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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thrift Haul - Kate Spade & Anthropologie

Thrifting is a great way to spruce up your home décor or to simply acquire some basic necessities such as a set of margarita glasses I recently bought....because those would certainly be considered a necessity, right? Here are a few things I thrifted for the home. The Anthropologie Initial Mug has quickly become my favorite!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Meal Magic with Reynolds Parchment Paper

If you know me then you know that I love baking! I was excited when I looked through the
Reynolds Kitchen Recipe Collection on and found a couple of recipes to make.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Reynolds Kitchens. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.
First, let me confess that my daughter and I made this recipe 4-5 times already. It is a simple yet tasty snack that can be made in a matter of minutes. Like most of you, I enjoy homemade recipes but not washing extra dishes, especially those that do not fit in the dishwasher. The parchment paper comes in handy because it makes the clean up of this recipe easy. Once the chocolate dries, transfer the popcorn mixture to a serving dish and save yourself the clean up of a baking sheet.
You can find the recipe here:
Ashley and Whitney's Popcorn and Pretzel Sweet Snack Mix or at in the Reynolds Kitchen Recipe Collection.
I also made Karen's Rolled Sugar Cookies from the Reynolds Kitchen recipe collection on I opted to add M&M's to the recipe instead of rolling them out. I love M&M's in sugar cookies! I stirred the candies in then transferred to a sheet of parchment paper to be refrigerated. I love wrapping cookie dough in parchment paper because it doesn't stick and I can scoop the dough straight from the sheet!
For some reason I never thought to use parchment paper for roasting one of our favorites snacks. We love asparagus drizzled with olive oil, fresh garlic, and parmesan cheese. I can not clean the baking sheet until it cools and by then it becomes discolored and crusted.  Parchment paper is literally saving my baking sheets! I honestly wished I started using parchment paper sooner. I am left with wondering "what else am I missing?"
I went on to make Classic Peanut Butter Cookies using parchment paper and the cookies baked beautifully and I did not have any baking sheets to clean afterwards.  I am officially sold.

I used the cookies to create Triple Peanut Butter S'Mores  I warmed the cookies, marshmallow, and peanut butter cup on parchment paper since marshmallow is notorious for sticking to fingers and plates.
 I created some wholesome granola bars using natural peanut butter, coconut oil, and honey as a base. After I cook the mixture and stir in oats and sea salt I transfer to a sheet of Reynolds parchment paper. I shaped the mixture by hand by pressing them out into a rectangle. Once they cool I cut them into bars. Then I had an "Aha! Moment" and decided to reuse the parchment I pressed them out on by cutting it into strips to wrap the bars in. I tied the paper on with a piece of bakers twine.
 I am an AllRecipes Allstar Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I am not compensated for my work with Products received from advertisers are used for experienced-based reviews by me.
The reviews, content, and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of House of Aqua. This blog was written in support of Reynolds Kitchens.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cookie Apple Dip

Lately I've been into eating cookie's actually a healthier cookie dough. That helps, right? I was eating it for lunch the other day then began to feel guilty as I looked over at the bowl of apples on the counter. I was thinking to myself that I should be eating an apple, not stuffing my face with cookie old am I? 
To be fair the cookie dough is actually fairly healthy. There are only 6 ingredients if you include the chocolate! I decided to slice an apple and dip it into the cookie dough. Uh...why haven't I tried this sooner? To me it tastes like an alternative to eating a large caramel apple dipped into milk chocolate. This makes for a great snack or a treat for those who are trying to eat right or follow a paleo or gluten free diet. You can easily adjust this recipe to suit your needs.
Cookie Apple Dip
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 Tablesooons old fashioned oats
1/2 Tablespoon agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1.) Melt coconut oil in a bowl. Stir peanut butter into melted coconut oil.
2.) Add flax, oats, agave/maple syrup. Stir in desired amount of chocolate chips. (1/4 cup may be too much for some, I tend to go heavy on the chocolate!)
*Recipe serves 2*

Here is the recipe for the cookies before I tweaked the recipe into an apple dip!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Heart Healthy Fun with Mazola® Corn Oil

This month I had some fun with Mazola® Corn Oil. I stepped outside of the box and made prepared some recipes that my family and I enjoyed!

 My family and I have adopted the "Importance of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle." My husband is a marathon runner and we also have a daughter who needs to learn how to eat and enjoy healthy food.  Having a child caused us to step up our game when it comes to preparing healthy meals. 

This month I started by preparing the Cinnamon Vanilla Granola recipe from the Mazola® recipe collection on 
I admit this was my first time making homemade granola and I am scratching my head wondering why I wasn't doing this sooner! It makes your home smells amazing when it is baking. The recipe is also easy to adjust to the amount you wish to keep on hand. We love eating a handful of it or mixing it into a cup of yogurt. 

I also prepared Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce from the Mazola® recipe collection. We don't eat pork so I used medium tofu as a substitute. I was able to prepare the tofu similarly to the pork. The seasonings were perfect and the cilantro tomatillo sauce was refreshing. I live in the heart of San Diego and rarely prepare Mexican style dishes at home. I was blown away how tasty this meal was. It was filling without being too heavy. I have since made this dish several times because we love it so much! 

The last recipe I prepared from the Mazola® recipe collection was the Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa. While my husband loves salmon, he can't eat grapefruit. I'm not a fan of fish so I made this with medium tofu in place of salmon. Again, I made the recipe as written and oiled, seasoned, and baked the tofu. I was a little skeptical of the grapefruit salsa until I tasted it with the baked tofu. I was sold! Great balance of the sweet and spicy! 

Did you know that Mazola® Corn Oil can lower cholesterol? Corn oil lowered LDL cholesterol by 10.9 percent compared to extra virgin olive oil’s 3.5 percent reduction, making corn oil more effective. Who knew?!

 Learn more about the healthy benefits of cooking with Mazola® HERE Disclaimer

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I am not compensated for my work with  

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of House of Aqua.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I Wore - Outfit Inspiration - Thanks to Pinterest!

Now that the child is back to school I have time to rummage through the local thrift and consignment stores once again. Since our last move I haven't really dedicated any time to sorting through our master closet. Sure, I pluck a shirt or two off the hangers every now and then but I also knew it was time to really to realistic with myself. I have found Pinterst to be an excellent tool not only for organization ideas but primarily for outfit inspiration.
After taking a hard look at my closet and Pinterest, I have been on the lookout for great timeless staples as well as fun and trendy items. The thrift (and consignment) stores are always a great place to start. If you have a smartphone, one tip for you is to use it while thrifting! For example: I found a great genuine leather vest that can be a timeless staple yet I was a little unsure of how to wear it and whether I should purchase it. I promptly pulled out my phone and searched "leather vest" on Pinterest for instant outfit inspiration.
I will be sharing my newly reorganized closet soon but right now I want to share some photos of recent outfits!
J. Crew Tessa top - Paige Denim shorts

Apt. 9 gold cuff bracelet (I adore!) -  gold chain necklace

Dexter leopard wedges - Tory Burch bag

Leather vest with silky black/gray tank - Hudson Collin Skinny Jeans - Jessica Simpson Wedges

Old Navy striped top - Gap leopard calf hair belt - Gap Eyelet shorts in coral - Apt. 9 gold cuff bracelet - Jessica Simpson wedges

Victoria's Secret Pink loose white tee - gold chain necklace - Gap Eyelet shorts in coral - Tory Burch bag - Target sandals