Friday, May 4, 2012

Margaritas With A Twist for Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo is tomorrow and when most people think of this Mexican holiday, they often think of Margaritas (I do). This year, instead of partaking in the same old standby, here's a few interesting variations on the classic that I think you might enjoy!

Hawaiian Margarita

  • Cup Ice
  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
  • 2 oz (fresh or frozen) Strawberries
  • 2 oz (fresh or canned) Pineapple
  • dash of Sour Mix
Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour contents into a chilled margarita glass. Garnish with the strawberries and pineapple.

Photo/recipe courtesy

Hibiscus Margarita

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice cubes
  • 4 ounces hibiscus syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 ounces 100 percent agave blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce sparkling water
  • Garnish: lime wedge or cinnamon stick
Hibiscus Syrup (makes about 3 ½ cups):
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups dried hibiscus flower
Directions for the Hibiscus Margarita:
Combine the sugar and cinnamon on a small plate. Moisten the rim of the glass with the lime wedge, dip the glass in the cinnamon sugar, and shake off the excess. Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice and pour in the tequila and hibiscus syrup. Top up with sparkling water. Stir carefully. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge you used to prepare the glass rim on top of the drink and discard the wedge. Garnish with a fresh wedge of lime or a cinnamon stick. 

Directions for the Hibiscus Syrup:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Cook at a slow simmer for 30 minutes. Let stand for 2 hours (or as long as overnight), then strain into a storage jar, pressing down on the flowers. Keeps indefinitely refrigerated.

Variation: Chill a 7-ounce martini glass and prepare the rim as described. In a shaker jar, combine the ice, hibiscus syrup and tequila, along with 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Cover tightly, shake well for 15 seconds, and strain into the glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime. 

Margarita Popsicles

Photo courtesy HWTM
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
  • Kosher salt, for garnish
Special Equipment: 
4 small cups (recommended: Dixie), 4 popsicle sticks

Combine sugar, lime juice, water, lemon juice and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool transfer to a blender with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime wedge and process until smooth. Pour into the cups and cover the top of each cup with foil. Place the popsicle stick in center of cup (down through foil, which will hold it in place). Freeze until hard, preferably overnight. Remove from freezer and run cup under warm water to loosen popsicle. Garnish with kosher salt and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse/Food Network

Photo/recipe courtesy browneyedbaker

Margarita Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
To Brush the Cupcakes:
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tequila
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!)
  6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
  9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.
*Note: If you would prefer to not use liquor in these cupcakes, you can absolutely omit it from both the cupcakes and the frosting with no problem. If you do omit it, I would add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the frosting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Get Nautical In Your Bedroom

When people think of beach or coastal decor they often overlook nautical decor. Not only is the nautical style just as popular, but it is a classic style with modern twists. Get sailing-inspired touches such as striped fabrics, boating memorabilia, and a classic palette of red, white, and blue.

When it comes to nautical bedding, classic stripe and quilted patterns are the way to go. Various shades of blues, reds and whites are the main colors. Images of boats, anchors, ship wheels, life rings, and oars are adorned on the pillows and quilts. You can add a little vintage style with faded canvas pillows of old seaside scenes. Stay with the vintage theme and keep with darker blues and vintage whites.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's National Surf & Turf Day

Did you know that National Surf & Turf Day is celebrated every February 29? I didn't. But I think the fact that it only happens every four years is reason enough to celebrate it. Besides, it is delicious! Here's a recipe for you that I like:

Grilled Surf-and-Turf with Spicy Garlic-Shallot Butter
Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, quartered
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 8- to 10-ounce New York strip steaks (each about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 3 10-ounce uncooked lobster tails, thawed if frozen, cut lengthwise in half
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in processor and blend until almost smooth. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon seasoned butter over each side of each steak and over each lobster half. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer remaining seasoned butter to small saucepan.
  2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Set pan with butter at edge of barbecue until butter is melted and warmed through. Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side. Grill lobster, shell side down, 5 minutes. Turn over and grill until meat is just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer steaks and lobster to plates. Serve with warm seasoned butter.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ocean Styles Pin It To WIN!


Over at Ocean Styles, we have really become addicted to Pinterest and we are excited that so many people are finding us and having so much fun pinning the things they like from our little store! Because we love it so much, we've decided to start a monthly giveaway contest to say thanks for sharing us with the world.

If you already love Pinterest as much as we do (or if you just need a reason to get started) we will be giving you a chance to win a $25 gift certificate every month, just for pinning what you like! Maybe you could use the $25 towards purchasing whatever it is you pinned.

