Summer Beverage Hacks, Part 1

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It’s summertime and the living is hot, depending on which part of the world you reside in. If you happen to be located closer to the equator, then you know just how hot it can be. During these hot summer days, nothing quite refreshes like a cold beverage, and smoothies are a great way to get in your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables while quenching your thirst. Here are some kitchen hacks to help improve your smoothies and shakes, while saving you time, time that you can spend relaxing poolside:
1. Freeze your bananas for later use. This is what the professionals do. Purchase bananas in bulk and once they’ve reached your preferred ripeness level, peel them and cut into small pieces. You don’t have to freeze them, but it makes it easier to use later, unless you prefer to blend the skins along with the fruit. You can freeze these bits in a quart-sized freezer bag or other freezer container. When you’re in the mood for bananas, just drop a few into the blender with your other ingredients. This adds instant potassium and helps thicken your beverage.

Frozen-Bananas

2. Perhaps you have other season fruit or veggies that you’d like to add to your blended beverage, but the fruit is several days away from being ready to eat. No problem. Just place them in a sealed brown paper bag. In a few days, they will ripen. Can’t wait a few days? Then place a banana in the bag. As the banana ripens, it will emit additional ethylene gas, causing all items in the bag to ripen at an accelerated rate.

bananas and ethylene

I hope you enjoy these quick hacks and plan to make some shakes and smoothies in the days to come. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. What are some of your favorite summer blended beverages using bananas and other seasonal fruits?

The Best 4th of July Desserts

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What thing I love about the holidays are the desserts! They seem to get more creative and fancier depending on the holiday. Now I have to admit this 4th of July I am keeping it simple with our family cookout. I will probably do a peach cobbler, brownies and maybe an apricot bourbon poundcake but that didn’t stop me from doing my annual search of 4th of July desserts.

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This American Berry Pie is sure to be a big hit. This combination of strawberries, raspberries & blue berries is irresistible! Pies are always a great dessert to bring but you better have more than one if you are bringing this one. I can bet you anything that it won’t last long. My favorite is going to be the Star Spangled Shortcakes. I LOVE shortcakes! They are the sweet version of biscuits. You can make them out of almost any shape using cookie cutters.

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This is filled with strawberries, blueberries and fresh whip cream. If you have never had fresh whip cream, then you have been deprived. It is so much better than the tub stuff  but I do use it too depending on the type of dessert I’m making. The last thing I’m going to share is a Patriotic Layered Drink, which is non-alcoholic. I know that drinks aren’t normally desserts but it looked so pretty that I couldn’t resist. This drink does take some time so make sure you are not in a rush, otherwise, it will not come out right and you will end up with a delicious purple drink.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cranapple Juice
  • 1 cup Sobe Elixir Pina Colada
  • 1 cup Blue G2 Gatorade
 Instructions
  1. Make sure all ingredients are well chilled.
  2. Fill glass ¼ of way with ice.
  3. Fill with cranapple juice just to ⅓ way up.
  4. Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until ice layer has formed on red layer.
  5. Fill to top with ice
  6. Gently fill with pina colada by pouring over the back of a spoon to ⅔ way up.
  7. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or until ice layer has formed on white layer.
  8. Gently fill with G2 by pouring over the back of a spoon rest of way up.

 

Have a safe and happy 4th!

ChanteaWilliamsFoodSignature

Chef Chantea Williams

Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer

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I am a SUCKER for pretty packaging. I would buy this polish just for the bottle. So, adorable. Shades pictured are “Plastic Beach” (top) and “Fauntleroy” (bottom). I’m sure you remember Hard Candy polish from back in the day. This is the same creator. Here’s what it says:

Smith & Cult was created by beauty veteran Dineh Mohajer, the voice of our beauty junkie, who revolutionized the color cosmetics industry when she launched Hard Candy. Several years and creative collaborations later, Mohajer is bringing about the next evolution of beauty with Smith & Cult.Smith and Cult’s Nailed Lacquer consistently delivers both flawlessly smooth coverage and brilliant shine. While custom tailored to provide high performance, the exclusive 5-Free formula is formulated without Dibutyl, Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

GET IT HERE.

