High-End Style Low-Price Alternatives

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

After visiting Paris & Italy, I have a new appreciation for high-end fashion houses. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, etc., are known for beautiful handbags, timeless style, and HIGH end price tags.

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a couple items, but in general my budget aligns better with good ‘ole American stores like GAP, JCREW, Old Navy, and Target.

I’ve had my eye on some Chanel shoes for a couple of years and I’m happy to share some great alternatives at very affordable prices.

Check out these look-a-likes!

The above Chanel espadrilles run somewhere around $650.00.

GAP has a similar pair for less then $30.00.

$600 Chanel ballet flats
JCrew Factory on sale now for $35.

I would hope that the high end designs are higher in quality both in product and manufacturing. At those prices they should last for YEARS. For $30.00 I don’t expect my GAP shoes to last more then a season or two. It’s a sad disposable world, but that’s an entirely different conversation.

Most people aren’t even going to know the difference and if they do, just walk really fast and they will hardly notice. :)


Easy Carrot Cake Pancakes

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Here is an easy, delicious, healthy, and protein packed breakfast perfect for spring. This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, but that’s ok. Freeze the extra and you’ll have an even easier breakfast for sometime in the future.

Easy Carrot Cake Pancakes

3 cups Kodiak Protein Pancake Mix
3 eggs
3 cups milk
1 carrot finely shredded on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt

Coconut oil

Chopped walnuts
Shredded coconut

Whipped cream cheese

Add the first block of ingredients to your blender and blend until evenly combined. Don’t put the add-ins in yet.

Use coconut oil on a hot griddle and pour desired pancake size batter. Before you see bubbles start to form on the pancake batter sprinkle in the add-ins. Cook for several more minutes and flip pancake.

Once your pancakes are cooked top with whipped cream cheese.


Graham Cracker Chocolate Cupcakes With Marshmallow Frosting

Monday, March 20, 2017

These cupcakes are like the perfect combination of smore’s and cake. A few weeks ago we entered a cupcake contest at our church’s spring women’s event and Brooklyn knew from the moment she saw this recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s television show that this was the winning cupcake. Well… in fact it did not win (I think there was voter fraud*) but it sure was good and we’d make them again! Using a pastry torch to lightly brown the marshmallow frosting puts it over the edge yumminess. We also added more graham cracker crust to the bottom and sides of the cupcake.

Graham Cracker Chocolate Cupcakes With Marshmallow Frosting

Recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar until well combined. Press a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup and bake until golden and just set, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the buttermilk, water and oil and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 12 to 15 minutes.
Let cool in the tins on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tins and allow to cool completely.
For the marshmallow frosting: Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are warm and smooth to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on low speed, gradually increasing to medium and then finally up to high. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and whisk in the vanilla.
Spread the frosting on the cupcakes. With a handheld pastry torch, lightly brown the frosting.

*there wasn’t voter fraud. But we are demanding a recount.

How I Use Amazon Subscribe & Save

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Thank goodness for online shopping! 100% of the time if I can buy it online (for the same price as a brick & mortar), I’m going to choose that option over going to the store. With 5 homeschooling kids (one being an infant) if I can get it delivered, I’m going with that option.

Over the last year, I’ve started using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save on a monthly basis. If you’re not familiar with Subscribe & Save it’s a subscription based service via Amazon. "Set up regularly scheduled deliveries and earn savings with Subscribe & Save. Unlock extra savings on eligible subscriptions when you subscribe to five or more products at one address on your monthly delivery day. From diapers to toothpaste to dog treats, you can subscribe to thousands of everyday products from Amazon and Amazon Marketplace.”

My typical order-
Vitamins- Rainbow Light Vitamin Gummy Vitamin C, MegaFood- Baby & Me Prenatal & Postnatal
Diapers- Pampers. This time I’m trying a new brand because they had a great deal along with an additional coupon! When there is a coupon option and you combine it with the Amazon Prime discount of 20% off these are my go to, other than Costco.
Wipes- Amazon Elements Baby Wipes 720 Count $14.44 w/15% extra savings.
Dish Soap-(2) Ecos Dishmate Dish Liquid, Almond Scent 25 oz. $5.59 w/15% extra savings,
Hand Soap- Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap Refill 32oz. $5.05 w/15% extra savings.
Batteries- Amazon Basics AA Batteries 48 pack $10.62w/15% extra savings. We always need batteries and Amazon Basic carries all the sizes.

Sometimes, I’ll use a filler item to get to that magical 5th item. You can add small items like bandaids, gum, dental floss sticks, etc., for less then $3 to unlock the 15% off.

Happy Shopping!

Homemade Dry Shampoo

Friday, March 03, 2017

Confession, I hate washing and blow drying my hair. Anyone else feel this way too? What IS the socially acceptable length of time between washings? Because I’m going a week if I can get away with it! That being said, I do need a dry shampoo to get me through. I’ve tried most on the market, and what I’ve found is that they are generally expensive, irritate my scalp, and many just don’t work that well. I keep coming back to a homemade version that I found several years ago. It’s incredibly simple to make and it lasts longer than a typical can of spray dry shampoo. Plus you can feel good about it being completely all natural.

Homemade Dry Shampoo
  • 1 cup bentonite clay (mountain rose herbs or amazon). Bentonite clay has many great health and beauty uses. See below for additional uses.
  • 1 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (mountain rose herbs and amazon).
  • 5-10 drops of essential oils. A few suggestions- any citrus scent would be nice for freshness. Jasmine for a floral feminine touch. Cedarwood or lavender would also be nice.
  • Spice jar with a shaker top.
  • Optional- Cocoa powder for darker hair colors.

Mix the bentonite clay and arrowroot powder/cornstarch together in a small bowl.
Add the cocoa powder 1 teaspoon at a time, if you have darker hair.  The darker the hair the more cocoa you might need.
Next add a few drops of essential oil.
Using a funnel transfer the dry shampoo to a glass spice jar.

A little will go a long way. Start small.

Tip: Apply the dry shampoo at night and lightly massage it in before bed. This will give the powder time to absorb oils while you sleep!

Other uses from bentonite clay:
Mix it with apple cider vinegar and apply to your face for a detoxifying mask.
Add some to your bath for detoxification and skin healing properties.
It can also be taken orally to help speed recovery of stomach viruses.
There are many more uses if you are interested try googling bentonite clay!

Things I’ve Got My Eye On

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Wood Tray from Magnolia Market
Faux Fiddle Leaf Tree from Pottery Barn. I have tried twice to keep a real one alive and failed. I just don’t know why they aren’t happy in a dark corner! Kidding. All you people with plenty of light in all the right places make me jealous.
Outdoor Furniture. I love the look of this set from West Elm. I don’t know about practicality, but it has me wishing for warm weather, sun, and happy hour out on the deck. Costco also has a sectional in the warehouse that I think would be pretty great.
White Utensils. I’ve been looking for white utensils for a looong time. These guys from West Elm are perfect. I mean if you are going to display them, they should match and be pretty, right?!
Organization. We just got a new garage freezer (after our old one died) and I need to get out there and do some major organization. EVERYTHING THE HOME EDIT does is genius. They are one of my favorite instragram accounts to follow. I’m thinking these Linus Binzs from the Container Store would be a good solution.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

The everett seven is finally live! Please update your bookmarks with our new web address. www.theeverettseven.com

Good things to come!

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