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    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert

First off let me say, O.M.G.

If the title here didn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. I came across this no-bake dessert recipe on Pinterest the other day and was like, “Oh that looks good and super easy. I’ll ‘Pin It’ for later.”  Then Moviestar and I went to the store for our weekly grocery shop and with the mega sweet tooth he has, he began scouring the baking aisle for dessert options.  It got me thinking about my pin. So, I grabbed the ingredients and as soon as we got home, I got to work.

Now, we are two people. Not a whole family with kids and all so sometimes I see recipes and they are for like 5-6 people. Seriously, if I made desserts that fed 5 people they wouldn’t last more than 2 days {who am I kidding, they wouldn’t last the night…} and that’s not particularly good for our waistlines which are already growing with each passing week. But that’s a whole other post. So, I have to cut them down. At least by half. So, instead of using the 13×9 in. dish this recipe calls for, I used a loaf dish and halved all of the ingredients.  I know a loaf dish seems A LOT smaller than a 13×9, but it is also significantly deeper which meant I could either do more layers or more cream. I chose more cream :)

**If you end up following my lead on downsizing, you are going to find the graham cracker layering a tad tricky. As you can see below, I had to break my crackers up quite a bit in order to make them fit in the dish. But hey, no matter, you won’t see them when it’s all finished and it tastes perfectly wonderful anyway!**

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before really doing anything, you need to mix your Cool Whip and Pudding.

Now Stop. Wait right there. Hold it.

I’m not even joking. Go through my post, have fun reading it and looking at my pics, but READ the recipe instructions first! Because you could have a brain fart or just be in a rush to get this thing in the fridge so it has time to harden. {I was the former} and straight up mix the dry pudding powder into the cool whip. Though this creates a pretty yummy cream that might be nice for another dessert, it is extremely difficult to use in this one. Mostly because it won’t spread.  Like a dumb-dumb that’s what I did, and when I started to spread I realized that I didn’t have enough cream and it looked a lot thicker than the pics from the recipe on TheKitchenIsMyPlayground.com. Then… and only then… did I decide to read the recipe. It calls for you to make the pudding {duh! Milk is one of the ingredients!} and then mix with the cool whip. So, having already mixed the pudding mix in the cool whip I just added some milk and it turned out just okay, just a little lumpy. So don’t follow suit! Read, Read, Read.

Then I started layering away! Again, you’ll have some fun with the graham crackers but it all turns yummy and beautiful in the end. The last thing you’re going to do is make the chocolate topping.  Since I was cutting down her recipe and halved all of the ingredients I ended up with a little more chocolate than I think I needed for such a small radius. But hey, it’s chocolate. Can you ever have too much? Don’t answer that.

Once completed, you are suppose to then refrigerate overnight. But I didn’t have time for that! So, what did I do? I popped it in the freezer for a couple hours {about 3} and then shifted it back to the fridge until we were ready for dessert. It worked out just fine however preparing this the night before is probably best or if you have about 8 hrs. of time before you are going to eat it so that it can harden in the fridge. The reason for this? You know how cool whip hardens and crystalizes in the freezer? Yeah, so the cake will do that too.  Not as appetizing as it was the next day after sitting in the fridge softening. So, I recommend the fridge.

Doesn’t that look soooo yummy?! Well, It was. It was awesome. Moviestar and I even tried to come up with a way to give this a Tiramisu update…… Might share that with you soon. Mmmmm…..

For the recipe and full list of ingredients with much prettier photos, go over to The Kitchen is My PlaygroundTracey has not only this fantastic No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert, but so many other awesome recipes I have saved for later cooking adventures.


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bunny - August 5, 2013 - 1:36 am

I also want to try to do a cake like you.

OKBRIDALDRESS - July 24, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Its Looked Extremely Delicious

Dollar Store Home Decor!

I don’t know about you but I am cheap. Okay, I’m not like a Scrooge or anything it’s just that Moviestar and I go through these phases of being broke {in between his jobs} and when we are in one of those phases, I have no choice but to be very very frugal. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t continue to have my decorating urges. And what better place to satisfy those urges than with inexpensive purchases at the dollar store! All you have to do is have a little creativity and you can turn something basic into something awesome. Like these ladies did!

Antiqued Mercury Mirror Glass from 17 Apart

 

Spray Painted Decor Balls from Creations By Kara

 

Summer Candle Decor from Organized Island

 

Flour Sack Pillow Cases from Shabby Sweet Cottage

 

Mason Jar Solar Lights from Keep Calm and Decorate

Sharpie Mugs from A Beautiful Mess

 

Dollar Store Pantry Makeover from The Social Home

Have you turned anything from the Dollar Store into an awesome home decor item? I’d love to hear all about it. Please leave a comment below with all the dollar details!


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Cliff - April 24, 2014 - 10:55 pm

Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after
going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new
to me. Anyways, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!
Cliff recently posted..CliffMy Profile

Kara - February 18, 2014 - 12:44 pm

This is a fun round-up. It’s amazing what you can do with simple dollar store items! :)

Lindsey - July 16, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Of course Raquel! I was happy to do it. It’s so inspiring. I’m already planning a dollar store trip for later this week to scout out some great finds ;)

Raquel - July 16, 2013 - 11:00 am

Thank you so much for featuring my candles. I LOVE the dollar store. Great round up!
Raquel recently posted..Buttery Craft Beer BreadMy Profile

Summer Drinks That Beat the Heat

I have been so thirsty lately…

Out here in Southern Cali it’s been a scorcher! The last few days it’s been in the mid to upper 90’s – Bleh… And my lucky husband, Moviestar, has been out of town this week doing a job near Bakersfield with temps in the 105 to 113 range. I feel so bad for him.  All this to say I’ve been on the prowl for refreshing summer drink recipes. And I’ve found them!

