White Wine Sangria ~ Recipe

IMG_9955How good does that look?!?!  Well, as good as it looks, I can tell you it tastes even better!!  Seriously, it’s amazing!!

This White Wine Sangria recipe is one that I came up with a few years ago after struggling to find one online that didn’t include peaches in the mix.  I actually really like to bite into a fresh peach, but I do not feel the same way about canned peaches or anything with peach flavoring in it.  I know, I know.  I’m a weirdo!! ;)

Anyways, I decided to experiment with my own recipe and it was an absolute HIT!!  I love to mix up big batches of this in the summer for when friends stop by for a drink and a chat in the sun, and if you get invited to a get together at my house in the spring or summer, you’ll most likely be offered a glass as well!!  It’s bright, colorful, so refreshing, and it looks great in a beverage dispenser, too!!


The ingredients are below and there’s really nothing to the recipe except that I like to wait until just before serving to add the Fresca.  It just keep it’s fizz a little better that way.  If you happen to have any leftovers, remove the fruit, refrigerate, and enjoy later!!  And, if you are in a giving mood, you can bottle the sangria and give it as a gift!  Once all the fruit has made friends with the wine, it’s a really pretty pink color!! HINT HINT: Bridal Shower beverage?!?! :)

White Wine Sangria ~
4 bottles of Pinot Grigio
2 liter of Fresca
3 pears; chopped
2 fuji apples; chopped
2 lbs strawberries; cut into fairly large pieces

**Make sure to let the fruit and wine get to know each other for a couple hours before you plan to serve, and stir every so often to help them along :)  Let me know what you think after you try this for yourself, too!!


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Monday’s Mantra

#Monday'sMantra#20one door closes

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Girls Night Out with What Mama Wants ~ Gina’s Boutique

If you’re anywhere near to where I am(or even if you’re looking for a road trip!), you’re invited to an exclusive event for What Mama Wants readers and fans!!!  I’ll be hosting a Girls Night Out Fashion Event at Gina’s Boutique next Wednesday April 23rd at 6:00pm.

Gina’s Boutique is one of my favorite shops in Grand Rapids because the inventory is always changing and there is such a great mix of styes.  Whether I’m shopping with girlfriends or my mom, we can all leave with something that we love!!

Gina's Boutique preview 4:2014I absolutely love the colors that are showing up this Spring, but Gina also gives you the option to stick with the neutrals and spruce them up with some fun and colorful accessories!  I stopped in a week or so ago to style up an outfit to wear to the event and I am in love with it!!  You’ll have to wait til Wednesday to see the whole thing, but here’s a sneak peek……….

Gina's Boutique sneak peek 4:2014When you come to the event, you can plan on complimentary wine, appetizers, exclusive discounts, and GIVEAWAYS!!  Why, you ask?!  Because you love What Mama Wants, and What Mama Wants loves Gina’s Boutique!! :)  The specifics are below so please check them out and then RSVP in the comment section or on our Facebook Event page.  SEE YOU THERE!!! :)

What:  GNO with What Mama Wants at Gina’s Boutique
When:  Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 6pm
Where:  40 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Chocolate-Covered Oreos ~ Fun for ANY Occasion

Well, it happened.  My baby girl turned 8 yesterday.  EIGHT!!!!  I can still remember the sights and sounds from the operating room like it was yesterday, but clearly it was not. Thinking back to when I first heard her, held her, kissed, and smelled her, I’ll admit, made me a little sad and teary.  I only allowed myself a couple minutes of that, though, because the love I have for my baby girl now, is even more precious and strong than it was on that day 8 years ago.

Each day, I have the opportunity to learn more about this amazing little lady.  How her laugh changes when she’s happy, or nervous, or just absolutely cracking herself up.  How she smiles when she’s surprised, happy to see me, or completely at peace.  The different voices she uses when she’s excited, frustrated, or talking to a puppy or baby.  I have learned about my daughter and from my daughter every day of her life and I hope that never stops.

Given that it was a school day, I had to be a little more creative in making yesterday super special for Lexi.  Her Dad was the WatchDog at school, which in an of itself makes it a good day, though.  He got to help in her classroom and do random tasks around the school before and after having lunch and recess with her.  I stopped in mid-day to put a rose and note in her locker(and to check in on the WatchDog! ;)), and came back at the end of school with some yummy birthday treats for her and her friends.

Chocolate-covered Oreos collageThese chocolate-covered oreos were so incredibly easy to make and I think they’re perfect for just about ANY occasion!!  I had to make them by myself since it was a school birthday treat, but this is definitely a great one to bring your kids in on for some fun in the kitchen!!

All you’ll need to get started is the candy melts in your choice of color, oreos(I used double-stuffed!), and some cooling racks.  Melt the candy in the microwave or on the stovetop according to package directions, dip the oreos in the melted candy, let sit to cool and solidify, drizzle with additional candy if you’d like, and VOILA!!  These could also be put on a stick and made into oreo pops, but I am boycotting all treat making that involves sticks for now after too many failed attempts with cake pops :)  ENJOY this yummy treat and feel free to share photos of your final product after you try it for yourself!!

