Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why I love our Berkey Water Filter System

This post is in partnership with Berkey Filters. As always, all opinions are my own.
Post contains affiliate links.

A few weeks ago our new neighbors invited us over for drinks and appetizers as a way to
formally introduce themselves and for us to meet a few other new couples close by.
We had the best time talking, eating, drinking and sharing stories.  It's so refreshing to have
neighbors that want to get to know us and who enjoy doing things together from time to time.

At the end of the evening we toured their home and sitting on their kitchen counter in all
it's glory was a Big Berkey water filter system. I'll admit I was a bit jealous.
I had heard such great things about the Berkey water filter system and one was definitely
on my wish list!

Lucky for us, a few weeks later I was given the opportunity to try a Berkey system for review.

I decided on the Travel Berkey, which is the perfect size for empty nesters like us.
The Travel Berkey is recommended for individuals, couples, small families (including fur
children) and those who have limited counter space or want to take their Berkey on the road.
It holds around 1.5 gallons of water, which works fine for us.

I often worry about the safety of our drinking water, especially when we are traveling to
unfamiliar places. Depending upon where you live your drinking water may contain many
contaminants or additives such as fluoride, ammonia or chlorine. The Berkey Water Filter
Sytem uses several different scientific methods to produce unmatched drinking water
quality.  According to the Berkey website, Berkey systems filter out over 99.99% chlorine,
bacteria and viruses, lead, VOCs, THM's, lindane, benzene and atrizine. Honestly, I'm
not sure what some of that is, but I do know that I want our drinking water to be as pure
as possible and I trust Berkey.

Before using a Berkey we relied upon the water filter system on our refrigerator and
bottled water. The system in our fridge has to be replaced so often and it's a pain to deal
with.  The Berkey System comes with two filters with a life span of around 6,000 gallons
of water! The filters shouldn't need to be replaced for a minimum of four years!
Now that's that's what I'm talking about!

Needless to say buying bottled water gets expensive, not to mention how bad all of that
plastic is for the environment. Using a Berkey makes me feel better and the water really
tastes so much better too!  We've had fun giving some of our friends blind taste tests using
bottled water, tap water and Berkey water and the Berkey water wins as best tasting every

I've definitely noticed that we are drinking more water now that we own a Berkey, which
makes me feel better since drinking plenty of water is vital for our health.  I love that the
Travel Berkey is so easy to use and to take with us on the road. It's light weight and portable
when empty. I wrap each section with a towel and carry it around in a square clothes basket
until we set it up at the campsite or hotel.  It's definitely a topic of conversation. We took the
Travel Berkey on our camping trip last weekend and everyone wanted to know that that
big silver thing was on the picnic table :)

After using our Berkey for several weeks, here are a few of our Pros and Cons:


     o It eliminates 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses in our water
     o It's easy to install
     o It's easy to use
     o It's easy to refill
     o It has reduced our use of plastic water bottles
     o We're drinking more water on a daily basis
     o It's pretty!


     o It's tall and takes up counter space
     o The initial cost is pretty high, but the long filter life makes it worth it
     o The water comes out at room temperature instead of cold like the refrigerator filter

The pros definitely outweigh the cons for our family!

 Even our pups love drinking water from the Berkey!

The Travel Berkey has been a great addition to our home. We are drinking more water
and we feel good about the quality of the water we are using and giving to our pets.

Shop the Berkey that we have here.
Save 5% off of your order when you use the Berkey Water Filter Discount 

Do you own a Berkey? Do you love it as much as we do?
Let me know in the comment below!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Dessert Bruschetta

This post is in partnership with Moms Meet. As always, all opinions are my own.

Summer gatherings are my favorite.
There's nothing better than friends and family by the pool or on the deck with a drink
in hand and a spread of seasonal appetizers for the taking. I've been trying to get to our
Farmer's Market more frequently this summer and being more intentional about trying
new fruit and vegetables. This year I discovered yellow zucchini and baby plums that
were amazing! Fresh berries are the opitome of summer and are always on my shopping

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wedding Ice Cream Bar

As soon as our daughter Madison and her husband Justin decided on a wedding date,
we immediately began discussing what type of sweet treats they wanted at their wedding
reception. What else would you expect from a food blogger and her daughter - ha ha!

Lucky for me, they wanted me included in on the planning and design for the wedding and
reception and I couldn't wait to get started!  Madison and Justin knew they wanted a cookie
table at the wedding reception (you can see it here) and a small cutting cake, and after
many discussions they finally decided on a ice cream bar for their guests. Since the wedding
was in the middle of June I thought this was a great idea!

