The Key Ingredient is Coming to an End!

Just like the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and the end has arrived for this little blog I’ve written.

I started writing The Key Ingredient four years ago when baking cakes was a huge hobby for me and my last name was Key, so it just made sense. The incredibly clever name idea came from my best friend Chelsea and it has served me well.

I haven’t made a wedding cake in a few years and my last name is no longer Key so I think it’s time for a change.

But don’t worry. This doesn’t mean I’m finished blogging.


Will you follow me to my new site? I would be honored to have you there.

The new blog name is Tennessee Pretty because I LOVE the south and I LOVE pretty things. I also love feeling pretty and most of all I LOVE helping other women feel pretty.

Tennessee Pretty

Also, it’s worth mentioning that all of the posts I have written on The Key Ingredient are now on Tennessee Pretty.

So join us! You won’t want to miss this.

Check it out!





Detox Check-in – Day 14

So we’re officially two weeks in with one more week to go! I’ve gotta say, I feel great. I’m down 9 pounds, my skin is clear (which makes my makeup look so much better!) and I have a lot more energy! It also feels so good to know I have the discipline to say “no” when something delicious is passed my way. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and there were so many amazing desserts (including my favorite, strawberry cake) and I had the strength to pass it up.

Something else that has been really exciting is to hear from friends that they’re wanting to try a detox too! Trust me, if  you’re thinking about it but think you can’t do it, you can. If I can do it, you can do it. It seems impossible in the days leading up to it but if you plan and prepare meals, it only takes a day or two to really adjust.

Have you ever thought about doing a cleanse?



Mint Iced Tea Recipe!

In honor of the first day of April and the beautiful weather and sunshine, I decided to share a refreshing favorite of mine and it’s so easy to make! I like to brew up this tea whenever I have a craving for Coke. It’s just a little sweet, a little minty and a lot delicious. 🙂

This is all you need:


8 Black tea bags

1  Spearmint tea bag, or two! You can also use peppermint tea but spearmint is more subtle and refreshing if you ask me.

I use Plantation Mint

And then a little something sweet. I used a tablespoon of raw honey. But stevia is good too. Or add sugar if you’re feeling a little crazy. It’s your life.

Start by bringing two cups of water to a rapid boil in a small saucepan.

Remove from heat.

Add all of the the tea bags.

Let steep for 5-6 minutes.

Remove tea bags and pour tea into a large glass container.

Add sweetener of your choice while it’s still hot.

Then add 6 more cups of water (room temperature is best) and allow to cool.
Pour it over some ice and grab a cute straw and you’ll forget that coke even exists.

And you’ll forget that winter was just a few weeks ago.

What are some of your favorite summer refreshers?

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Makeup Tip Monday: MAC Beauty Balm


This product is a staple in my makeup bag. I put it on every morning after I wash my face. This stuff works as a moisturizer, primer and it’s tinted so you can even just wear it by itself. Most days I don’t wear my liquid foundation and I will just put on the beauty balm and then my studio fix powder. Great coverage and it’s so quick, easy and feels light on my face. It’s such a time saver, you practically gain extra minutes in the morning. It’s liked you time travel! If only I could time travel back far enough to the moment I over-tweezed my eyebrows in high school.

I have only tried one other “BB” cream and I didn’t like it one bit. It felt really thick and oily. It was Lancome. I don’t recommend it.

Has anyone tried any “BB” creams that the drugstore or Target has to offer?



Recent Target Favorites!

I don’t know about you gals but my weekend almost always includes a trip to Target. Weekends at my house also include about 32 cups of coffee, but who’s counting. I start the coffee maker around 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and the party don’t stop until Sunday at 4:30. Because 4:30 is my official caffeine cutoff time.

Anyway. Back to the real topic here. Coffee creamer. Just kidding. I know it’s Target but I also must add that my favorite coffee mug is actually from Target.

(I use organic half and half.)