Almond Iced Tea

  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 gallon water (16 cups)
  • 8 pitcher-size cold brew tea bags
  • 2 Tbsp. almond extract

1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and 1 cup water; cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat; transfer to a bowl and cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a very large container combine 1 gallon water and tea bags; let brew 30 minutes. Remove tea bags; stir in cooled syrup and almond extract.

3. Fill a 2- to 3-gallon punch bowl half full with crushed ice; pour in almond iced tea and serve. Makes 19 cups tea (12, 12-oz. servings).

Mint Julep

  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh mint
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/2 cups bourbon
  • 1 cup orange juice
  •  Granulated sugar
  •  Crushed Ice
  •  Fresh Mint Sprigs
  •  Halved orange slices

1. Place mint leaves in a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour over mint leaves. Stir in orange juice.

2. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer. Stir in bourbon. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

3. Place granulated sugar in a shallow dish; wet the edge of 8 glasses and dip into sugar to coat. Add crushed ice to glasses. Divide bourbon mixture among glasses (about 2/3 cup per glass). Garnish with mint and orange slices. Makes 8, 5-ounces servings.

 

Strawberry Lemonade

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 cup lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)

1. In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of the sugar and 1 cup of the water; cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

2. In a blender combine remaining 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, and the strawberries; process until smooth. Transfer to a 2-quart pitcher; add cooled syrup, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Fill pitcher with crushed ice. Makes 8, 8-oz. servings.

3.Make-ahead tip: Prepare lemonade but do not add ice. Cover and chill up to 8 hours. Add ice and serve.

Lemon Cucumber Detox Water

Lastly, here is a great, refreshing way to spice up your water, aid in your summer weight loss plan and detox your body. Plus it tastes great!

  • 2L Water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 10-12 mint leaves

Slice the lemon and cucumber, place them in a pitcher along with the mint leaves. Then let steep in fridge overnight. Drink all day every day!


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bunny - July 28, 2013 - 6:16 pm

In the hot summer,I Want the most is to drink a cup of cool and refreshing drink.

Our favorite Patriotic Weddings

I know we tend to do wedding inspiration on Mondays and Saturdays but we sort of missed yesterday {oops!} and with the 4th of July in just a few short days, we couldn’t resist sharing some beautiful, simple and oh so patriotic ways to give some American love on your big day. So, I decided to collect a couple of patriotic weddings together here to show you just how simple and easy it can be to design your wedding with that red, white and blue flare in mind.

My first wedding comes from Elizabeth Anne Designs. She hosted a really wonderful Inspired Creations Contest and this was one of the submissions. I love the simplicity without going too casual. To me it still has a bit of elegance… but still sweet.

This next wedding is a wonderful backyard bash with a touch of red, white and blue. It’s not too obviously “4th of july” but it is a pretty and simple way of pulling it off.  Thanks Snippet & Ink for this inspiration!

This last wedding is from Style Me Pretty. This perfectly traditional wedding literally says “4th of July”.  With the flags and the Army groom, it’s pretty clear this couple loves the good ol’ US of A.  Though it has a very specific American design, I love that it does not have too much red and blue. Moviestar and I love America, our fore fathers and what they stood for in those early years as well as vintage … anything. This would have been a fantastic way to celebrate our big day. Jealous….

And lastly, if you want to see some gorgeous patriotic inspiration…. Go to Ruffled. This photo shoot just screams “inspiring pretty”.

Hope you all have a beautiful 4th of July and though things are tough in this country right now, we are still the greatest country on the planet. God Bless America and God Bless your wedding day!


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essex wedding venues - July 15, 2013 - 3:53 am

Wow, all things are looking very spectacular and couple also enjoying their day happily. Preparations are also looking very nice.

Mason Jar Flag for the 4th of July

Do you love the 4th of July? I do. Not only is it an awesome day to celebrate America’s official birthday {and I do love loving my country}, but it is also a day usually filled with all sorts of fun activities.  The past few years Moviestar and I – along with the rest of his family – have spent time in Colorado over the 4th. It’s always the most fun because of the food, family and fireworks. I hope you feel the same :)

That being said, I am certainly prepping my home for this day of days. I’m making towels {DIY post soon to come!!}, researching pillow tutorials and about to make this here 4th of July craft out of all the jars I’ve been saving. But let me preface this by saying, this is not my craft. I only wanted to share this fun and easy Mason Jar Flag craft that I found with you.  It’s from It All Started with Paint, a cool little site I recently discovered. So, here’s how to make it!

Linda starts by painting the mason jars with acrylic craft paint in blue and white as the base colors.

She then taped off the white jars so she could paint the stripes. She used washi tape instead of painters tape {she said it pealed that paint off. Probably because it’s craft paint}.

Then she made little white stars on the blue jar with foam stars. She glued a few to a cork, dipped them in the paint and pressed them on the jar.

She then, distressed the jars with sand paper to give them a weathered look.

Easy, huh? I thought so. And you could put anything you want in them, or simply put them on a shelf for display.  I am so ready for this one.  Thanks Linda at It All Started with Paint!


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