I had so much fun shopping for fun accessories and styling the ice cream bar!
A few years ago I convinced a talented co-worker to build the stand for me and I love it
so much. I used it as a Sangria stand for Madison's college graduation party and I can't
wait to come up with new ideas for it in the future.

We purchased pre-scooped ice cream cups from Kline's Dairy Bar, a local favorite!
Madison decided on cake batter, chocolate and vanilla, providing a variety of flavors
for the guests. Sugar cones and cake cones were on display inside a large glass jar for
anyone that preferred their ice cream in a cone. Sprinkles, crushed Oreo cookies and
Sour Patch Kid's (Justin's favorite) added more flavor and fun! This little cutie preferred
the sprinkles.

All you need is love...and maybe a little ice cream.
Congratulations Justin and Madison!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Wedding Cookie Table

I am so excited to share this post with you all. Many of you have probably already noticed
a few of these photos posted on my Instagram, but they are just so beautiful and I love
them so much that I think they deserve their own blog post.  All of the photos in this
post are by Lauren Morris Photography. Lauren did a fabulous job capturing this special
day and we will treasure these photos forever!

On June 15th our daughter Madison married her sweetheart Justin and it was the best day!
The ceremony and reception were held at Red August Farm, a stunning venue located in
Waynesboro, Virginia and the weekend could not have been any more perfect.  I plan to
share more photo's from the actual wedding soon, but today I want to share the wedding
cookie table with you.

When Madison and I started planning her wedding we knew from the very beginning that
a cookie table was definitely going to happen. The cookie table is a Pittsburgh wedding

We don't live in Pittsburgh obviously, but my husband is from Gibsonia, PA and
we have attended many Pittsburgh area weddings and there is always a cookie table!
We love the idea and knew that we wanted to incorporate a cookie table into Madison
and Justin's wedding reception.

I started planning months in advance - collecting recipes, vintage dessert plates, cake stands
and baking supplies. I made a spreadsheet listing the types of cookies I planned to bake - some
were family favorites and other's were new recipes that I had never made before.  After a
lot of cookie research, I found that most cookies freeze really well for up to 3 months, so I
marked my calendar to begin baking mid March. Once I had baked a specific cookie, I
updated my spreadsheet with the date I baked the cookies, the quantity and any notes.
I stored the cookies in Ziploc freezer bags adding parchment paper between the layers to
keep them from sticking together. Lucky for me my Dad has a huge freezer, so on Sunday's
when I went to visit, I transported cookies from my small freezer to his. This also worked
well to keep my husband from eating them all! Out of sight, out of mind - right!

I baked 26 different varieties of cookies for a total of approximately 800 cookies,
which was plenty for the 175 guests that we had in attendance. The only cookies I did not
bake were the macarons, which I purchased from Costco because we love them and the
colors were so pretty. Guests were encouraged to take cookies home in cute little "Happily
Ever After" bags I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Small wooden clothes pins were used
to seal the bags for transport and to help keep them fresh.

Guests enjoyed choosing their favorite cookies and placing them on vintage dessert plates
to devour at the reception, as well as filling the bags to take home for later. I noticed a
line for the cookie table several times, so I think that it was a success and a fun addition to
the celebration.

The wedding cookie table was a labor of love and I'm so happy that I was able to make 
it happen for Madison and Justin's wedding. We love them both so much and are excited 
for their future together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mini No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

Hello there! It's been a minute since I've posted anything on this little blog of mine,
sharing on Instagram is so much easier, but this mini no-bake cheesecake parfait recipe
is a keeper, so I'm posting it so that I remember it for future bridal/baby showers or
other parties.

Our daughter is getting married next month and her sweet Maid of Honor hosted a bridal
shower for her a couple weeks ago. It was such a nice shower with so many cute details.
If I get my act together maybe I'll post some pictures soon.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Leprechaun Snack Mix

Happy Monday and happy March!

It's been a minute since I last posted on this little blog of mine, but I'm back today
with a fun and festive Chex snack mix perfect for St. Patrick's Day.  I like to call it
Leprechaun Snack. This tasty St. Patrick's Day snack mix is filled with popcorn,
Chex cereal, pretzels, green chocolate coated candies, gold, green and white sprinkles
and colorful rainbows!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Coconut Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies {Paleo}

Paleo Coconut Sugar Almond Flour Cookies

I'm posting this recipe today for my own selfish reasons.
Mainly because I love these cookies and I don't want to lose the recipe!

Like many of you I've been trying to eat healthy for the new year, but I also need a
sweet treat every now and then. Like every day :)