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Living Room Decor Update

I have been slowly updating the décor in my living room.  First, it was the throw pillows.  Next came a switch-out of some new accessories. 
Inspired by color palettes I saw at West Elm, and these Hobnail Vases in particular, I went on the search for unique bottles and vases in shades of blue and green.  I hit the jackpot at At Home, a local discount home superstore (formerly Garden Ridge) with all sorts of contemporary accessories.
Here are some of the latest additions to the living room in it's slow evolution:

The coral statue is new, and looks nice in our built-in bookshelf next to some of our other tchotchkes.

The white Buddha head is also new.

Don't forget to pin and share if you are inspired! 


Travel Tuesday: Organized Camping Supply Box

When the weather starts getting nicer in Texas, our family starts getting excited for our spring camping trips.  Being in nature is so refreshing.  We find that weekend camping trips are a great way to get away and refresh between our bigger vacations.

Given that we go camping as often as we can, we have built up a decent collection of supplies (you can see our camping packing list in this blog post).  We have found that it is really convenient to store many of them in a box (one that can fit into your car's trunk) so that you can grab it and go, and don't risk forgetting key items.

Once you see how much stuff you have, the first step is to get a box.  You can use any old plastic storage box, but we felt it was worth investing in these watertight storage boxes from The Container Store.  The size is good for our trunk, their shape makes them easy to stack in the garage for storage, and of course the watertight factor is great for camping.  You don't have to worry about this one being left out in the elements. 

Here is how we have organized ours.


Healthier Red Velvet Cake Pops Recipe (Made with Quest Protein Powder)

Disclosure: I received a sample of Quest Protein Powder and Quest Bars for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience using the products for baking.  I was not financially compensated for this post.
I love having the opportunity to review things for my readers... especially when it involves cooking and finding good, healthier alternatives.  This particular opportunity came when I was contacted by Quest to try out some dessert recipes using their protein powder and Quest Bar protein bars as ingredients.  Just in time for Valentine's Day, I was eager to see if these lower-guilt treats would taste as good as they look.
I tried their Red Velvet Cake Pops recipe, which used the protein powder and almond meal instead of flour, and sugar-free chocolate.  You also use a crumbled Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar as part of the cake, which I found especially interesting.  The result would be a high-protein treat with low sugar and low net carbs.  Believe it or not, this was the first time I attempted making cake balls or red velvet cake, so it was a fun experiment.
The process was pretty easy.  I had higher expectations once I tasted the Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar... it was delicious!  It did not have that cardboard taste of other protein bars, plus it actually was much lower in calories and net carbs than other protein bars.  My husband and I are both Quest Bar converts now.

After you bake and crumble the cake, you incorporate a healthier/high-protein cream cheese frosting with the cake before you form the balls.  This gave it a good, true red velvet cake taste.  You dip the balls in melted sugar-free chocolate at the end, which also helps with the guilt.  I went for a sugar-free dark chocolate. 
The result was really delicious!  I expected it to have that "fake sugar" taste, but it really didn't (or at least it wasn't noticeable to me).  It is great to know there are ways to indulge that are not as bad for you, but you do have to note that the serving size is one cake ball, so you shouldn't binge on them.  I found that they made great gifts for friends and neighbors so we weren't tempted by having 18 of them at our fingertips.
So who knew?  You can bake with protein powder and protein bars! 
Click here for the Red Velvet Cake Pops recipe, and click here to shop for Quest products.


Spring 2015 Fitness, Workout and Yoga Fashion

Did you know that this is the time of year when most people give up their New Years resolutions?  Maybe some cute new workout gear would make it easier for you to stick with!

I have fitness fashion on the brain lately, especially with my upcoming active vacation with Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyage.  So naturally I needed to do a bit of a workout clothes shopping spree.  New workout clothes definitely give you a reason to workout!  Here is a collection of some of my new workout looks.  Hope this inspires you!

Teal and gray BCG top and reversible headband from Academy Sports & Outdoors, and crop pants from Fabletics.

Yoga tops from prAna (Meadow top and Tandi top), headband from Academy Sports & Outdoors, and crop pants from Fabletics.

Yoga tank from My Inner Fire (I love the saying!), BCG pleated waistband studio pants from Academy Sports & Outdoors, white long-sleeved top from Victrola Designs, and long-sleeved hooded New Balance top.

New Balance Yoga Tapas top, reversible headband from Academy Sports & Outdoors, Ideology tank from Macy's, and Lima Capri (love this pant!) from Fabletics.

Tank top purchased from a market in Thailand, gray BCG seamless cami sports bra, dip-dyed shorts, and volley shorts all from Academy Sports & Outdoors.

Do new workout clothes inspire you to get your sweat on?  Comment below or hit @fabeverydayblog up on social media!


