Lately I have been loving Italian Homemade Limoncello!

Limoncello makes the perfect holiday gift that the receiving end can put to use  right away. During the Christmas season it is a delicious aperitif to have on hand, especially if you have a little Italian in you (like me!)  It is pretty easy to make and very easy to enjoy… The simple mixture only requires fresh organic lemons, vodka, sugar, and water. Last week, over the course of a few days, I make some of this yellow liquor and have been enjoying it ever since! Store in the freezer and serve ice cold.

What you need: Organic lemons, pure grain alcohol 190 proof/ 95% vol (I used vodka), sugar (to make simple syrup), water, and a glass container. In short, using a vegetable peeler, you peel the lemons. Put them in an airtight jar with the vodka. Let the mixture sit in a cold dark place for a few days (I used my garage refrigerator). Then you strain the mixture, add some simple syrup. Pour it in to a pretty jar and enjoy! Here is a link to the exact recipe that I used. I also made a milkier version, which tastes more like a lemon Baileys after dinner drink. I will look for the link to that recipe and post it here once I find it.

After peeling the lemons, I used the actual lemon to make my kids mouth watering homemade lemonade… It was SO AMAZING! To make my simple organic lemonade I hand juiced all of the lemons into a glass container. I added simple syrup to taste which I had leftover from making the limonchello. It was one of the best cups of lemonade I have had in years!

 

Save the Planet with a Silicone Straw from this traverse city company!!!

Discover: Stacey Feeley’s Silicone Straws

Stacey Feeley is a Traverse City entrepreneur and the owner/inventor of GoSili Products– Sold throughout the world! Here is one of here hottest new products- A reusable silicone straw that is dishwasher safe, sustainable, and folds into this useful tin, so you can take it anywhere! Send it with your kids to school or throw it in your purse for your next business lunch- Help make the world a little cleaner, one straw at a time! You can find these locally at Target, Meijer, Luckys and a lot of other stores- or shop online on Amazon.com or Gosili.com Here is a little more info on this innovative and useful product:

Reusable Silicone Straw + Case

Perfect for on the go. This reusable eco-friendly silicone straw comes with a travel case and is the perfect solution when on the go. Never be without your straw again! The portable travel case fits right in your pocket, backpack, purse or bag. Smaller than a pack of gum, cheaper than a tin of mints, lasts longer than both and better for the environment! Easy to use and clean, both the straw and carry case are dishwasher safe.

  • 100% European-grade silicone
  • BPA, BPS, phthalate, PVC, and lead free
  • Comes with aluminum travel / case
  • Includes one straw
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Straws are 8″ in length with an opening of .5cm

 

GIRLFRIEND’S HAPPY HOUR: FOODIE FINDS

A few recommendations straight from one girlfriend’s kitchen to yours via our zoom happy hour… 

Here we are again! For the last few weeks my girlfriend and I have hosted a zoom happy hour  (because we are stuck in our homes right now due to Covid-19- Stay safe ladies)- Soooo, we are doing it again this week… with a topic, I like to call: FOODIE FINDS! These are just simple food items straight from one girlfriend’s kitchen to yours… Some of our favorite basic food items that are a go-to in good times and bad. And just in case you wanted to try them out yourself, I have added some links (when possible) below the product- just click on the link find where you can purchase the product.  If you like what you see or have any FOODIE FIND suggestions, please share it in the comments below. Stay safe and healthy. xoxo Kristy & her Happy Hour Girl Friends

Carrine’s Chocolate Love 

Lundberg Organic Chocolate Covered Thin Stackers

Carrine loves these organic chocolate covered thin stackers in the decadent dark by Lundberg Farms

“These are the rice cake/chocolate things that I just love! Delicious!” -Carrine

Carrine & Lauren’s milk pick 

ALMOND & OAT MILK 

Carrine recommends this specific healthy brand and blends: Califia Farms Almond Oat Milk, unsweetened, oats & almond blend. She says, “I do a banana smoothie in the morning, so I use it for that. Or I’ll put it in my coffee. I get it at the Olson’s Grocery Store by the Old State Hospital in Traverse City- not every store carries this specific kind of almond milk. It is a little creamery. If I make coffee, I’ll put it in there with a little maple syrup.”

Lauren prefers the Almond Coconut flavor of the same brand. “I am chia pudding, I like to use the Almond Coconut to make chia,” she says. “I add cinnamon and maple syrup.”

Erica’s best box

Green Chef BOX

Erica loves the Green Chef meal delivery box: “We love Green Chef in our family- It’s awesome. We order one box that comes with three meals for the week (for 4 people each). You can choose from many organic options: keto, paleo, family plans… My daughter has been cooking it for us every day in Quarantine! She is learning all about cooking – it’s been such a cool thing! It’s super simple (more simple than Blue Apron). It’s rare that we even need to help her. They give a calorie count and carb count. We get it for a family of four, and the kids love it! Organic and yummy flavors!”

