The date challenge that you need to try with your spouse right now. It’s so fun!

Last night Jeff & I took to the kitchen to have a fun little date! 🙆🏻‍♀️ Don’t let the picture stray you away- it was seriously so much fun! We made a blueberry pie from scratch (with a delicious crumble for the top) which is difficult enough as it is for me because pie crust is only a whopping four ingredients but if you don’t do it justttttt right, you can completely mess it up.. And lets be honest- I’ve made a few crusts in my time and maybe a handful have actually been done right.. lol! 🤣 If blueberry pies aren’t your thing, you can make whatever pie you and your spouse love! We just recently got a blueberry pie candle and I always have it burning- the only downside is it’s such a tease because you’re always hungry smelling it. So needless to say, we just had to have a blueberry pie.

With this super fun couples challenge, one person has to be blindfolded while physically making the pie- the other person has to instruct what to do by holding the blindfolded persons hands and doing everything to make the pie through them! (Total disclaimer- flour ended up everywhere! But it’s so fun, and the clean up process was actually super fun, too)

Now back to the date challenge: Rules: The person with the least cooking experience has to be the one blindfolded, so, naturally Jeff took that spot (this time) and to top off the fun- you only get three actual verbal instructions for the time you’re making the entire pie- which was harder than it sounds. Believe me haha.

It was definitely an interesting Saturday date night in the Mongelli household- but oh so much fun! 🥰 And the end result was extremely delicious, y’all. We added vanilla icecream and cheers-d our spoons with our first bites loaded on to celebrate the hard work before we dug in.

Here is the yummy blueberry pie recipe we used:

For the Crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter — diced and chilled

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-4 tablespoons ice water

  1. Add flour, butter, and salt to a large bowl. Cut your butter in using a pastry cutter. Work in one tablespoon of water at a time.

  2. Flour your surface. Press the dough ball into a disk and roll to about 1/4″ thickness. If it sticks to the rolling pin, place a sheet of wax paper on top of the dough so you don’t have to add more flour. Be sure to flip and rotate your dough as you go so it does not stick to your surface. Roll out the dough to a few inches larger than your pie plate.

  3. Place in pie plate and press to fit. Tuck under any overhang and crimp or use the tines of a fork to decorate the edges. Chill until ready to fill.

  4. This pie crust is great for filling and the recipe makes 1 crust that fits comfortably in a 9″ pie plate. For a bigger pie plate or for a double crust, double the recipe.

For the Pie Filling:

5 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate and crimp as desired.
  3. Carefully stir together blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Pour into prepared pie plate.
  4. Top with topping of your choice, we used a crumble.
  1. Place a pie shield around the edge of the pie and place the pie on a cookie sheet.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes at 425° then lower the temperature to 350° and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until crust is baked through and golden.

For the Crumble Topping:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup sugar — (brown or white or a combination)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Grate cold butter into a large bowl.

  2. Add sugar: use all brown or all white or a combination to make 2/3 cup.

  3. Add flour and then, using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Tips for the Crust:

  • Make sure your butter is COLD and your water is ICE WATER. Cold ingredients yield a better crust.
  • Make sure you chill the crust before you fill and/or bake it. Cold crust bakes better than any other kind, especially since this is an all butter pie crust.

I’d love to know if you try this date night in the comments below! Happy dating, y’all! 🥰

xx, Torey Mongelli | Bright Peonies Blog

Traveling in Style: The Cutest Weekend Get Away Tote, Gym, Yoga, Beach, or Diaper Bag, etc- That You Need This Summer

Heading somewhere for a weekend getaway? Needing a new Travel Tote? Gym Bag? Yoga Bag? Diaper Bag? No matter what you’re needing a new bag for- Travel in Style with any of Stella & Dot’s Get Away Totes! They’re seriously the perfect travel companions! Y’all have seen me feature this beauty over and over again- because it’s JUST. THAT. GOOD!

The totes are available in multiple different super adorable prints, has an easy, wipeable material, and is convertible and expands in a zip for spontaneous shopping.

  • Measurements: 14 1/4″ Height (zipped) 19 1/4″ Height (unzipped) x 15 1/2″ Length x 8″ Depth x 8″ Strap Drop
  • Exterior: Woven fabric with vegan leather trim, front slit pocket, top zipper closure
  • Interior: Pocket with zip closure
  • Lining: Wipeable coral/white print lining
  • Hardware: 9k Plated Gold
  • 2 way versatility: Detachable & adjustable cross body strap included

I’ve used mine as a diaper bag, gym bag, yoga bag, beach bag, and it’s TSA Approved for flight travel! ✈️ Sophia and I are headed to warmer weather this weekend- sunny Florida, here we come! ✨ And of course, we’ll be traveling in style with this beauty!

SHOP: Stella & Dot: Click HERE for the Get Away Tote in Black/Cream Stripe (Pictured Above) OR Click HERE to shop/browse all prints and travel bags!

