Glossies Made Me Do It – July 2017

It’s time for another edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It”.  Link up with Happy Pretty Sweet or Shooting Stars Mag to join the fun.


Oprah’s puppy pictures made me say “awwwww”

“A home without dogs is like a library without books”

This quote from Oprah made me smile because dogs and books are both close to my heart ❤️ too.


The July issue of Essence featured the new movie Girls Trip starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall & Tiffany Haddish. The movie (and Essence Fest) takes place in New Orleans which made me remember how much I enjoyed our trip to NOLA


Redbook’s July cover model is the beautiful Tracee Ellis Ross. She has a 2 page interview and I would love to find a dress like the striped one she wears on page 87.

“Make Some Amazing Memories” on pages 88- 94 has ideas for fun things to do in the summertime – also  check out the Style and Savings Summer Fun List

Better Homes & Gardens

Page 124 has simple recipes for refreshing mixed drinks! I decided to try the Watermelon- Berry Limeade

To make two drinks, I doubled the recipe

If you have no space in your budget or kitchen for yet another gadget, use a drinking straw as a strawberry huller!

I substituted coconut water for 4 shots of Malibu and added a splash of lime juice

After blending and pouring, I really enjoyed this tasty & tropical drink

That’s all until next month – click here for previous glossy posts


Mini Chocolate Lava Birthday Cakes

This year, for my birthday I wanted to make a unique, chocolate dessert. After scrolling through my Pinterest boards, I found an idea on this site.

I don’t normally order dessert at restaurants, but I remembered trying this one at Chili’s before. It has gooey, hot, melty chocolate with the ice cream scoops on top to cool it down.

The mini versions were pretty simple to make – but there were a couple of tricky steps that I will note below.

Cake Ingredients:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ (or powdered) sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, and 2 large egg yolks  (* a total of 4 eggs)


Ice Cream


Birthday Candles

Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (these can also be made in 4 ramekin dishes)

Preheat oven to 425°F

Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. Put butter and chocolate into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds until completely smooth

In another small bowl, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together

*In a third small bowl, combine 2 entire eggs plus only the yolks of 2 more eggs

Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use a whisk or a fork.

Spoon chocolate batter evenly into muffin tin (I was able to make 9 total).

To bake in a muffin tin, the cakes only take about 8 minutes. *(I added an extra 2 minutes and that was tooo long, The extra time completely cooks the center, and you don’t get the lava effect).

Allow to cool for 1 minute, then using a knife, go around the edges of each cake to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. Cover with a plate and turn the pan completely over, so the cakes are on the plate.

Top with ice cream, sprinkles, (and a candle for the birthday girl!) and Enjoy!

See this post for desserts from last year’s birthday

Sweet & Spicy Tortellini Carbonara

One day, I wanted to try making a pasta carbonara, but when I searched for recipes, I realized it was made with a raw egg – kind of scary. So, I decided to create a combination of two different recipes. I would use the tortellini and bacon from the pasta carbonara recipe with the sauce from our favorite meal –  Spicy Shrimp Penne.

So there’s the story of how Sweet & Spicy Tortellini was invented.



20oz package Buitoni 3 cheese tortellini


1/2 cup olive oil

1 packet of soy sauce

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. red pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


3 slices of bacon

1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. parsley


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

  3. Put bacon slices on the baking sheet and cook in oven for 15 minutes

  4. Boil pasta on the stove (be sure to add a sprinkle of salt and a tsp. of oil so it doesn’t stick) Pasta usually takes about 10 minutes on medium-high and tortellini will float to the top as it finishes cooking

  5. While pasta and bacon are cooking, mix together in a bowl olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, red pepper, and parmesan cheese

  6. Pour the sauce mixture into a large skillet and heat to medium long enough for the cheese to melt. Turn the heat down to simmer

  7. Once pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the large skillet with the sauce. Toss the pasta to make sure it is coated in sauce

  8. Once bacon is crispy take it out of the oven, let it cool, then pat it with paper towels to remove the grease.

  9. Put pasta on plates to serve

  10. Crumble bacon and sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley to top the pasta


Pour a couple of glasses of wine and enjoy!

Linking up with The Blended Blog for Tasty Tuesday

February Friday Faves 2.17.17

Welcome to the third Friday in February! Here’s a recap of my favorite parts of the week.


This chicken recipe falls into the Semi-Homemade category because it uses the pre-cooked Tyson chicken strips. The sauce is pretty easy to make with a few simple ingredients. I pinned this on my Restaurant At Home board, because they are a close copy-cat to Chili’s Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers.

