Dose of Sunshine Monday — God Bless the USA

Happy Monday and Happy Memorial Day! This is a wonderful day to give thanks to all those who serve or have served in the military. A BIG THANK YOU!

Both of my Grandfathers served in the military and sacrificed much to keep our country safe. (I can’t even imagine how my grandmothers worried when they went off to war…)

So I wish all of you a safe and happy Memorial Day and a time to reflect on all those who have sacrificed for our freedoms. We are blessed beyond measure.



May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Bruleed Orange French Toast (so worth it!)


We’ve been making good use of our Arizona oranges from our very own orange trees, and since the season is almost over, I’m making the last of them really count! This is one of my favorite breakfast/brunch recipes. It’s full of flavor and so easy.

And I’m so excited because I’m guest posting over at Mom Endeavors…so click on over to get the recipe and full instructions.

Then try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Thank you, Sara, for giving me the opportunity to guest post today. Until next time…Enjoy!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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A plain box to a fancy box!

I got these plain kraft boxes from PaperMart and they are small and cute, but they are PLAIN! So, to dress them up a bit, I am going to show you how easy it is to add an initial, some paper, and a ribbon to make this box Spectacular.


You can use any color scheme you like. I chose pink and black today. It would be cute in purples or red, white and blue, even!

Here’s a quick video on how I made them:

I got the initials from here, but I did have to reduce them in size so each initial was about 2 inches. I printed them on white cardstock and cut them with a circle punch.

Aren’t they cute? And they don’t take long to decorate this way. I have to admit, it was the first time I used the Xyron Sticker Maker and I LOVE it!! Why didn’t they have these around when I was a kid? I would have turned everything into a sticker!! :)
But don’t worry, you don’t have to own a sticker maker, you can attach the initial with glue dots, pop dots (or you can print the initial out on sticker paper). Lots of options!

I’d love to see your box decor, send me a comment with a link or email me. See ya next time!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Taste Test Tuesday– Chocolate Souffle vs. Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

It’s a great day. Not only is it Taste Test Tuesday, but my Dad is here for a visit! I knew that there needed to be CHOCOLATE for him. And he agreed to be a taste test panelist. (I may have gotten my love for taste tests partially from my Dad…we have been doing taste tests at home ever since I was a kid!)

So this is a special edition of Taste Test Tuesday. The taste test results will be posted next week, but today I am sharing the recipe for “Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce.” Oh. My. Goodness. These little souffles are amazing. I got this recipe a couple years ago from my co-worker, Aubrey. (Hi, Aubrey!) And I’ve made them only a few times for special occasions, but these are some of the easiest and BEST Chocolate Souffles I have ever eaten!


I’m going to challenge these homemade Souffles to a taste test versus  homemade Chocolate Molten Lava Cake! (I’ll share this recipe next week.) The Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is a favorite recipe of my daughter, Amber. (Hi, Amber!) They are both amazing recipes that I honestly don’t know which one will be crowned the winner!

I will have some more pictures and results for you next week. Until then, try this Chocolate Souffle Recipe. You’ll either be glad you did, or you’ll be cursing me for sharing such a tempting dessert that you crave weekly! :)

Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce


Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce


  • ½ cup sugar + 4 teaspoons for coating
  • 8 squares (8 ounces semisweet chocolate)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°.  Lightly rub four individual soufflé dishes with butter.  Put 1 teaspoon sugar in each dish, and tilt the dish so that the buttered surfaces are covered with sugar.  Use more sugar if necessary.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heavy frying pan over very low heat, stirring constantly.  When the chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.  The heat of the pan will melt the remaining chocolate.
  3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a medium metal or ceramic bowl with no traces of grease, and the yolks in another medium bowl.  Set the yolks aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer just until they form stiff peaks.  Do not over beat.  Set aside.
  5. Add the ½ cup sugar and vanilla to the yolks and beat with an electric mixer or a whisk for about 1 minute, or until thick and light yellow.
  6. Add half the melted chocolate to the beaten yolk mixture.  Set aside the rest of the chocolate for making the sauce.  Stir the chocolate mixture thoroughly.  Add the beaten egg whites and fold them together gently with a rubber spatula, turning the mixture over repeatedly until no white is showing.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly among the four prepared soufflé dishes.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the mini soufflés have risen and are beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven.
  8. To Make the Sauce: While the mini soufflé are baking, add the cream to the reserved melted chocolate and stir thoroughly to incorporate, If the chocolate is too firm, heat it for about 1 minute over very low heat, stirring constantly, until it softens enough to combine with the cream.
  9. Unlike most souffles, which must be served as soon as they come out of the oven, these mini souffles can wait to be served for up to 30 minutes. Their tops will fall a little, but no one will notice because, just before serving, you make an incision in the top of each one with a knife, and then spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the warm chocolate sauce. If the souffle hasn't fully cooked, no one will notice, because of the added sauce. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. (Ha! What leftovers?)