Don’t forget to add the matching pouf! They’re so adorable! I always like to have a smaller pouch for my larger bags to put smaller items in that I don’t want getting lost at the bottom of my totes. Something for my chapstick, lipsticks, make up, sunscreen, cash, cards, etc!

Happy Traveling, Friends!

xx, Torey Mongelli | Bright Peonies

Enjoying our Spring Saturday // Garden, Icecream, Laughter, and a whole-lotta gorgeous North Carolina weather!

Saturday’s are for shopping (obviously) so today we did something we haven’t done yet in this town..

Those of y’all that know me personally or have been following along with me for a while now already know that I try to avoid shopping malls like the plague. For many reasons, but the main one being my anxiety skyrocketing from being around way too many random people at once- all pushing and shoving trying to find the “deals” that these big corporate stores are having that day- no thank you. I need my personal space and don’t enjoy strangers brushing up on me. However, since we couldn’t find these particular shades that Jeff was eyeing at another brick-and-mortar store, we knew the mall would surely have them- and they did.

I’m pretty sure this was also the first trip to the mall that Sophia will actually remember- and let me tell ya’, this girl was a fan! She loves shopping, (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree there, friends!) she loves food, and she loved the big cookie she got for being such a good girl! (Any fellow mamas spoil the crap out of their kids if they don’t act a fool in public? I see you)

ACS_0016

We came home, got messy in our garden, played outside and then had more treats. This weather is too beautiful not to soak up every second!

One of the most beautiful things about being a parent is watching your children fall madly in love with the hobbies that you love. I absolutely adore that most of the hobbies Sophia has picked up on show her how to take care of things.

Gardening is a big hobby of mine that I believe teaches wonderful life lessons. With little eyes always watching, I believe it’s so important to bestow meaningful activities upon our children rather than the “norm” nowadays. (especially in this day in age)

We started last year when I wanted to dabble into a vegetable garden. She helped me plant the peppers and zucchini’s from seeds and she beamed from ear to ear when she saw them growing. After we planted the seeds, she watered them every single day and anticipated their growth. Life lesson learned: “In life, we have to take care of things if we want them to return the favor,” and also, “Don’t rush the process, good things take time. And sometime more time”

SHOP: SIMILAR BOWS (Also HERE & HERE & HERE) Her outfit was a gift from her auntie- but HERES another romper I’m loving)

I hope everyone has had the most fabulous Saturday like we have! How do you spend your Saturday’s? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

xx, Torey Mongelli | Bright Peonies

How I Support My Shopping Addiction: Part One | SWAGBUCKS

So today I wanted to share with y’all one of the major ways I support my shopping addiction. I don’t know if you’ve heard or noticed- but it’s real, y’all. And even with two businesses, I don’t make NEARLY enough to support it. (insert sigh here)

dinheiro-lettering-and-coins_4460x4460.jpg

Maybe you’re reading this post because, like me, you need a little extra cash here and there to support that Shopping Addiction. Or your husband/spouse is cutting your credit cards up, or you spend $250 a month on Starbucks so you just need to pay for your coffee each morning basically on the free– whatever your reason, this is the app you need!

whole-bean-coffee_925x

A few years ago I had to get SUPER creative on how I was going to get a little extra cash here and there to fund my *expensive* habit and stumbled upon this little gem called Swagbucks.

The SwagBucks app is one of the best, legitimate survey apps out there! I’ve earned HUNDREDS of dollars over these past few years, not even actively doing it like some people do. (I can’t even imagine how much I could have earned if I wouldn’t have taken so much time off) 

So basically how SwagBucks works: (I’m not going to go into full detail on each way to earn because most of them are self explanatory. I’m just highlighting the ones that I use frequently!)

  1. SHOP ONLINE AND GET CASH BACK
  2. PRINT & REDEEM GROCERY COUPONS
  3. SURVEYS
  4. SEARCH
  5. WATCH VIDEOS
  6. PLAY GAMES 

 

SHOP AND GET CASH BACK: What the whaaaat?! Okay soooo yesterday, I know. But a few years ago when I started Swagbucks there weren’t nearly as many cash back apps out there as there are now. However, even now I’ve scoped through most of these new-kid-on-the-block apps to see if the amount of cash back is greater or comparable to Swagbucks; and, to my personal delight, I’ve noticed Swagbucks is still on top *for the majority of them* I’ve seen them as high as 16SB (Swag Bucks) per $1 spent.

So, Example: Let’s say you’re doing a little online retail therapy at Target. If they’re offering 10 SB per $1 spent, you go ahead and spend $100 on those super cute textiles you found and essentially get $10 back- just for shopping through the app! Stack those on top of Target’s already fab deals- look at you go! You’re officially a saving money queen. Your husband/spouse will thank you later. Believe me!

