Monday, July 31, 2017

DIY: Dirty Chai Tea Latte

Well.  It's official.  Summer is over.  Today is the first teacher report day for the 2017-2018 school year.  While I do still work full time (and then some) during the summer running the tennis program, my hours are somewhat flexible and I'm able to do some work from home.  Needless to say, I'm going to need a little extra zip of caffine today.  The homemade Chai Tea Latte is the perfect little treat for a day like today -- think espresso latte with chai tea yumminess.

I use my stovetop espresso maker (which I really love!) and the same method as the homemade vanilla and pumpkin lattes.

Dirty Chai Tea Latte


  • 1 bag chai tea
  • 1/3 cup water, boiling
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 shots espresso
  • 1 t vanilla
  • sugar, to taste
  • cinnamon
  • Bring water to a boil and add chai tea bag.  Allow to steep for a couple minutes.
  • Brew espresso.
  • While espresso is brewing pour milk and vanilla into a jar.  Seal tightly and shake until milk doubles in volume.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until hot.
  • Spoon sugar into large coffee mug.  Pour espresso and chai tea into mug.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Top with heated milk, foam, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Enjoy!
Happy Sipping!

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Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Lunchboxes]

There's something about a fresh, new start that I love.  The start of a new school year is no different.  I still love to browse the school supply aisles and this year that includes lunch boxes.  I have all sorts of plans to pack my lunch for the week on Sunday (today for the first time this year) and the prospect of a cute lunch box makes that all the more appealing.  So, without further ado.... I'm sipping Greek Coffee...

....and shopping for lunch boxes. I especially love the idea of monogramming for a kiddo.  Let's face it, they all misplace theirs at some point (usually left on the playground) and making it easily identified could only help -- not to mention how cute they look!

Happy Sipping and Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  
Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five on Friday [7.28.17]

Happy Friday!  This is the first Friday in a long time that I'm feeling a little blue.  Number one will explain why....

We start school on Monday and I am soooo not ready.  This summer seemed to fly by and with my little hospital stay and health stuff that's been going on, I don't really feel like it's time for it to be over.  But, ready or not, we go Monday and the kiddos will join us Wednesday.  It will be great to see them.  If only we could say hi and then get a few more weeks off :).

I don't know if I've been living under a rock, but just in case you haven't heard of them either, I've discovered Okulai shoes.  So. very. comfortable.

Hubby and I enjoyed a spectacular dinner last weekend with dear friends MDR and SK at Ruth's Chris.  It was absolutely delicious, the company just terrific, and an extended little b-day celebration for Hubby.  I must admit after being "heart healthy" for over a month the steak was pretty divine.

This isn't all that exciting, but for me anything that makes a bowl of oatmeal a little more tolerable is....I've been adding dates to my morning bowl with a drizzle of honey.  Such an easy twist to the traditional.

A little perspective as schedules are about to get more hectic:

Sometimes it takes a set back to realize we need to slow down and replenish, we can't do it all, here's an honest from the heart post about creative burnout

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Katie                                              April

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On My Bookshelf [The Singles Game]

When The Singles Game came across my feed while I was watching Wimbledon I knew I would be adding it to my summer reading list.  It's penned by the same author as The Devil Wears Prada.  While it's certainly not at the same level, it was a quick, easy read and although predictable at times still entertaining overall.

Amazon says:
"The perfect beach read" (Booklist) from the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada - a dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy who changes coaches and suddenly makes headlines on and off the court.

How far would you go to reach the top?

When America's sweetheart, Charlotte "Charlie" Silver, makes a pact with the devil -- the infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner -- she finds herself catapulted into a world of celebrity stylists, private parties, charity matches aboard mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty.  Under Todd's new ruthless regime, Charlie the good girl is out.  Todd waants "Warrior Princess" Charlie all the way.  After all, no one ever wins big by playing nice.

Celebrity mags and gossip blogs go wild for Charlie as she jets around the globe, chasing Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines.  But as the Warrior Princess's star rises on and off the court, it comes at a cost.  In a world obsessed with good looks and hot shots, is Charlie Silver willing to lose hersef to win it all?

I've been making a conscious effort to relax, slow down, and de-stress this summer.  As a result, I've been able to get a bit more reading in lately and I'm loving it!!  As always, I'd love to know what you recommend.  What's on your bookshelf??

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Green Tea Lemonade

What's more refreshing on a summer day than a glass of sweet tea??  While that's my true love, I've been gravitating to the green tea lemonade lately.  It's a simple little twist on the old classic and doesn't have the exorbitant amount of sugar (no matter how yummy).

Green Tea Lemonade - The Easy Way


  • 3/4 parts green tea
  • 1/4 part lemonade
"Directions" (If you can call them that....)
  • I brew up a big 'ole pitcher of sun tea, just using 5-6 green tea bags.  We've found we like the tea on the stronger side.  Certainly you can brew a cup the traditional way, too.
  • Make your own lemonade or use ready made.  We love to use the Minute Maid Lite to save calories.  We always add the juice of at least one fresh lemon to give it a little more punch.
  • Enjoy!
Happy Sipping!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday [7.21.17]

Happy Friday!!  I can hardly believe it, but we only have one more week of summer break.  I'm going to try my hardest to relax and enjoy every last moment.  So, without further ado, here are this week's five:

Our garden is producing cucumbers like crazy!  We picked 20 in one day alone, not that we're complaining in the least!  We took the opportunity to whip up some quick refrigerator pickles and have enjoyed horiatiki (Greek salad) every night.

I hurried home each day this week in hopes of hiding the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale boxes before Hubby got home.  I missed this simple dress the first time around, but after trying on a friends just might have to order one myself.  It's perfect to dress up or wear casually with little flats. Anything with ruffles and I'm sold!  It would look pretty cute with this classic necklace from J.Crew, too!

