This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

What food is cozier than pigs in a blanket?! haha. Here's a fast and easy recipe from my house to yours that is perfect to serve at your holiday party this weekend or during a movie night at home. You only need three ingredients: crescent rolls, lil' smokies and jalapeno cream cheese. We like a little spice at our house, but if you don't like spicy things you can substitute regular cream cheese too. 

Pop some popcorn, pop the tops on some ice cold Coca-Cola and enjoy your movie night.

by Nicky Vender

1 Tube crescent rolls
Tub of jalapeno cream cheese
Beef lil' smokies

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unroll crescents and use a knife to cut each triangle into thirds lengthwise. At the thick part of the dough, add a dollop of 1/4 tsp cream cheese. Then place one smokie on top of cream cheese and roll up. Place the rolled crescents onto a large cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Makes 24 minis.

Photos by Melissa Jill


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

I am a popcorn fiend. Next to potato chips it's probably my favorite snack. Add some rosemary and chipotle spice to it, and oh my gosh you have the best darn popcorn you have ever tasted. Once I start eating it I can't stop. If you're looking to add some spice to your average movie night snacks give this recipe a whirl. Pair it with some Coca-Cola and mini jalapeno pigs in a blanket for a tasty movie night.

Inspired by Ina Garten & adapted by Nicky Vender

1/3 C Maple Syrup
1/4 C Brown Sugar
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (divided)
2 tsp chipotle powder
Canola Oil
2 c mixed nuts
2 tbsp melted butter
3 bags plain popcorn, popped (about 39 cups)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk maple syrup, sugar and orange juice, 2 tbsp of rosemary and chipotle powder. Lightly coat a large cookie sheet with canola oil and pour the nuts onto it. Take 1/3 cup of the rosemary chipotle sauce, pour over the nuts and toss until evenly coated. Spread nuts into a single layer. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and add the remaining 1 tbsp of rosemary at the 10 minute mark. When done cooking, remove from oven and use a spatula to place nuts onto parchment to cool. Next, ad the melted butter to the remaining chipotle sauce and stir. Drizzle over popcorn and stir gently to coat. Finally, add the toasted nuts and toss to combine. Feel free to add a bit more minced rosemary if desired!

Photos by Melissa Jill


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

With a three month old baby and a three year old, you can bet that Ryan and I aren't getting much alone time these days. We usually like to plan one nice date night out a month with a sprinkling of quick coffee or dinner dates throughout the month, but that's just not reality in this season of parenting and marriage. So, what do we do instead?

Movie nights at home by the fireplace. Honestly, sometimes I love it even more than going out. I think the only thing that can keep it from being a good date night is if Elle gets out of bed or Levi doesn't stay down for the night. If you're in the same boat as us, try to make a special Christmas movie night with your guy or gal. It's important to carve out some quality time, especially when stress levels can be high around the holidays. 

Make some gourmet popcorn (chipotle rosemary popcorn or candy cane popcorn), dessert nachos, pigs in a blanket, serve ice cold Coca-Cola and sit back and enjoy. And if you're on a budget here's a FREE movie guide if you are a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriber. I'm sure your wallet will thank you later for this date.

  1. While You Were Sleeping (Netflix)
  2. Love Actually (Netflix)
  3. Finding Neverland (Amazon Prime)
  4. Serendipity (Netflix)
  5. White Christmas (Netflix)
  6. Happy Christmas(Netflix)
  7. I'll Be Home for Christmas (Netflix)

Date Night In


Whether you can't find childcare or you simply want stay in your comfy clothes, date nights at home can be just the ticket to celebrate Valentine's Day. You don't have to get all dressed up and kill your toes in heels for you special someone to find you sexy. In fact, studies have shown that men prefer women with less makeup and natural lip colors. And though they may love beautiful lingerie, on the outside, skinny jeans and a t-shirt can be sexier than a tight red dress. In light of that information, I have created a date night and a makeup look with Memebox and SN Makeup Artist to show you how to look great for a date night in.

Memebox-89 webblog
Memebox-89 webblog

1| Think like a Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn was adored by men just as much as women. She was the epitome of the classic, girl next door. Wear you black skinnies, a button up shirt or turtleneck and a pair of flats. Maybe even plan to watch Roman Holiday with your beau.


2| Vintage inspired makeup. Forget the eyeshadow and just apply a black winged eyeliner. A pale coral lip is a great complement because it gives you some color, but not too much. I love Memebox's giselle lip crayon. Simply apply around your lips. It goes on smooth and has a bit of gloss to it. It's only $7.00 and you can get it for an additional 10% off when you use the code AVE10 at checkout. This applies to any lip crayon, lipstick or lip tint product.

Memebox-72 webblog
Memebox-72 webblog
Memebox-75 webblog
Memebox-75 webblog

3| Coffee or wine, please. I don't know about your guy, but my hubby loves a great glass of wine or cup of coffee more than food. Granted, there needs to be food, but spend some thought on what you will be drinking just as much as what you will be eating.

Memebox-83 webblog
Memebox-83 webblog

There you have it! A simple, cute date night look that's comfy and sexy. PS - don't wait for Valentine's Day to have a great date night in. You can do it anytime with ease. Just don't forget your lip crayon and use your AVE10 code at checkout.

Memebox-53 webblog
Memebox-53 webblog

Photos by Michelle Herrick; art direction, styling and modeling by A.V.E. Styles, makeup by SN Makeup Artist.

Sea Salt & Coconut Popcorn


"Pop! Pop! POP!!!" That's what Elle says whenever I make popcorn. She can't eat it fast enough. It's definitely her favorite snack and my go-to healthy snack when I'm craving something salty. I usually make popcorn with olive oil and sea salt, but AVE Styles Intern, Alyssa Hodson, gave me the great idea to try it with coconut oil. Oh. My. Gosh! Game changer! This sea salt and coconut popcorn is the perfect salty, sweet snack for movie nights and road trips this summer. Add some coconut flakes and chocolate chips, and you have one decadent treat.



Yields  16 cups of popcorn

1/2 c Popcorn Kernels

3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Teaspoon of sea salt
1)  Heat the stove to medium and throw in the coconut oil and sea salt. Toss in at least two kernels into the pan with the oil and when they pop, then the heat is right.  Take out those two kernels.
2) Add in the rest of the popcorn kernels until they are all popped. Remove from stove. Sprinkle more salt to taste.
If you have a sweet tooth, add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and a 1/4 cup of coconut flakes to the popcorn after it is cool. Toss and serve!