But if Target’s not your thing (not judging, but we can’t be friends anymore) don’t worry! There are LITERALLY hundreds (maybe thousands at this point?) of stores to choose from. Some of my favorites include Old Navy (because I heart Old Navy and they always offer high SB back per dollar spent) NordstromRack, Personal Creations, Walmart, JC Penny, Lowes, Home Depot- Even food joints to traveling sites like expedia, IHG, etc!

Even if you only join SwagBucks to shop online- DO IT! I’m so serious. Why wouldn’t you want to get free money back?

 

PRINT AND REDEEM COUPONS: Yo- we all know by now I’m the queen of deals and I wouldn’t call myself a craaaazy coupon lady but you better believe if I find a one for pull ups laying on the side of the road (totally being dramatic) I’m going to snatch it up and use it! Because we ain’t rich, and even if we were- I’m all about saving a dollar. (And now I’ve shifted to sassy…)

So the coupons are a little hidden so I’m going to walk you through it.

  1. Go to the section that says “SHOP” (It’s also the same place you’ll find stores to shop at online and get SB back per dollar spent!)
  2. Click “Grocery Coupons” (there’s also an “ONLINE COUPONS” option for codes to use while shopping online)
  3. Ba-da-bing! Just click on each coupon you want to print out and use and when you redeem them at your grocery store NOT ONLY will you get the cash money off of your grocery bill BUT you’ll also get 10 SB added to your account!NOTE: This takes a little more time than answering surveys- but any cash back is cash back, am I right?!) Plus- let’s say you start redeeming coupons left and right. All of a sudden your account is going to get hit with potentially hundreds of SwagBucks daily!

 

SURVEYS: So, let’s now talk about taking surveys. Most offer anywhere from 25-150 Swagbucks for 10-20 minutes of your time. The average payout for answering a small series of questions is 75-100 SB’s, which is equivalent to 75 cents-$1. They’re super easy to fill out and the questions are generally simple: Which do you like more, Diet Coke or Coke? How many times have you grocery shopped this month? Which stores do you prefer to buy your vitamins at? You get the idea. You won’t qualify for each panel but you can usually earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work. (That’s $10 an hour if you keep it up..)

This definitely isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme and won’t replace your full-time job BUT If you earn 100-500 SB a day, that’s $30-$150 a month that you can either cash out on or redeem for gift cards! I mainly redeem my gift cards to restaurants, Starbucks, Sephora, TJ Maxx, Old Navy and MasterCard Gift Cards, but there are HUNDREDS to choose from! Ranging from as low as $5 gift cards to $100+ gift cards!

 

FOR JOINING THROUGH MY LINK:
Sign Up for SwagBucks Here and you’ll get an additional 300 SB ($3) when you earn your first 300 SB (or $3) (Yaaaaasssss, Hunny!)

 

Let me know in the comments your favorite ways to earn on Swagbucks!

xx, Torey Mongelli | Bright Peonies

 

2018 Summer Accessories That You Need Now // Marble, Vintage Gold, Coin Necklaces // Stella & Dot

Without further ado, here are my top Stella & Dot Summer pieces that I truly believe you NEED NOW. For real, just trust me on this one. These pieces go with everything- any summer outfit that you can think of, these are it. Absolute accessories wardrobe staples!

I want to start out by saying that I am IN LOVE with the latest coin layering trend. This gorgeous Stella & Dot piece is Inspired by found treasures across the globe and is Versatile- meaning it can be worn 3 ways! Wear the chains all together, or each strand can be worn separately.

Details:

• Vintage Gold Finish

• 15”, 18 ½”, 30” with 3” Extender

• Lobster Clasp Closure

Stella & DotDez Layered Necklace

Moving right along to my absolute favorite bracelets with a meaning behind them: The Anda Intention Bracelets for Strength and Courage.

 Stella & DotAnda Intention Bracelets ( Strength & Courage)

I’m obsessed with these beauties because not only are they super adorable, with neural tones making them perfect for any spring outfit- but they go with everything and have a beautiful meaning behind them. One symbolizes strength while the other symbolizes courage. Two reminders I think all of us need on a daily basis.

And lastly, the Vintage Gold Nicholette Stretch Bracelet:

Stella & Dot // Nicholette Stretch Bracelet

Textured vintage gold beads in varying sizes with the ease of a stretch bracelet. Wear this bracelet solo or stack it up with other bracelets!

Details:

• Vintage Gold Finish

• 2” Diameter

• Fits SM-LG Wrists

Here are a few of my favorite stacks with these beauties featured:

Also pictured in these stacks: Stella & DotRENEGADE CLUSTER BRACELET (GOLD & SILVER)

You’ve seen me feature these Marbled & Vintage Gold gems a thousand times already, and you’ll see them a thousand more times. I wasn’t kidding when I said they’d be on REPEAT this season. They go with everything & if you’ve been eyeing them get them before they’re gone! I’ve attached direct links below each picture.

Happy Hump Day, Gorgeous!
xx, Torey Mongelli | Bright Peonies