Lately I have found some seriously adorable, useful, in-the-budget things at Target. Mayhaps my favorite thing…these notebooks. They’re Rifle Paper Co. brand!

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This is actually a pack of three so I have one for work, one for blog ideas and one for whatever I want! Maybe I’ll turn it into an autograph book in case I have any celebrity encounters! I don’t know! It’s for whatever I want!

You can’t get them online but they are in the store in that new gift aisle next to the greeting cards.


Also, how adorable is this camouflage sweatshirt!? I actually got this on the clearance rack for $8! It’s perfect for the girl on the go. Wear it to brunch and then you’ll be ready for your afternoon hunting excursion! I’ve always wanted to go hunting. My dad and brother wouldn’t let me go with them because I “talk too much” and apparently that scares away the animals. Whatever. It’s fine. They’re not invited to brunch because they “don’t talk enough”.

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Tim and I got to the beach last week and realized we had no beach towels! Darn! I guess we have to go to Target! I said. I love this one:

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I also snagged some of these makeup remover towelettes. They smell like pineapple. Yum!

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And, last but not least, my leopard print flats! I love them and wear them with everything, even other leopard prints because in addition to talking too much I’m also tacky. Don’t I sound like someone you’d like to be friends with? 

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And also, do you use the Cartwheel app?

You need to know about this if you don’t.

If you download the Target app, there are mobile coupons on there as well. So with mobile coupons, Cartwheel savings, and the 5% you save with your Target debit card, your Target trip is practically free!!! Not really. But you might save like $2 and that is definitely something.

Okay ya’ll, what are some of your recent Target finds?



(All images are from


Cookin’ Ain’t Easy

I had a crazy expectation when I got married. I expected that I would find delicious recipes and cook these amazing meals and my husband would love every bite.

Expectations are always setting me up for disappointment.

Why, you ask? It’s not because I’m a bad cook. I mean sure I’ve tried a few new recipes that have failed but I know my way around a kitchen.

Tim is an incredibly healthy eater. I like to be blissfully ignorant about the diet coke and sugar free creamer I drink. We are total opposites in the grocery store aisles.

Tim can eat a raw cucumber for breakfast and think it’s the most delicious meal he’s ever had while I feel like I need a bowl of cereal, a banana, and two cups of coffee to get me through the morning.

This has become such a struggle for me because I never know what to cook for him.

I guess the struggle is that unhealthy habits are hard to break. Tim has read so many books, articles, nutrition labels and really has a grasp on what he should and shouldn’t be putting into his body. While my only guidelines are to not eat a lot of bread or drink pop.

The harsh reality is that we live in a world where the food industry doesn’t have our best interests at heart. Drinks and foods with artificial sweetener (aspartame) becomes formaldehyde when it’s processed in our bodies. This information has honestly stopped me from drinking the amount of coke zero I used to drink. I’m not a doctor and I’m not passionate enough about this to write a three page rant and make everyone stop reading my blog with one post. But my husband is. And he’s smart. And he’s really healthy. And always has a ton of energy and is always happy. I think there’s something to that.

Also, have you read about cows milk lately? If not, you should. The words ‘pus’ and ‘cows blood’ might stand out.

Listen, the purpose of this blog post isn’t to ruffle any feathers. I’m just your everyday, gluten-loving, sugar-eating, don’t-care-if-it’s-organic gal. But I have started a journey of educating myself and being more aware of the chemicals I’m eating. I’m starting to transition into a lifestyle change of eating better. I’ll let you know what changes I see.

What are some shocking things you’ve learned about food?

Carrots and Cucumbers,




Makeup Tip Monday – Cute Lips on the Cheap!

Tim and I just got back from the most wonderful week at the beach. We lounged in the sun, read books, played a million rounds of Phase 10, watched movies and ate delicious food! It was the perfect getaway and we had the best time together.

beach babes

I want to go back!

Anyway. The night before we left we took a trip to Walmart to pick up any last minute things we needed and I found the cutest coral chubby lipstick!