The Ultimate Summer Cobblers

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Who can resist a cobbler? Even those of us who are watching our figures will say, “just a little won’t hurt!” A cobbler can be a  fruit or savory filling dish covered by a batter, biscuit or pie like crust before baking. It is one of the easiest desserts to make and they are perfect for potluck gatherings. I like to make homemade crusts but you can use ready made pie crust from the store and roll it out to fit your dish size. If you want to jazz it up a bit for a small gathering, try putting them in single serving dishes and your guests will be delighted even more.

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One of my favorite cobbler dishes is the strawberry cream cheese. I made a batch a couple of years ago for my coworkers and it was a big hit. It was so pretty and tasty! I don’t know what was better the strawberries or chunks of cream cheese. Don’t be afraid to get away from the traditional peach cobbler. Try some different fruit combinations. You will be pleasantly pleased. I promise! The strawberry cream cheese recipe below is from http://www.myrecipes.com.

ChanteaWilliamsFoodStrawberryCreamCheeseCobbler

 Ingredients

  • 1 stick(s) butter
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 quart(s) strawberries capped and washed
  • 4 ounce(s) cream cheese cut in small pieces

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and pour into 9×13 glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking dish, but do not stir.
  2. Add the strawberries, arranging in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese pieces over strawberries. Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. (Crust rises up and around the fruit, but fruit will still peek out of top.)

ChanteaWilliamsFoodSignature

Chef Chantea Williams

The First Step to Hacking Your Life

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When first considering just what a life hack is, I thought this should be easy. After all, people are always looking for an easier way to accomplish life tasks, to invest as little time and effort as possible, yet yield the greatest outcome. It almost seems like cheating, because so many of us have been taught that hard work pays off, and it does in fact, but every success is not the result of strenuous labor and output. What if you could increase your reading speed and comprehension levels, allowing you to advance in school and at work? And if you could spend less time on your morning commute, arriving to work more competent and refreshed, effectively increasing your productivity? Is it considered cheating if you exert less effort and reap maximum gains? Not at all.

You might be wondering what some of these life hacks are, methods that make life easier and more productive. Today, we’ll start off with the most important one: honesty. How is honesty a life hack? How will it make my life run more efficiently? That’s simple: many of us are in such a disorganized, chaotic and even depressed state about the mountains in our lives, simply because we are not being honest with ourselves. We are taking on more than we can handle, placing ourselves further down on our To-Do lists and working harder instead of smarter. Deep down we know we are capable of accomplishing more, but we are not being honest with ourselves about the level of help that we need. This is causing us to be dishonest with others about what we can handle and assist them with as well. We’re generous to a fault (the fault being that we can’t be everything to everyone), and even the most selfish individuals are that way because they need better ways of handling life so that maybe they can afford to stop being so selfish. I get it, it’s hard to manage your own household, job, finances (insert areas of responsibility here) and still be able to devote time to the causes we really care about. But what if we could manage more with less, less effort, less of your own resources, less stress? Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it be worth the planning and preparation on the front end, in order to see the payoff on the back end?

Since we’re being honest here, what are some areas of your life that you’d like to spend less time working on and more time actually enjoying? I’d like to hear from you, and I’d like to share some life hacks with you in upcoming posts. Until next time, I’ll leave you with just a bonus hack: if you can only spare one night per week, go to bed one hour early. Every hour of rest you get before midnight is equivalent to two hours received after midnight. Don’t believe it? Try it and comment below with your results.

Yours,

Natalie S. Everett

Summer Getaway: What’s Hot in Albany, Georgia!

Welcome to the month of June! The summer is upon us and it’s time to get in summer traveling mode. This past weekend I traveled to the quaint Albany Georgia for a great friend’s wedding. Although, I did not get to visit the places and restaurants that I intended to due to TIME. I had a GREAT time in twenty four hours. A three hour ride from the city life (AtL). It was serene and peaceful to ride on a two lane highway, windows down breathing God’s Air and thinking about life. I stayed at the Best Western Hotel for only $69 a night. Don’t sleep on Best Western! Flat Screen, Wifi, and a Very comfortable bed. I was very close to the Albany Mall and Local Shops in a half mile of distance. If you’re traveling to Florida or to the South of Georgia. Give Albany a chance and rest up!

