MAKE THIS: Easy Buckeye Brownies

These buckeye brownies are NOT sugar free, gluten free or butter free; they are full bodied and should be PRAISED. I've made them a couple times now and they do not disappoint. They do require some prep work and patience (I usually make these over 2 days). Chelsea knew what she was doing when she created this recipe. Clocking in with under 12 ingredients, it's dangerously easy to make. 

The first layer is brownie (boxed, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME), the second layer is a peanut butter/graham cracker whipped creamy center topped with melted chocolate (with a touch of PB). Heaven. This recipe works best for large groups as it makes a TON of treats (as in a 9x13" 5lb pan of buckeyes). 

*Pro-tip: You can make your own powdered sugar in a Vitamix and it's magical.

Get Chelsea's full recipe for these delightful buckeye brownies here: Chelsea's Messy Apron 

Artist Alert: Lorna Simpson

I absolutely love artist Lorna Simpsons Ebony and Jet collages. I grew up reading those magazines, often under a hair dryer that was too hot. I'd flip through the pages and admire all fly black girls. 

Lorna has transformed these beauties and captured their "black girl magic" by creating these mixed collages. Lorna's work is mesmerizing and inspiring. 

See her entire body of work here: Lorna Simpson

The Senescent Southern Belle on Craigslist

Just Because: Hand Painted Macarons

I love these beautiful hand painted confections; Bakers Royale is truly talented. 
I've never had enough patience to make macarons from scratch but these have me inspired. 

Did you know that macaroons and macarons are two very different desserts? The sandwich-like French macaron is meringue cookie, getting its light, airy texture from egg whites. The Southern coconut macaroon, on the other hand, is a hearty lump of made of shredded coconut and condensed milk. The more you know... 

Naomi's husband is a food blogger too. Real Food by Dad highlights recipes like Chili Cheese Fries Pizza and Mexican Fried Rice. Holy YUM. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on their blogs, I already have plans to make Naomi's Lemon Ice Box Cake.

Artist Alert: Sally Nixon

Loving Sally Nixon's illustrated series "What Women Do When No One's Watching"

Nixon on her artwork: "They don’t have perfect bodies or perfect habits and that makes them relatable. The scenes I create around them are everyday places: a bathroom, a restaurant, a messy bedroom. However my goal with each drawing is to elevate the seemingly mundane to something special and worthy of being viewed." (via Vice)

You can purchase her prints on Etsy: Sally Nixon

MAKE THIS: Banana Pudding Ice Cream

(image source Spicy Southern Kitchen)

Now that it's officially summer, it's time to bring on the no-bake recipes and buy all the ICE CREAM. A couple years ago I discovered Steve's Southern Banana Pudding Ice Cream and holy hell, was it delicious. *Side note: I highly recommend Steve's entire collection of flavors, they use real whole ingredients and taste delightful*

Anyways, I was craving this banana pudding ice cream ALL THE TIME; and since I had recently purchased a Vitamix (my favorite kitchen gadget), I decided to put that sucker to work. I originally used this recipe from The flavor was pretty spot on, but it called for more sugar then I was comfortable with, so I played around in the Creatively Kitsch test kitchen until I got it right. 

My lightened up version consists of only 4 ingredients. 

1) Frozen Bananas (2.5, large) - wait until they're nearly overripe and freeze overnight 
2) Milk (about 2 cups) - I've used cow, soy, coconut, really you can't go wrong with any dairy ingredient
3) Nilla Wafers (1 cup) - If I'm making small batch pints I prefer the mini wafers, if your going ALL THE WAY (which I totally endorse) use the normal size ones. 
4) INSTANT Banana Cream Pudding mix, 3.4 oz

Place the bananas, milk, a handful of crushed wafers and the instant pudding mix in your blender. Mix baby, mix. Use discretion when adding milk, too much will give your ice cream a runny milkshake consistency (which, is still delicious but not as fun). Once you have a creamy concoction start layering the ice cream like a lasagna. 

First layer ice cream, then nilla wafers and then fresh bananas. Continue until you fill up your receptacle. For me that's about 2 plastic pints full. You can enjoy immediately or freeze overnight to get the desired consistency. Make sure you give it time to defrost a bit before going down on your summer treat. Since it doesn't have extra fat it freezes a bit harder then traditional ice cream. Enjoy!

The Mini Mindy Project

I love Mindy Kaling and her show The Mindy Project. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. Mindy Lahiri's wardrobe is epic. Impeccably designed, most of her outfits are custom affairs. Portuguese graphic design student Salomé Esteves created the Mini Mindy Project and I'm in love.

You can purchase her print on Etsy. It has the kween herself, Mindy's Instagram blessing

Summer Sandals: Tameka Slides

I've gotten so many compliments on these sandals. Super comfy and affordable (thanks, Target) they are sure to be a summer staple. The Tameka slide sandals come in 3 color profiles, black, neon green and white. 

Even though school isn't out for us grownups, we can still celebrate summertime!

Get your shop on: Tameka Slides

Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is Ugo Rondinone’s large scale public art installation near Las Vegas, Nevada (10 miles south of LV)Ugo began cutting boulders for 7MM in December 2015, his work can be viewed for the next 2 years.

Pro tip: there aren't restrooms at the outdoor site; also keep in mind this is the desert, so if you plan on visiting during the summer months keep hydrated.

Sweet Paul: Color Block Cookies

How fun are these sugar cookies? Loving this simple and colorful recipe from Sweet Paul. I haven't made these yet, but they seem like a fun dessert option to bring to a summer barbecue! 
You only need 6 ingredients to make these CMYK sweet treats. Get the recipe here:
Color Block Cookies