LAUREN’S SALSA 

Mrs. Renfro’s Hot Green Salsa Verde

“Lauren recommends you try Mrs. Renfros Hot Green Salsa Verde – She buys it locally in Traverse City at Tom. “I eat it on everything and I buy multiple at a time to keep stocked.” -Lauren

MACKENZIE’S FARM FAV

MICHIGAN FARM-TO-FREEZER

This company takes local produce, like veggies and fruit, they package it up, freeze it, and sell it in grocery stores. It allows Mackenzie to easily use all local blueberries and strawberries for her smoothies- even in the off season. They are often at the end of the aisle at the grocery store.

MACKENZIE’s CBD DRINK 

DRAM DRINK

DRAM is a cbd sparkling water in a can. Mackenzie recommends “beauty bubbles” flavor- it is gluten-free, plant-based, antioxidant, healthy eyes, and so much more. The company is based out of Colorado, and you can order online. She says, “they are tasty!”

GROWING WITH MAC 

THAI BASIL PLANT

“I have been inspired by the nice weather and I’ve wanted to plant,” explains Mackenzie. “So, I bought this thai basil, it makes me happy! I also like to plant mint and other herbs. I’ve been putting them in my kitchen window. I bought them at the new Oryana West in Traverse City.”

ERICA’S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Terrain.com

Erica recently discovered Terrain.com and loves their white and pink cherry blossoms for only $58.  “I had a box delivered, they will bloom over the next four weeks- I’m going to send my step-mom in Florida the white one in honor of Traverse City. I was so excited, instead of flowers and they last a month! So, TC, if you have a mother-in-law out of town, it’s perfect!”

BUTTER-ME-UP with kristy

KERRY GOLD IRISH BUTTER

Kristy’s go-to butter is Kerry Gold Irish Butter, it is all-natural, and a great go-to for any kitchen needs!  Kristy knows the importance of pure quality butter for a healthy diet- she picks this one!  You can find this brand at most of your local grocery stores. 

 

 

GIRLFRIEND’S HAPPY HOUR: KITCHEN LOVE

A few of our favorite kitchen items as discussed in our zoom happy hour… 

Last week my girlfriends and I hosted a zoom happy hour  (because we are stuck in our homes right now due to Covid-19- Stay safe ladies)- Soooo, we are doing it again this week! And tonight the topic is KITCHEN LOVE! What do you LOVE in your kitchen? Is it a cool utensil? A yummy sriracha dip?  A popcorn popper?! Well, pour your self a glass of wine, or a margarita, and get ready to read this blog post filled with the GREATEST kitchen stuff that these ladies can find in their own kitchen!  Get ready to be blown away!!!! And just in case you wanted to try them out yourself, I have added some links (when possible) below the product- so just click on the link find where you can purchase the product.  If you like what you see or have another kitchen suggestion, please share it in the comments below. Stay safe and healthy. xoxo Kristy & her happy hour friends

lisa’s summer pineapple slicer

Pineapple Corer and Slicer tool –  for Easy Core Removal & Slicing 

It peels it, slices it, and cores it all in one scoop! This pineapple slicer is one of Lisa’s top summer utensils- Makes for easy and fast pineapple enjoyment.

Dirty or clean? Erica knows!

Dishwasher Magnet Clean Dirty  Changes When You  

This genius Dirty/Clean Magnet sticks on the dishwasher to label when it needs unloading or loading. Erica said: “My husband got it for Christmas from Santa! Saves our family from a lot of arguments.”

Mary’s tiny chopper

Kuhn Rikon Pull Chop, 2 Cup Food Chopper 

Mary’s top kitchen pick is this adorable Tiny Chopper. She says, “It is so simple, my kids use it, we use it every single day. You pull it and it chops up- it’s fun! Peppers, onions, oats! It’s so easy!”

Perfect Popcorn with mackenzie

The Original Proper Popper Microwave  

This popcorn popper is a kitchen favorite of many of the girls on this Zoom call– It is made of silicone and pops open for easy cleaning and storage. Simply put it in the microwave, enjoy the popcorn, and then throw it in the dishwasher. Then it collapses to store for next time!

Lisa’s smart Avacado slicer

OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

In addition to slicing pineapple, Lisa is an avid avocado gal. This avocado slicer makes for perfect avocado pieces. It takes the skin off in section, so gourmet!

Mary’s stylish salt & pepper

MENU Bottle Grinder with Steel Lid, Ash/Carbon, Set of 2

These stylish salt and pepper shakers are Mary’s go-to for housewarming gifts. They are decorative and easy to use every day, they work by turning them upside down. “This Christmas I gave them to my sisters for housewarming gifts! They come in 5 colors and the cork top is SO cute!”

 

kid’s Chopsticks that works! -Kristy

Find these chopsticks at The Good Bowl in Traverse City.

“These kid’s chopsticks are great for little fingers! They come apart, so easy to clean in the dishwasher- And my 4-year-old is learning how to hold and use them perfectly!”
-Kristy 

 

Kristy’s favorite TRAVEL MUG 

Silicone Travel Mug – 16 oz

Our family LOVES these silicone mugs, and they were created by a company based in Traverse City, GoSili. They are super useful for kids who are prone to spilling, as parents we put our coffee in these mugs, and they are really nice for older people too, such as advanced-stage Parkinson’s patients who have trouble with their grip. All around, great up!” -Kristy