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It’s Flower brand by Drew Barrymore. I got the Coral Floral shade.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I put it on! I had actually meant to run by the MAC counter before I left to grab some coral lipstick because I thought it would look cute with a tan. But I’m so glad I grabbed this instead! It was only $8 and so cute! I wore it to dinner one night and Tim said I looked so pretty 🙂 He’s so sweet.

Here’s a lipstick selfie so you can see it on!

Red Lips

What are some great cosmetics you’ve found for cheap?

Happy Monday!


Gal’s Brunch!

Last weekend, I had some very sweet ladies over to our apartment for brunch! Tim had a Saturday class so it was the perfect opportunity to break out the gold sequin table runner and call the girls!

Brunch 1We have a tiny apartment so we don’t have a proper table but who needs one when you can have a coffee table picnic.

P1000272editedI made funfetti donuts. My sweet little cousins Bella and Eva thought they were so cute. Here is the recipe.

I also made these sausage balls (with turkey sausage) and some hashbrown casserole. It was carb overload!


That’s Eva and her second donut 🙂 Sorry Brittany!P1000261edited

I whipped up some quick place cards. I used my new white speedball ink.




What’s hilarious is that all of the girls (but one) thought that I wanted to have everyone over for brunch to tell them I was pregnant. Brittany even brought a gift! Haha. I’m not pregnant. But having brunch to make the announcement is a great idea. I’ll have to remember that! But last week I just wanted to have a fun brunch, no baby announcement.P1000277editedBella found my straw stash. The girls had a heyday making super long straws to drink their orange juice with.


Then they jumped on the bed. P1000276edited

And my sister who goes to college here in town brought over her laundry, I love when she comes over.

It was the perfect Saturday! I think I’m going to do this more often.

What are some of your favorite brunch recipes?

Makeup Tip Monday: Bronzer!

Happy St. Patricks Day ya’ll! Today’s makeup tip is how to apply bronzer. It’s something that I wear everyday and I’ll tell you why in this video! Here is a link to the bronzer that I use I have the Matte Bronze shade. Physicians formula also has a great bronzer and it’s cheaper. Just be careful not to wear too much because it can look orange. I learned that the hard way in college. All four years. I was orange. I’m so glad I graduated. But it does work well if you just use a little. You can find it at Target.

Anyway. Let me know what some of your makeup bag staples are!


Friday Favorites: Spring Break Edition

I hate packing. So much that I have dedicated entire blog posts to it. Okay maybe just one but before this turns into my second “I hate packing” post, let me just get to the goods. Tim and I are heading to the beach soon and I’ve started to think through the things I won’t be able to live without while I’m there.

Spring Break Essentials

1. A good book. I know I talk about The Pioneer Woman all the time but I promise you I wouldn’t if I didn’t think she was just the ultimate. She wrote a book about her incredible love story and its so good. It’s called Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.

2. A cute headband. Because I’m going to have great beach waves from the sea salt and a headband is just the ticket. Okay who am I kidding when I go on vacation I get a break from blowdrying and styling and the headband at least gives the illusion that I put some effort into my appearance. I got this one at Francesca’s.

3. Cute bathing suit! This one came from Victoria’s Secret last year.

4. SealLine waterproof iphone pouch! This thing is amazing. It has a headphone jack so I can listen to my beach playlist and my iPhone is completely usable while in the pouch. I don’t have to worry about sand getting in my phone!

5. Sunglasses. Duh. These are Betsey Johnson but they’re a few years old.

6. Sun Bum sunscreen. Sunscreen is so important and this stuff smells incredible.

7. Beach shorts! I was at the mall this week and saw these at aerie and had to have them. They’re the perfect shorts to wear to the beach over my bathing suit. And they’re so soft! You can get them here.

Okay well I’ve got to get back to dreaming about the beach and warm weather.

What are your must-haves when you go to the beach?