Chef’s Note:

This recipe may look intimidating, but it is rather simple, with just a few ingredients. And it is Foolproof. The first time I made it (for Valentine’s Day a couple years ago), I left the vanilla out of the souffles, so I added it to the chocolate sauce instead. They still came out delicious…proof: my husband ate TWO of them!

I like to serve mine with a little whipped cream and a strawberry on top, but if you’re a chocolate purist then you can certainly leave this part out!


To help get the soufflé dishes out of the oven easily, bake them on a cookie sheet and then simply lift the cookie sheet out of the oven.

You may have noticed that one of the choices I categorized this under was “Inspiration”…if you are in need of a little inspiration, I’m convinced that these souffles will do the trick. Chocolate can be very inspirational, right?! 😉

I can’t wait to post the results. Until then, Enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — Believe something wonderful

It’s Monday. Not only that, but something wonderful is about to happen! Yes, for you. Do you believe it? If you believe, then something wonderful WILL happen!

This is one of my favorite sayings and I had to make a printable of it. It’s a nice little reminder of how to live. Wouldn’t you rather have a nice anticipation for something great that is surely coming your way, rather than feel sorrow, fear, nervousness or uneasiness? I thought so.

So this week, remember to live with the feeling of looking forward to something wonderful, exciting, glorious, positive, or fabulous! And enjoy!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Hot Pink Breakfast Drink weekly prep (in four easy steps!)


Just look at that pile of veggies! Am I the only one who LOVES to look at vegetables (and fruits)…they are so inspiring and colorful and happy!

I love to make veggie juice (Hot Pink Breakfast Drink) each morning, but sometimes my mornings are a little hectic! So, I found a way to prepare every week. It’s simple. And it requires only a little time.

1) Get all the veggies/fruits together.

2) Spread out 6-7 grocery bags

3) Place required amount of each ingredient in each bag

4) Stock them up in your refrigerator

Now, it’s just grab and go!

packed-in-grocery-bags packed-in-refrigerator

How’s that for easy! So each morning, I just select one bag, wash up my veggies, juice, and drink!

What makes your mornings easier?


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Hot Pink Breakfast drink recipe

I can’t believe I am just now posting about my breakfast drink! When I started this blog, I initially thought it would be about wellness and what has helped me to feel better (after a prolonged illness).  HA! I found out that I enjoy baking, cooking and crafting WAY too much and this blog has really turned into more of showcasing my love of fancy and fun.

But I can’t ignore this Hot Pink Breakfast Drink because it is a big part of my life. This juicing every morning has been one of my routines for over a year and it has made a BIG difference in how I feel. In fact, I notice such a difference on the days that I DON’T make this juice for myself that I hate to miss even a day! I even took my juicer to California with me…(LOVE those Farmer’s Markets over there!)

Juicing is known to assist in detoxing the body and feeding your cells with all sorts of nutrients. It is SO good for getting maximum veggies into your diet. But I admit, when I first started I did NOT like the juice. It tasted like dirt. I was not happy.

But then I was introduced to this recipe…and I’ve been drinking it every morning since.


So I’m going to share this little recipe with you. I know, I know…you  may never try it and that’s ok. But if you decide to try it in the hope of helping you to feel better, let me just say this: you have to stick with it for a few weeks. Really. Did I mention that juicing is detoxifying? Well, the first little while your body will want to detox and you will not feel so great. But that means it’s working! So stick with it, and after a few weeks just see if it makes a difference in how you feel.

Don’t let the color fool you. This is mostly a VEGETABLE drink…it’s not a fruit smoothie! I took some of this over to some friends to taste one morning and because it’s such a beautiful color they may have thought it was going to taste like raspberries. It didn’t. And they hated it. (Hi Kristy, Shellie, & Kara! Shall we try this again…Can I bring it to our next meeting?!)


It starts with carrots, celery, kale, beet, apple, red cabbage, and oranges. Sometimes I add spinach or lettuce. But mostly it’s the veggies shown. The exciting part is that we now grow our very own cabbage and kale!! I think we shall try growing beets, too! And the oranges come from our trees! (In fact, if you’re not into juicing, maybe these orange blossom cookies will hit the mark?) When oranges aren’t in season, I will add a bit of lemon juice.


