Easy Spring Recipe: Bunny Bark

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #SweeterEaster #CollectiveBias

I LOVE SPRING! Winter seems to drag on longer and longer each year so at the first glimpse of a flower in bloom I literally lose my mind with excitement. A few weeks ago I shared an easy spring craft with you so I figured I might as well share an easy spring RECIPE with you as well!

This recipe is an explosion of everything that is good in the world: color, texture and sweets. The star of the show are the pretty pastels of the spring M&M’S® Milk Chocolate that I picked up at Walmart. Ladies and gentlemen (okay who are we kidding, this is probably just ladies!) I present to you… Bunny Bark!

Easy Spring Recipe: Bunny Bark // stephanieorefice.net

You’ll need:

  • 24 oz white candy melts
  • 8 squares white chocolate melts, divided in 2
  • Food coloring
  • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup M&M’S® Milk Chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Small cake pan or tray lined with tinfoil

Gather all of your supplies and make sure to take a cute picture, then follow these simple instructions.

Bunny Bark Recipe // stephanieorefice.net

ONE // Melt the candy melts according to package. Usually that is microwaving for a minute, stirring, and then microwaving for 10-15 seconds and stirring in-between to make sure all of the melts are melted but not burned.

TWO // Pour the candy melts into the pan/tray and spread out evenly with a spatula.

Bunny Bark Recipe // stephanieorefice.net

THREE // As quick as possible (or after you’ve finished step 1 and while you move on to step 2, if you have a helper) melt the 8 squares of white chocolate melts, stirring in whatever food colors you’ve decided on (I chose pink and green).

FOUR // Pour the colored chocolate melts on top of the candy melts in the pan, using a knife to swirl the colors all around. You’ll want to do this as quickly as possible so that the base layer of candy melts doesn’t harden.

FIVE // Pour on all the garnishes – the marshmallows, sprinkles and of course the M&M’S® Milk Chocolate. Spread them out, and press the bigger treats into the candy melts. I didn’t do this, and wished I had.

Bunny Bark Recipe // stephanieorefice.net

SIX // Freeze for an hour, then pull the tray out and begin breaking the bark into smaller pieces. Enjoy. Give away to all your friends!

Bunny Bark Recipe // stephanieorefice.net

I picked up a pack of M&M’S® Milk Chocolate in bright spring colors from Walmart, and while I was there I picked up the MARS Variety Bag to give to Justen’s co-workers; full of everyone’s favorite chocolates, the MARS Variety Bag is perfect for Eastering – baskets and hunts. Walmart is the place to go for Easter needs, whether it’s building an Easter basket or filling eggs for an Easter Egg Hunt.

Bunny Bark Recipe // stephanieorefice.net

For more fun Spring recipes, make sure you visit MyConfectionCorner.com – it’s full of sweet recipes that feature M&M’S® Milk Chocolate and other Mars brand treats – all available at Walmart.com!


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April 5, 2017
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5 ways to drink more water

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StopSpills #OnTheGoWithContigo #CollectiveBias

When I was in high school, I was the Water Drinking Master. I would fill up a big pitcher of water and take it downstairs with me to drink when I watched TV. I had no problem in peeing clear (you know, the sign of being REALLY REALLY hydrated) and since I had yet to discover coffee, it was literally the only thing I consumed.

Fast forward 15 years and I struggle to consume enough water every day. In fact, when I complain about not feeling well due to a headache or stomachache or just feeling off, Justen asks me if I’ve had any water lately. The answer, 9 times out of 10, is a sheepish, “well.. no.”

There are two methods people have to determine how much water you should be drinking. The first is based on the individual: you take your weight and divide it by two. That’s how many ounces you should drink every day. The other one is just 64 ounces (8 x 8oz glasses).

Drinking water can be HARD! Especially now that I’m trying to get ready for my wedding (omg what!) I’m working on taking care of myself better, including drinking more water. Here are five ways to sneak more water into your day:

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

#1. Carry your water bottle everywhere.

Here’s an easy one: Have a water bottle with you at all times, so that you always have access to water. Every time you leave your house make sure you fill up your water bottle to take with you. It’s hard to drink more water if you’re never around it!