DIY Car-Themed Kids Valentine Idea + Free Printable


My kiddos still love anything with wheels.  They also love mini doughnuts.  Put these two ideas together and we came up with our DIY Valentine for them to give out to their school friends!  Using an idea we already used for one of the snacks at Grayson's Disney Cars-Themed Birthday Party, we decided to give their friends "spare tires" (a pair of chocolate mini doughnuts) for Valentine's Day this year. 

I created a label that we printed on cardstock using a car-themed font and some tire-treads graphics.  There are a few cute car-themed Valentines puns ("You 'Auto' Be Mine," "You Drive Me Crazy," "You Really Rev My Engine," "You Make My Heart Race," etc.), but we went with "I 'Wheelie' Like You" since it seemed to fit best with our "spare tires."  Click here for the free printable label (size of each label is 4" wide x 5" tall unfolded, and 4" wide x 2.5" tall when folded).

We put two mini doughnuts in these small clear favor bags from Party City.  We had to cut a few inches off the top, but then stapled the label onto the bags to seal shut.  We placed the staples over the bottom strip of tire treads so you couldn't really see the staples from the front.

Here is how they look from the back.
Enjoy the free printable, and don't forget to pin and share if you are inspired!


Milestone Birthday: Planning my Dad's 70th Birthday Party

My dad just celebrated a milestone birthday: the big 7-0.  This was such a fun birthday party, as it was a reason for my siblings, nieces, and nephews to come from afar to celebrate together.  Great family memories were made, lots of delicious Puerto Rican food was cooked and eaten, and there were plenty of laughs.
Another fun thing about this party was that it gave me the opportunity to plan a party that did not involve Thomas the Tank Engine, dinosaurs, or Lightning McQueen.  Don't get me wrong, I love getting into the kids' party themes... but it was fun to have some different inspiration.  Now, I am happy to share some of that inspiration back to you.
The party color and pattern scheme was black, white, gray, and chevron.  Click here to see my planning inspiration board for this party on Pinterest.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.  This does not cost you anything additional, and helps me to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!
The party save-the-date card using a baby and current photo of the birthday boy.
The invitation incorporated photos from throughout his life and introduced more of the party color and pattern schemes.

Here you see one of the primary décor pieces from the party. I collected photos from throughout his life and printed them all in black and white (even the newer photos) for aesthetic purposes.  I made two large collages out of these images, both shaped like the number "70."  I hung black and white paper discs from Party City from the ceiling above them.

Here is the second of the two "70" photo collages, along with a chalkboard sign (close-up of the sign below).

Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest and using a chalkboard from Target (Target has a lot of chalkboard party accessories in stores), I made this sign with some facts about life in 1944 - the year my dad was born.  Chalkboards and white chalk tied in the party color scheme and was something I could use in varying ways throughout the party.

Using these budget-friendly 8.5"x11" Nyttja frames from Ikea, another décor component were these seven signs that bulleted out some highlights of each of the seven decades of my father's life.

My niece found a beautiful cake for the occasion that was decorated simply with gray ombre chevron stripes.

Gray and chevron utensils and accessories were from Party City (my go-to for party basics).

Flowers were a steal from Trader Joe's. The vases were these simple cube vases from Michael's to which I attached black and white photos.  The face of the vases was 4"x6" - a perfect size for a photo.
Favor bags were plain white bags from Party City with a label I created on the front.  The bags were filled with items that represent my dad (see below).  As you can see, I used chalkboards for signs throughout the party (all purchased from Target).

Since my dad loves chocolate (who doesn't?) I ordered these customizable Hershey Kiss labels from Etsy for another party giveaway that matched the party scheme.  

Since photos became such a big part of the décor, I also included them in an edible giveaway for the party.  I found a great deal on custom photo cookies from Sweet Express Images (located in Colorado but will ship them fresh in time for your party).

The favor bags ("Ray's Favorite Things") included a mini bottle of Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum (see below for the customized label I made), some of my dad's signature Magic Mix seasoning, a United States Air Force decal purchased from this eBay seller, an Oregon Ducks sticker, a New York Yankees pen purchased from this eBay seller, and an individual serving of Café Bustelo (also found on eBay).

I made the mini bottles of Bacardi myself using these empty bottles purchased from Amazon.  I created a "custom" Bacardi label using my dad's name and age and printed them on 2"x4" Avery printable labels.  This size label fit the bottle perfectly and were a cute DIY touch for the party favors (for the adults only, obviously). 

Another piece of party décor was also a great interactive party activity.  I created a large poster mounted on foam core with 70 empty speech bubbles.  Guests had to add things they love about my dad so that he had this great party keepsake with lots of sweet sentiments from the party guests.
Overall my dad had a great party!  Though a party's success is really due to the company... the décor scheme may have been icing on the cake (pun intended), but the memories came from all of the love from the people in the room celebrating with him. 
Don't forget to follow @fabeverydayblog on Pinterest, and share and pin these ideas if you are inspired for a milestone birthday party you are planning!