While I did order a couple items from the #nsale, I must confess that I really scored some incredible deals at Nordstrom Rack!  This Bobeau cardigan is a fave.  So very soft and lightweight.  Perfect to layer in both cold weather and cold air conditioning.

My mama would have celebrated a big birthday this week and while I'm missing her something fierce, I sometimes have to chuckle....sometimes I open my mouth and she comes out.  It never failes to make my heart smile.  How I wish she were here to hear it herself.

I've been trying to convince Hubby to convert a hall closet into built-ins.  I've been unsuccessful so far, but have if you follow me on Pinterest you know I haven't given up yet.  This pin has me swooning and seems like something we could easily to ourselves.  (Well, handy Hubby could!)  Anyone have any tips or tricks??  Or have you done this same and regretted?  Hubby is convinced I'll regret it later....

Office built ins  DIY built ins with kitchen cabinets
Via Pinterest
Happy Friday!  Wishing y'all a wonderful weekend!  
Katie                                                 April

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What's for Dinner [Salmon Burgers with Spinach and Feta]

It's no secret that we've been enjoying tons of salmon lately (grilled, honey-soy-glazed, and most recently like this).   While I could eat it every day of the week, Hubby tires of it.  This was my attempt to change things up and it was a huge success!

Salmon Burgers with Spinach and Feta


  • 1 lb salmon, cut into large cubes
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese (roughly)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pulse spinach in a food processor until roughly chopped.  
  • Add salmon cubes and pulse until slightly blended.  
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand.  Form into patties.  (The mixutre is soft.  If grilling chill in a fridge for 15 minutes until firmer.)
  • Add drizzle of olive oil to saute pan and heat.  Brown patties on each side and enjoy!
  • We served plain, but this would be delish on a bun with lemon mayo (1 c. mayo, 1-2 T lemon juice, 2 t zest, garlic if desired).
  • For health reasons we omitted a binding agent like egg or bread crumbs.  While we didn't miss either, you could easily include one or the other!
  • We served with a simple mix of sauteed squash from the garden.
Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Today I'm simply popping in to say I'm thining of my sweet mama.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of her or that I'm reminded of how very lucky I was to have such an incredible influence and role model in my life.  There is simply no one else like her.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On My Bookshelf [Beach Town]

You can always count on Mary Kay Andrews for a fun beach (or pool, if you're in Indiana) read.  While Beach Town isn't my favorite of her works, it was still a easy read, perfect for a sunny summer book!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Greek Villiage Salad [Horiatiki]

Well friends, I hate to break it to you, but a Greek salad doesn't have lettuce.  Don't get me wrong, I'll eat one because, quite simply, add feta and olives, which is really all anyone really does, and it's good.  But, all those Greek salads you've had?  They've been a poor imitation of the real deal.  A true Greek salad is so very simple, yet a thing of beauty.  It's truly one of my favorite dishes and served fresh from the garden it just can't be beat.  So without further ado.....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Hydrating Mask]

Happy Sunday!!  Today we're keeping things simple and sipping on some lemon water.  I start every day with a couple glasses of water (one of them always lemon) followed by a cup of coffee.  You can read about the benefits of lemon water here.  Although full confession:  I just can't do it warm, always cold.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday [7.14.17]

Happy Friday!!  While I'm so happy that it's Friday, with each passing one I'm again reminded that the end of summer is near.  I'm quite simply not yet ready to go back to school.  But until then, I'm holdin on tight....

Hubby and I celebrated his birthday last night with a quiet dinner at home.  I tried to talk him into going out, but as the thunder boomed and the streets flooded with all the rain, we were quite happy with our decision.  It's just as the saying goes...I love him more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started yesterday, too.  I snagged some good deals and shared some of my wishlist items, but am kind of kicking myself for not picking up this Mac Look in a Box deal....although the sale's not over yet....

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Today's the day, y'all!!!  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today for cardholders!  I did a little online shopping this morning and they have some incredible deals!  Santa may have even scored a few good deals to knock somethings off his list, too.

Here are some of my favorite finds:

What's on your wishlist??  I'm excited to see everyone's lists!!  Such terrific deals this go-round!

Happy Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Kate Spade on Sale]

Happy Sunday!  It's a beautiful, sunny day here.  Spent much of the day lounging at the pool enjoying a good book, good company, and some sweet treats from the "Summer Bash".  Pretty perfect.

Sweet friend AK alerted me to some too good not to share deals on Kate Spade this afternoon.  So, I'm popping in with the "shopping" portion of Sip and Shop Sunday today.

Cobble Hill Mayra
Gorgeous shade of blue, a little larger than a purse, but not as big as a messenger bag, and marked down AND it's half off!!  You read that right -- half off!

Leewood Place Rainn Medium Tote
Love the sweet scallops on this one!

Lombard Street Bradie
The tile (a pretty pale) blue is especially pretty.

On Purpose 
While this one isn't on sale, but the pink and bow combo has me swooning!!  They have a wrislet, too!

Hope you have had a terrific weekend!!

Happy Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ina's Fruit Salad with Limoncello

Happy Belated Independence Day!  I hope you and yours had a wonderful 4th and holiday weekend!  It seems the older I get, the more emotional and the more significant things become...grateful doesn't even begin to describe my feelings as an American.

But, I digress....really popping in today was all about sharing the delicious dessert recipe from the weekend!  There's not a recipe we've ever made from Ina that hasn't been delish! In an effort to eat a little healthier, we stunbled upon it while searching fruit desserts.  With that in mind, we did adapt it a bit and, honestly, I don't think we missed anything!  It will definitely be enjoyed again, likely soon when our blackberies begin to ripen!

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