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

#2. Get a bigger water bottle

If the recommended amount of water is 64 oz a day, get a water bottle that requires you to fill up less. I love this Contigo AUTOSEAL® Chill Bottle because it’s 24 ounces! That means that you only have to fill it up three times and you’ve exceeded your daily goal! I love the function of this water bottle – it has a spill-proof lid with auto seal technology, so you press and release the water. While you carry your water bottle everywhere you don’t have to worry about spills or leaks. It even has spout cover to keep dirt and germs away.

I picked one up at Target (they’re only $19.99 for a limited time!) for me and my best friend Emily. We each chose Target exclusive colors; mine was Very Berry, hers was Matte Black with Iced Aqua. They were located on an endcap in the housewares aisle or you can pick yours up online here.

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

#3. Write a checklist in your planner

I love to check things off of lists, so every day I write little boxes in my planner so I can check things off as I do them, and there’s always a spot for water. Knowing that you have a goal and a way to track it definitely helps.

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

#4. Set an alarm

If you’re like me, sometimes you start your day off well and with great plans for the day and before you know it the day is gone. All too often I’ve chugged a LOT of water right before bed which has caused me to wake up in the middle of the night to pee – I’d rather stay hydrated throughout the day if it was up to me. To help remember, you can set an alarm to go off as often as you need to remember to take some chugs.

#5. Sip at red lights.

After you start taking your water bottle everywhere, don’t miss out your chance to sneak water in while you’re in the car! Get in the habit of taking a few sips while you’re at red lights.

5 ways to drink more water // stephanieorefice.net

 

Especially with winter melting to spring and leading into summer, it’s so important to stay hydrated! Check for the Contigo Autoseal Chill Water bottle at Target and check out Contigo on Instagram and Facebook to stay inspired to keep hydrated.


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April 3, 2017
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March 2017 Savings Update

Nearly two years ago, I began a debt repayment journey. I was $23,983 in debt and desperate to get out of the town I live in. I began the start-stop-pause-rest-run-sleep-repeat journey of getting out of debt. Last month I finally paid off my 16.82% interest credit card (PRAISE HANDS EMOJI!!!). I still owe a gross amount on my car, but I announced in my last debt repayment recap that I was going to pause the debt repayments and start saving money – for my upcoming summer in Nashville and something that was on the horizon. A wedding. Nailed it.

Until Justen and I get married, my monthly financial check-ins are going to be Savings Updates.

March Savings update // stephanieorefice.net

For March, I decided I wanted to save $1,000. Here’s how I did:

March
Starting: $0
Goal: $1,000
Saved: $1,250
Total Saved: $1,250
125% of my monthly goal completed / 25% of my overall goal completed

From here on out, I want to save $750/month so that by September 1, I have $5,000 to be used for our wedding. I’ll use the format I used above to show where I started, what my goal was, how much I saved, the running total, and the % of my goal(s) completed. I freaking love those percentages, you guys.


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March 31, 2017
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DIY floral letters for Spring

With spring right right around the corner, I’m so excited for bright days and pretty colors and FLOWERS! I am heart eyes about flowers. Last month I made a goal of finishing one project from a Pinterest board, and I wanted to share with you how easy peasy my DIY was! I posted this teaser for DIY floral letters on Instagram:

SO // stephanieorefice.net

The different pins I’d seen were here and here.

Here’s how to make your own floral letters!

DIY Floral Letters // stephanieorefice.net

For these DIY floral letters you’ll need:

  • Letters of some sort (I can’t remember where I got mine, but there are some on Amazon)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Fake flowers of some sort (you could get some like this on Amazon)

I’ve known I wanted to do this for awhile and have been on the hunt for the perfect fake flowers… fake flowers are SO EXPENSIVE, right?! I ended up finding some at the Goodwill Bins so I paid PENNIES for them ($1.69/lb). They were just what I never knew I was looking for!

It’s SO SIMPLE….

STEP ONE // GATHER SUPPLIES

DIY Floral Letters // stephanieorefice.net

STEP TWO // CUT FLOWERS
If you buy a stem of flowers, you should be able to pop  flowers off the stem, like in the picture below. You’ll still need to cut the stem part down a little more to make sure they stick to the letters.

DIY Floral Letters // stephanieorefice.net

STEP THREE // GLUE

Apply hot glue to the back of the flower and then firmly press it onto the letters. Make sure they overlap as much as possible so that you can’t see the actual cardboard of the letter. I did a base layer and then added a few on top to give it a little more dimension. I also added a few bigger letters to give it some more character.