I start by cutting off the ends of the carrots and celery, cutting the apple if it’s too big to fit in my juicer, and removing the orange rinds. Be sure to first wash everything well. I buy nearly everything organic, but I haven’t been able to find organic apples so I wash those with GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) to remove as much pesticide residue as I can.


I have a Breville juicer with 2 speeds. And here’s a trick: put a produce bag in the container to catch all the “pulp,” it makes clean-up so much easier!


And, just that fast, you have delicious, beautiful, veggie-packed breakfast juice! Oh, it’s beautiful. I like mine cold, so I add a bit of ice. And oh, how delicious! (My husband still makes a sour face when he drinks his, though; he may never love it, but he stills drinks it!)


Take a look at that pulp. This juicer does a great job. I have been experimenting with a few recipes to use that pulp in, and if you are interested I may post a few of those!

We also use this as a compost for our garden. Oh yes, the veggie garden LOVES IT!!

So here’s the recipe! Try it and let me know what you think.

Kari's Hot Pink Breakfast drink recipe


  • 6-7 carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 small beet (or 1/2 of a large beet)
  • 2-3 leaves of kale
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1 medium apple
  • Slice of Red cabbage


  1. Wash everything well. Trim ends off carrots and celery. Cut the zest off the oranges. Cut the apple if it's too big.
  2. Put everything into the juicer.
  3. Add ice to the finished juice, if desired.

Don’t forget to clean your juicer right away. It’s a lot trickier to clean once the pulp is dried on (don’t ask me how I know that.) Here’s to your health!

(P.S. Come back tomorrow: I’m going to show you how I prep for the week to make my mornings of juicing go so much smoother. The preparation makes juicing SO easy!)


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — Today I Plan to

It’s Monday ALREADY! The weekend seemed to fly by and now it’s time for a fresh new week. Well, I have to admit, today I woke up thinking of all the things that had to be done this week and it was exhausting just thinking of it. Ever have thoughts like that?

So then another thought popped into my head: what if today I just had one plan? So here’s the plan:

And I’d like to remember to appreciate beautiful nature. (This picture was taken at the Amazing Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. See review and more pictures of the flower fields here.) So it’s two for the price of one today! What are your plans for this Monday? Sending you blessings for an awe-inspiring week!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Easy Mother’s Day Card

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! I can’t believe how fast these days are flying by. But I was inspired to create a Mother’s Day card by something my grandmother always tells me. She is in a nursing home after having a stroke and heart attack. She is such an inspiration to me because even in the middle of her recovery at the hospital, she told me a joke!

Each Friday I take her lunch. As I leave each time I tell her that I love her and she replies, “I love you more.” <3

So this card is designed around that sentiment. I hope you enjoy!


The flowers are made from tissue paper cut out with a small 7/8″ scallop punch. The “stems” are made from baker’s twine. I made a short video how-to for you.

And now, as promised, here is the sentiment I made.


You can download it free here, but please first like my page (in the right hand sidebar)

Then download it here:

5-13 Love you more  sentiment free download.

Have a lovely time celebrating mothers, grandmothers, and amazing women this weekend!


Linking up to the challenge: http://www.simonsaysstampschallenge.blogspot.com/

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Taste Test Tuesday — Ben & Jerry’s Faceoff

When we go on vacation to the beach it’s tradition to get each of us our very own container of ice cream. And we are very traditional. So this trip was no different. We love to pick out our own ice cream and eat it over the course of the vacation stay.

So of course we decided to turn it into a FACEOFF…and use it as our Taste Test Tuesday. So I must warn you in advance, that this taste test Tuesday is informal and unofficial. We had only my husband & I as the judges and we didn’t attempt to increase the panel (I think we were so into this taste test and we wanted to keep it to ourselves!)



The contestants: “Everything but the…VERSUSHalf Baked

Everything but the = A collision of chocolate and vanilla ice creams mixed with peanut butter cups, Heath Bar chunks, white chocolatey chunks and fudge covered almonds.

Half Baked = Chocolate and vanilla ice creams mixed with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough & fudge brownies.

Wow. Those both sound delicious! Which one would you choose if you had to pick one to enjoy while on vacation?
If you know me at all, it is probably very obvious which flavor was mine. And, while both these flavors were very, very good…there was a clear winner that we agreed upon completely. (And it was MY flavor!)



Have you even TRIED this flavor?! Yum. I was delighted to finish of the entire carton over the course of a few days. :) Sigh. And now we are on an ice cream break. No more until the next vacation.

What is YOUR favorite flavor? I’m saving up ideas for my next carton choice!

OH, and before you go..if you haven’t seen it yet, check out how Ben & Jerry’s placed in our Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test here:



May your days be filled with sunshine,
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