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#25everything going against you

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Monday’s Mantra

#Monday'sMantra#19everything has beauty

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Thankful Heart Thursday + Giveaway

Thankful Heart Thursday ShellToday’s Thankful Heart Thursday post will be short and sweet because pictures are worth a thousand words.  I had to sift through years of pictures yesterday to add to my 25 of the BEST RULES for Mothers of Daughters post and I can’t even express to you the emotions I felt putting them all together.  It sounds like such a simple thing, but today I am oh so thankful for cameras!

Of course, I remember like it was yesterday how I felt to see my daughter for the first time, touch her sweet face, read to her, dance with her, sing with her, cook with her, etc, etc, etc.  To add the visual to those memories, though, by looking at her sweet face in pictures, is just so overwhelming.  It’s something that I know I often take for granted.  It’s a true gift to be able to open a photo album and take a trip down memory lane seeing so many happy times in color.  Sometimes it doesn’t even enter my mind that having that privilege is a blessing!!

So, for today, I am so very thankful for the ability to capture my family’s best days, ordinary days, and priceless smiles with the push of a button and a flash of light.  I can’t keep my baby girl little forever, but at least I can keep those memories close to my heart as she continues to blossom into a beautiful young lady!

What is it that you’re thankful for today?  A thankful heart is a happy heart so share your thankfulness with me by commenting below.  When you do, you’ll be entered into my monthly giveaway :)  See, it really does PAY to be thankful!!


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25 of the BEST RULES for Mothers of Daughters

100_5128When I wake up in the morning each day, the first thing on my mind is to be the best wife, mother, and friend that I can be.  I have the sweetest set of eyes watching my every move and learning what it means to be loving and kind.  My daughter was given to me so perfect and pure, and it truly is my greatest honor to be able to walk by her side, hold her hand, and give her all the love that I have in my heart!!  Though I am not perfect, I do my best each day to live by these rules that I found online recently, and I thought they were definitely worth sharing!!

1. Paint her nails.  Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up.  Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.


2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright red smudged lips and streaked blue eyes.  Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself.


3. Let her be wild.  She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle(!!).  She may be a homebody or a traveler.  She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet Mr. Right at age 5.  Try to remember that you were her age once.  Everyone makes mistakes……..let her make her own.

4. Be present.  Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday little moments.  When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride.  Show it to her as often as possible.


5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up.  If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it.  If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her?  She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent.  Show her by example that women can be strong.  Find and follow your own passions.  Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself, not just your husband or children.  Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be.  Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her.  Put them in her hair.  There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.


8. Let her get messy.  Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside.  Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen.  The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.


9. Give her good role models- you being one of them.  Introduce her to successful women friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors.  Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie.  Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson.  She should know that anything is possible.


10. Show her affection.  Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother.  “I love you’s” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.


11. Hold her hand.  Whether she is 3 years old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always.  This will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

holding hands 2013

12. Believe in her.  It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you.  Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college, remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is.  Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or on her wedding day.  She needs your reminders.  She needs your pride.  She needs your reassurance.  She is only human.

14. Love her father.  Teach her to love a good man, like him.  One who lets her be herself.  She is, after all, wonderful.

family pics kissie face 2013

15. Make forts with boxes and blankets.  Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales.  Someday she will make her 5 x 5 dorm room her home with magic touches and inspiration.  And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her.  Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle.  But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost.  Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them.  Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning.  Help her to find their meaning.


17. Teach her how to love with passion and kisses.  Love her passionately.  Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately.  Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint.  Let her get her heart broken and try again.  Let her cry, and gush, giggle, and scream.  She will love like you love or hate like you hate.  So, choose love for both you and her.

kisses for lexi 2013

18. Encourage her to dance and sing.  Dance and sing with her even if it sounds or looks horrible.  Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes.  Let her dance on her daddy’s feet and spin in your arms.  Then later, let her blast noise and head bang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants.  She could even karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather.  Introduce her to the classics(like The Beatles and Van Morrison) listen to her latest favorite(like Taylor Swift.)  Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer.  Or, at least create a soundtrack to your life together.


19. Share secrets together.  Communicate.  Talk.  Talk about anything.  Let her tell you about boys, friends, school.  Listen.  Ask questions.  Share dreams, hopes, concerns.  She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother.  Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners.  Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend.  The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand up and when to walk away.  Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat – let her know she does not have to listen.  Make sure she knows how to demand respect.  She is worthy of it.  It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence.  Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting.  Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons.  Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk away.  Teach her to be the better person.

22. Let her choose who she loves.  Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words(she’s gonna love him anyway.)  When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than “I told you so.”  Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one.  And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her.  Being a mother to her is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments.  Share with her the joys of motherhood, so that one day she will want to be a mother, too.  Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her.  No one can replace or duplicate a mother’s love for their children.


24. Comfort her.  Because sometimes you just need your mommy.  When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets(no matter how old she is.)  Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is.  These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her…she may just whisper, “I need my mommy.”


25. Be home.  When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you; welcome her.  When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news; embrace her.  When she is lost or confused, she will search for you; find her.  When she needs advice on boys, school, friends, or an outfit; give it to her.  She is your daughter and will ALWAYS need a safe harbor – where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile; Simply Be Home.


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Hump Day Hop ~ Facebook

Hump Dayyyy HOPIt’s time for another Hump Day HOP and today we’re hopping around Facebook!  Add a link to your Facebook page below to share your blog with some new friends!!

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Monday’s Mantra

#Monday'sMantra#18losing sight of the shore

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