For Valentine’s weekend I cooked brunch  using a cast-iron skillet (a wedding present) for the first time. These breakfast potatoes were pretty easy – I like making recipes that don’t require lots of ingredients and use what I already have in the kitchen. I think the key to these potatoes is adding enough olive oil in the beginning and watching carefully so that the bacon doesn’t burn. I also made this recipe again too – it may be becoming a favorite.


This week I started reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I had seen it on a couple of other blogs (it’s a very colorful and photogenic book cover) and it was in the Quarterly Literary Subscription box recently. So far I can see why this book is so popular – there’s no boring lead-in or build up – the action starts immediately. I read 4 chapters in one night!

the mothers.png

Photo Credit: Quarterly


One of the besties gave me this Coach Love perfume sample in my Christmas gift. Coach is one of my favorite brands. The scent is floral without being too young and girly and it fits the romantic spirit of February.


Although we didn’t get to spend the actual holiday together – I’ll be making  Strawberry Lime Margaritas with my sister as a toast to  Galentine’s DayI would love to have a party like this to celebrate one year….


Cheers to the Weekend!


Friday Faves 1.20.17

I enjoyed reading several bloggers’ year in review posts at the end of 2016, and I wish I had written one too because I had so many fun and exciting adventures during the year. Also, I liked that the recaps focused on the happy events.

As a way to generate positivity, sometimes Style and Savings will have a Friday Faves post to look back on good things (big or small) that happened during the week.

MLK Holiday

Monday was an extension of the weekend – we were fortunate enough to have the day off in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dress Barn Clearance

Belted Colorblock Fit-and-Flare Dress

Photo Credit: Dress Barn


After the closing of The Limited 😦  I found myself in Dress Barn looking for a professional style dress. I found this Calvin Klein A-line dress for 50% off at Dress Barn. The Dress Barn original price was $59.50 and other retailers sell it for as much as $89.98. The price variation on the exact same dress is crazy! Read about it here

Sheet Pan Fajitas


I found a Pinterest Win! I have already made this recipe twice: once with shrimp and once with chicken. This was a easy clean up way to make fajitas. The seasoning & lime juice & cooking time were perfect.

Archer Farms Guacamole & Salsa Combo

Tortilla chips dipped in Target’s Archer Farms Spicy Pico & Guacamole were a good side to the fajitas.I was hesitant to buy it since I didn’t know if I liked them together in the same container.  I’m glad I tried it – It’s so good!

Hope you had a good week – Happy Friday!


Pinterest Trial & Error

Those of you who are familiar with Pinterest know that not every DIY or recipe you try turns out looking like the photo.

After experiencing my own #pinterestfail or two lately, I created a board called “Pinterest Trial & Error” where I can post notes on what went wrong and/or how I think the instructions can be improved.

What’s your funniest pinterest fail?

Update 12.27.16 – I just discovered the check-mark feature where Pinterest users can indicate that they tried the pin, then rate and share tips. Check out my other boards for even more feedback.

Self -Made Success – AMPsConnected


 Last month, I was invited to “Brunch with Inspiring Ladies” and had the opportunity to be featured on the AMPsConnected podcast.

AMPsConnected was started by my friend Lexi  in July of 2015 and her mission is to travel and connect with artists. I honestly wasn’t very familiar with podcasts until she told me about it, but now I am a subscriber!

Lexi enjoys visiting new places and having conversations with interesting people and sees the podcast as a platform for up and coming artists to share their art with others

The term artist covers all different forms of art including : singing, acting, writing, poetry, and giving back to the community by being lovely, educated & talented.

 After having a delicious brunch of comfort foods:  (Mac & Cheese, Veronica’s cheesy grits, biscuits, fruit, shrimp etouffe pie, red beans & rice, salad) and drinks: mimosas and sweet tea, we were ready to record.

Lexi has a beautiful singing and speaking voice. I was nervous about how I would sound, but being in a group helped (there were 8 of us). Once we started talking it was easier to relax, be myself and be more aware of the ladies in the room with me than of Lexi’s iphone recording us.

Each of the ladies in the room has an interesting specialty to share:

Jean – Teaching Sociology, Race & Ethnicity in France

Natasha – Teaching Psychology, Co-organizing Black Professionals group

Brittney – Local news reporting

Aria – Studying as grad student, Organizing poetry slams

Me- Blogging

Veronica – Career Consulting

Ebony – Singing, Being a mom to 3 kids, featured on a previous episode

Nana – Researching nutrition & obesity,  Running

Getting together with friends for good food and conversation is always fun and this was a great way to get to know more about each other’s interests  and to send Lexi off on her next adventure!

Listen to AMPs Connected and let us know what you think in the comments

What’s your favorite podcast?


Linking up with The Grits Blog and XOXO Rebecca, The Crazy Organized Blog