous and romantic but it took out the arguments or the repetitious date nights we have had in the past. Some of the date idea’s are your typical date nights but also are daytime dates and activities you wouldn’t necessarily think of being a date, for instance “Drive to a part of your town you never drive through and take a photo to document” this forced us to get out of our comfort zone and do something we may not think to do.

A few other Date Idea’s are below, feel free to use them for yourself and get out of that rut on trying to come up with new date nights.

1. Create a meal together and eat it only using toothpicks

2. Create a Scavenger hunt for each other

3. Go to a museum and pick out your favorite art

4. Make homemade pizza together

5. Go to the Dollar Movie or a Matinee

6. Go to the Drive-inn

7. Have a game night

8. Go to a local band performance for a night out of dancing and music

9. Grab a Groupon/LivingSocial Deal and go out to a restaurant you’ve never been before

10. Ice skating

11. Go to your local gun range and have a “friendly” competition

12. Stay at home Spa Night

13. Go bowling

14. Do a DIY project together

15. Write down questions about each other that you want to know and then take turns asking them to each other. (Tip: Don’t write yes or no questions)

You should definitely, make it a point to complete all 52 date idea’s before the year is up, it’ll be an accomplishment that you both will feel great about AND you created memories together!

 

Follow me on Instagram for more DIY tips and tricks and if you create this Date Night Jar, make sure you tag me in your post, I would love to see! #UrbanHippieCT

The LED Light Hack

Who likes paying the electric bill? No this is not a trick question, well maybe it could be. The truth is, I hate paying for things that in my opinion are necessities but of course big companies will charge you an arm and a leg to use them. Case in point, electricity.

Of course we need electricity to use the lights in our home, but what if there was a hack, and you were able to save some pennies every time you flip the light switch, would you do it?

Well I did and let me just tell you, not only am I impressed with the few pennies we are saving by using this little hack but I am also loving the “options” I have too! Enough is enough, I’ll get to it. My little light hack isn’t a new technique it’s just an updated technique that works for me and my family, I’ll walk you through it.

I purchased these adorable black and gold sconces on Amazon, they were only $36 for 3 of them! Yep! Only $12 each and BOY oh BOY are they regal and give my wall so much depth!

Capture

After purchasing these beautiful light sconces, I went over to good ol’ Amazon again and purchased 6 light pucks that came with 2 remote controllers, again a steal for only $22, that’s a little over $3 a light! HELLOOO Savings!

So you are now probably thinking to yourself, how in the world do you install light pucks to light sconces?.. well here is the tip of all tricks, I have seen on a few blogs that to install these light pucks they used picture frame wire, while that works and all, I thought to myself “Self, when the batteries die, you will have to rewire the picture frame wire all over again” and to me, that just sounds not fun to do, plus this hack is supposed to help save time and energy!

So I took it a step further, I used Liquid Nails and PVC fittings. I took a PVC Fitting, (shown below) and put Liquid Nails on the side that didn’t have the ridges and then adhered to the light puck back.

71bJOyf0YPL._SX425_.jpgPVC fitting Capture.JPGLiquid Nails

The Liquid Nails takes a full 24 hours to adhere so we left them overnight to dry. Once they dried we put the back of the light puck back on and then screwed them into the light sconces, just as you would a light bulb.

 

I love these LED lights because you have the option of a yellow light and white light, you also have the ability to use a timer AND you can adjust the brightness, also did I mention they come with a remote control and can use individually on each light?? You can find this light hack on my Instagram page,  under highlights, “Light Trick” I provide a step by step with video’s and even the links to the products used. I am obsessed with this light hack and will be updating other lights in my house with these! If you use this light hack, please tag #UrbanHippieCT and @UrbanHippieCT, I would love to see them!