October 2, 2015

An Easy Way to Make Iced Coffee Even More Delicious (Say What?)

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-2You guys, I totally missed National Coffee Day! I had it on my editorial calendar as October 1 (yes, I have an ed calendar even though I hardly ever manage to stick to it) and then with all my packing and running around I haven’t been on Instagram and it passed me by completely. I was devastated for a couple of minutes (I didn’t get to party with other over-caffienators!!!!), but then I decided to turn it into an opportunity: September 29 was Coffee Day, but I hereby declare October 1 to be National ICED Coffee Day, so, turns out, my post is right on time.

And do I have some deliciousness for you today! Last summer I happened upon this doughnut shop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and had the best iced coffee of my life. Which is saying something as the first thing I do when I hit a town is ask the locals where the best iced coffee and shoe stores are (my husband LOVES traveling with me). The secret to Coloradough’s icy goodness? These crazy iced cubes, made not from the coffee cubes we so often see, but from cream and sugar!

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-6OMG. It’s like the coffee started out lovely enough, but then it just kept getting better and better as the ice melted until I was literally licking the sides of the cup. I went back the next day to get another one and THEY WERE SOLD OUT. And then I went back this summer, after thinking about it for six months, and THEY NO LONGER MAKE THEM. You want to see a broken heart in action? Check out a grown woman, drowning her sorrows in doughnuts to make up for her iced coffee sadness (the donuts did an excellent job, by the way).

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-3The good thing is I figured out how to make it at home. It’s been a lot of trial-and-error, but I am committed because this is something I’m truly passionate about and, heaven forbid, your cubes come out mushy.

A couple of things I’ve learned along the way: 

  1. Make sure your iced coffee is cold to start with, otherwise it melts the cubes on contact and the party’s over before it starts.
  2. Don’t forget to mix your concentrate with water (like I did in the above photo, whoops) because all your hard work will fall apart from the bitterness of the concentrate.
  3. You’re going to want to take the lazy girl route and just mix some half and half with sugar or simple sugar. This is a terrible idea. It makes for mushy cubes, which is not the end of the world, but close. Stay the course!
  4. Your waistline is going to tell you this is a once-in-awhile treat. She is wrong and is a bossy little gal who is probably best quieted with a donut.

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-5Oh yeah, and the more cubes the better.

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-4Don’t you think this would be totally amazing for a baby shower or a brunch with friends or a morning pick-me-up after your kids have been fighting over the same stuffed animal all morning, even though there are clearly 1700 other ones they could choose from?

homemade iced coffee cubes for easy treat - Fabulistas-7I agree! Which is why I’m going to go and have several and think of you all as I dream my way through some creamy deliciousness. Enjoy!

Iced Coffee Cubes 
This looks hard and like a lot of steps, but, I promise, it’s totally easy!

  • 2 cups half and half
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • dash of vanilla (optional)

1. Heat up half and half with sugar and vanilla on the stove to boiling point, stirring the entire time. (You’re going to want to skip the stirring step and unload the dishwasher but that’s a bad idea as then your milk will probably burn. Not that I know that from experience.)

2. Once it’s boiling, turn down heat to simmer and leave for ten minutes (okay, now you can go do the dishwasher).

3. Take off heat and let cool fully. Pour through sifter to get rid of chunky bits from boiling (“chunky bits” is a highly technical term).

4. Pour into ice cube tray (two cups fills one tray to perfection) and freeze overnight.

5. Add to your favorite iced coffee and send me well wishes.

Photos by Erica Bean Photography.

September 24, 2015

Why You Should Sometimes Spend a Little More on One Item

clashist Samantha Jones shirt with blue pants for Mom-Approved fashion - Fabulistas-2 copyI’d say if I had a fashion mantra (and who doesn’t have a fashion mantra, am I right?), it’d be “I’m cheap. I just don’t want to look it.” There are many reasons for this (one being a little guy named Bennett who has a propensity towards aiming his plate at my lap at least once a day), but the biggest is I love clothes and am on a budget. And as much as I’d love to be that gal who has a ten piece, minimalist wardrobe, I will always be the woman who has to check her bags for an overnight trip.