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So Travelistas, I wanted to reach out and get to know some of YOU!! I will feature some of your traveling finds and style while you’re vacationing this summer. Today, I will be featuring Travelista Allyce. Ms. Allyce and Her Girlfriends spent their getaway in Ft.Lauderdale. As true Travelista, Allyce opted to stay in Ft. Lauderdale opposed to South Beach because of affordability. Retreating at the Sonesta hotel which is convenient to the beach, two bars for socializing and dining, and twenty four hour pool with accommodating staff.

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Sonesta Hotel

Travelista Allyce dined at local restaurants in the area Bongos Cuban inspired restaurant owned by Gloria Esteban “the perfect place for dinner and dancing with Sky lounge located on the roof of the restaurant”, Primanti Bros “Famous for their Breakfast Sandwiches”, Mexican Cantina “Delicious and Inexpensive” and Al Capone’s nephew’s restaurant Martorano’s ” Food was amazing! Try the truffle fries. Portions are HUGE. I would suggest only getting one entrée because they serve in family style”. I’ve visited Miami myself; however I’ve never visited Ft. Lauderdale.

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Primanti Bros

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Bongos Restaurant

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Martorano’s

I am definitely going to add this on my list to visit. Travelistas! If you’re looking for a place to visit that’s affordable and minutes from South Beach without the hustle and bustle of the city. You might want to try Ft. Lauderdale! Smooches and Thanks to Allyce for sharing her Travel journey with us. Also, she shared some of her looks while she was luxuriating in the sunshine state. If you would like to be featured; use our hashtag #TravelistaFeature via twitter or Instagram, I would love to hear about your travel finds and style.

Till Next Time Travelistas!!!

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Cobalt/Pink Tankini with White Cover Up

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Black Tankini with Sheer Cover Up with Straw Hat

Love Always,

KTheTravelista

Those Elusive MOR Candles

Years ago someone sent me a MOR candle. She had a shop with a lot of pretty things and she was liquidating. I purchased a candle directly from her inventory and when I received it in the mail it was broken. However, the candles smelled so delicious that I remember sitting the broken candle and glass pieces on the counter just so the gorgeous fragrance could waft through my home. Today I woke up needing candles really badly. The woman I normally purchased candles from was Yum Yum Candles and she lived in New Jersey, however, she closed her shop.

So I went searching for these MOR candles only to find them just about SOLD OUT everywhere in the United States. MOR is an Australian company, however, I did grab a few candles on clearance from various outlets. Trust me, they were not cheap, but I simply adored their fragrances and the packaging is sooooo pretty. I didn’t know which to choose. Blood Orange enticed me at first, but after an exhaustive search I couldn’t find that scent anywhere, so I opted for Lychee Flower, Indian Pomelo and the Hibiscus Bloom. I can’t wait for them to get here. It’s insane what you have to do for a candle nowadays.

 GET IT HERE. (Hurry! They’re on Clearance!)

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Moschino Bear Bag

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When I saw this bag I nearly lost it. It’s so cutely juvenile that I’d wear it with my chucks and a summer dress. A bag is an accessory so that’s what I filed it under. What do you think? Yay? Nay? I love the cross body cuteness. You can probably dress it up but I prefer it for dress down occasions. Think of it as taking your favorite teddy bear with you when you go out.

GET IT HERE.

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International Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Show

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I had the awesome chance of attending the International Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Show (IFJAG) at the Affinia Hotel in Manhattan, NY earlier this month. This was a new opportunity for me and I was in Accessory Heaven!! There were so many beautiful pieces to behold.. Whether you like gold-plated, silver-plated, statement pieces, sterling silver, stainless steel, pearls or gems, it was all there! Watches, rings, necklaces (“oh my”) brooches, bracelets and anklets in every style or color you could imagine. There were even socks, scarves, shawls, hats and gloves… A Fashionista’s Heaven. Most vendors would not allow photos to be taken, but I was able to take a few.

I love pearls. I believe that every lady should own a set of pearls. Pearls are elegant and give a classy look to any outfit, even a pair of jeans. I fell in love with these multicolored pearls by David & Joan Corp. This would go well with a nice dress or suit or even pair these with some  jeans and any color top in the pearls and you can go anywhere!!

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I also love butterflies since my mom used to collect them. I look for them everywhere I go. David & Joan Corp didn’t disappoint either with these butterfly hair clips. You may see me in them one day.

Stay tuned for more on the IFJAG Trade show!!!

My name is Anita Huntt. I am so humbled to be a guest writer of the Official PrincessDominique.com

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