DIY Floral Letters // stephanieorefice.net

STEP FOUR // DISPLAY

Find a place to display your beautiful, spring flowers! I love how simple this project is and the bang you get for your buck and time – the letters are so cute and the possibilities are endless with shapes/sizes of letters and flowers. You could even attach ribbon to the back so they could hang on the wall.

DIY Floral Letters // stephanieorefice.net

Easy peasy! Happy Spring! Do your initials spell anything cool? I’ll be SO for a little while longer, then I’ll be SM… so so weird.


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March 27, 2017
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Five on Friday

Hello everyone. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a Five on Friday. I’ve had a really overwhelming week and I decided I wanted to flush out my emotions here, so I want to share with y’all 5 things I’ve learned in my first week of being engaged.

First I want to say this. I know people who became “relationship gurus” after two months of dating someone, or who start sharing very expertly crafted how-to wedding planning posts while they’re still engaged or marriage wisdom a month or two into their marriage. To each their own, but I can only share my own personal experience which is constantly changing and growing. But I had a pretty major life event happen and have been spending a lot of time deep in thought.

What I've learned in my first week of being engaged // stephanieorefice.net

Here it is. Five things I’ve learned in my first week of being engaged.

ONE // I hate attention.

I knew this anyway. I hate birthdays and speaking in front of people and cutting my hair or getting new glasses or anything that might draw any sort of attention my way. Apparently it doesn’t even matter if it’s something exciting, I still hate attention. I haven’t responded to any of the texts or comments or anything because I am kind of hoping people have already moved on to something else.

TWO // I don’t feel any different.

People (mostly my mom) kept asking how it felt to be engaged and I just shrugged and said “the same.” The ring is sparkly and I like looking at it. Justen grabs my hand and looks at it at least once every time I see him. But I feel the same. I’m the same me, I have the same priorities and hopes and dreams and personality. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be bouncing off the wall excited or something but I just feel the same.

THREE // It’s solved no problems.

I’ve cried over the same problems I was crying about before Justen proposed. I’ve struggled to get out of bed with exhaustion and depression at the same rate I did prior to having a ring on my finger. Justen and I both acknowledged last year that we’re both realistic about marriage – it’s not going to fix us. From what I’ve read and I know, marriage is an instrument of healing in monumental measures, but it also brings new problems and issues and broken parts to the surface. There’s nothing we’ve felt tension about that has magically been fixed by having a ring on my finger. It puts a light at the end of the tunnel for the things that really weigh heavy on us (not having our own space, having to say goodbye every night, etc) but there’s not been an immediate solution to anything.

FOUR // Marriage means more than a wedding.

I’ve spent my whole entire life dreaming about my wedding. I wanted the party and the pretty dresses and sentimental trinkets and the whole nine yards. and the more that I am finally seeing the price tag attached to these things, I care less and less. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars I don’t have on things that will cause me months of stress in a time when I’d rather be spending my energy preparing to build a new family with a strange and mysterious creature known as a male. The more people ask me questions about a wedding, the less I actually care about that portion of it. I never expected to have this kind of response. It’s coming from really deep within me, too. I actually feel my lack of caring about a wedding pulsing through my veins. It’s weird. I can’t even describe it, but people usually talk about being all excited and giddy with overwhelm at the thought of a wedding. I’m the opposite.

FIVE // There are a lot of important people in my life.

The one thing I really care about is being surrounded my friends and the people who have poured years and countless hours into me. Justen gets to marry me because of the people who have stood around me and protected me, who have sat with me when I’ve worn myself out, who have seen me grow and shed layers of immaturity and stupid ambition. and there are a lot of those people who fall into that category. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent a long time growing up, but there are a lot of people who have contributed to my becoming the person Justen is choosing, and I want to honor them by having them around me. Weddings and funerals are the only times I can see that people travel to celebrate someone’s life, and I don’t want to wait until I can’t be there to hold the flowers.

 

It felt good to get all of that out. Every time someone tries to talk to me about being engaged, I want to somehow just share all of these things with them because talking about a wedding stresses me out because I’m 2% excited about a wedding, 5% excited about being surrounded by people I love and 93% excited about starting a life with Justen Martian.

For those of you that have been engaged, what was your experience? Am I normal in any of this? 😀 I’m going to try and not go on and on and on about this on my blog, but I tend to run straight to my corner of the internet for help in processing things – usually they are sad, breakup things, so this one is different, but it’s still overwhelming and big.


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March 24, 2017
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