So for the most part I do my shopping at less expensive stores so I can get a full, varied wardrobe and keep my husband. But, there are times, when I find an item so amazing I will move heaven and earth (and even willingly push back my hair coloring appointment a bit, which if you saw my grays you would understand the sacrifice!) to buy it because I know I will wear the crap out of it.

clashist Samantha Jones shirt with blue pants for Mom-Approved fashion - Fabulistas-4 copyIn this case, it’s my Samantha Jones t-shirt from the Clashist, which I’m totally obsessed with. It was $45, which the Midwesterner in me was all about in arms about because it’s a t-shirt, but, whatever, I wear it ALL THE TIME. (I know. My husband expressed doubts too, but that Sam weasels her way into your wardrobe and doesn’t let go.)

clashist Samantha Jones shirt with blue pants for Mom-Approved fashion - Fabulistas-3 copy

Plus, it makes me feel cool, which I think we all know you can’t put a price tag on. Especially since the last time I felt cool was that night I had a few too many margaritas and decided to channel Britney Spears for Baby One More Time (complete with memorized choreography!) at a karaoke party with a bunch of my husband’s work friends and there might have been a teensy chance my coolness barometer was slightly off. Given this, I will take my coolness as it comes.

clashist Samantha Jones shirt with blue pants for Mom-Approved fashion - Fabulistas-6 copy

I actually wore Samantha while I was in Brooklyn and was stopped on the street and asked about her, which is pretty much the hip gods bestowing a golden kiss upon my wrinkles and saying, “Baby, you still got it.” So, you can see why I’m willing to lay down the cash…

What about you guys? Are you up for spending a little more for something you really love? And what’s your threshold? I feel like once we hit about $100 I have to really think about it, regardless of how much I love it, to make sure it’s something I know I will wear for years and years to come (like an Elaine Dance sweatshirt, obviously).

Photos by Erica Bean Photography.

September 15, 2015

Easy Fun with Kids: Drink Colored Water with Silly Straws

Easy fun with kids - drink from silly straws - Fabulistas

This has to be one of my favorite “Easy Fun with Kids” posts we’ve ever done, mainly because it was SO MUCH FUN. Neither of us could stop laughing. Plus, it takes so little time to do, we literally pull out these silly straws once a week. I’ll be feeling stressed and overwhelmed and beating myself up about the fact we never have fun anymore (because the half hour they spent on their own while I frantically emailed definitely out-weighed the books we read, going to the zoo, and the car sing-along, right? #getagrip) and then I pull out these for afternoon snack and suddenly all is right again in the world.

easy fun with kids - drink from sippy straws - FabulistasSee, what I mean?

5 minute fun for kids - silly straws - FabulistasOne thing we discovered is that while drinking regular ole water out them is fun, colored water is a million times better (I’d imagine that’s a scientific fact).

kid putting food coloring in water for fun - FabulistasEven better is getting to do the food coloring on your own. (I’d estimate this made it 747,000 times better, but I’d have to double-check my Scientific America).

silly straw fun with kids - FabulistasWe’ve had so much fun with them, I ended up buying about ten sets so we can use them when friends come over with the end game, obviously, being to host Thanksgiving and force encourage everyone to use them. I feel like these with my design-your-own, Pilgrim hats would be my dream Thanksgiving (Forget the turkey! We’ve got silly straws!).

drink from silly straws with kids - FabulistaspsdI’ve also been thinking lately they’d be a perfect topper for kids’ birthday presents -instead of an ever-elusive bow, put one of these on it? Although that’s the food coloring going to my head because it ain’t a present from our house unless it’s in a bag. It’s nice to have goals though, right?

Eyeglass Straws 
Alice’s dress, which makes every day better as any Ariel lover knows

Photos by: Erica Bean Photography

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