So, you might be wondering, how do I enter?

It couldn't be easier! Just pin anything you like from our website or our blog. It could be your favorite product, article, DIY craft or recipe. That's it. That's all you have to do. Enter as many times as you want... One pin = one entry. We'll choose a winner at random every month from that month's pins. Winners will be announced here and on our Facebook page so if you don't follow us there, now's a great time!

If you're new to Pinterest or haven't gotten started yet, here are the answers to a few questions you might have:

I'm not a member of Pinterest and I need an invitation. Just send us an email at or hit up our Contact Us page and we'll send you an invitation. Although we can't guarantee Pinterest membership, we're pretty sure you'll be pinning in no time! Once you're a member, it's really easy to get started and there's a helpful Pinning 101 section that answers lots of beginners' questions.

Do I need to follow Ocean Styles on Pinterest to enter? No you don't, but we'd love it if you did! You can find our boards at If you're not interested in Halloween recipes I pinned for my kids last October or other such personal craziness, you might want to follow just this board,, instead of all of them.

I'm already a member but I've never pinned anything...what do I do? Well, we try to make it easy for you. On all of our product pages and blog post pages, we already have a convenient little button for you to click. Otherwise, if you haven't already, we recommend that you install the Pin It button on your browser toolbar. It's the easiest way we've found to pin from wherever you are. Once you have the button, it's as simple as clicking around our website or our blog and finding something good to share!

Do repins count? Yes, as long as what you're repinning is linked back to our website or our blog, you are welcome to repin anything from around Pinterest. Just be sure to check the original source!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

  Beachfront Crab Cakes  

I just found this crab cake recipe and I think it sounds soooo good... and easy! I can't wait to try it.

1 lb. crabmeat
1 egg, beaten
8 to 10 buttery round crackers, crushed
1/4 c. onion, diced
1/8 t. pepper
2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley, minced
2 to 3 T. mayonnaise
oil for frying

Combine crabmeat, egg, crackers, onion, pepper and parsley in a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise; moisten hands with cold water and mix well. Form into 3-inch patties. In a skillet, heat just enough oil to cover crab cakes; fry on both sides until golden. Place on paper towels to drain. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Send Season Greetings From The Sea With Beach Themed Christmas Cards

Melting Snowman Christmas Cards
The spirit of Christmas often brings visions of sugarplums, garland, chestnuts roasting over an open fire and of course, snow. Decorations are often embellished with trees, pine cones and wintery scenes. It's easy to forget that some people in various parts of the world have never experienced walking through the snow and they celebrate the holiday in a warm and sunny climate. Christmas is spent swimming at the nearest beach instead of tobogganing on the nearest snowy hill. For these folks, tropical Christmas cards may be better suited.

Many retirees decide to spend the winters in warmer climates and end up celebrating the holidays in a warm and sunny location. They look forward to the fact that they don't have to shovel snow or bundle up against the cold. These people are often called snowbirds, and enjoy sending a more tropical looking card to their loved ones back home, in part to remind them of what they are missing.

There are many scenes to choose from, and all will remind the recipient of warm summer days and relaxing afternoons at the beach. Adirondack chairs, seashells, children making sandcastles and couples walking along the shoreline are just a few of the designs that can be chosen.

The overall message that is conveyed is the same one that traditional cards have: joy, peace, love and wishes for a safe and happy season. They are available in sets of 10, 20, 30 or more and they can be personalized and customized when purchasing. As an alternative, the sender can write their own message before mailing them out.

These distinctive designs are sure to please even the most particular customers. A small holiday token can be included such as glitter or holly. The recipient is sure to be pleasantly surprised when they open up their card and see the small seasonal gift inside.

Happy Holidays Sand Castle Christmas Cards
Sending beachy Christmas cards doesn't mean that one has forgotten the true meaning of the season. With some of the traditional symbols of this sacred Christian holiday being stockings, Santa Claus, nativity scenes and candy canes, family and friends are sure to love the overall message of love, peace and hope that they receive, no matter what type of picture is on the front.

With online shopping and the internet, purchasing these cards is easy to acquire. You can order them in just a few minutes from the comfort of your home and have them delivered to you. This is sure to save a valuable amount of time so that you can concentrate on some of your other activities and chores related to the season. It's important to place your order early so you can mail them and have them delivered in time for Christmas.

The idea of beach themed Christmas cards can seem a little odd to people who are used to having snow for the holidays. Remember that part of the reason for the season is to embrace one's differences and realize that we are all unique. There are many people out there who have never had the pleasure of building a snowman or drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter's day. They spend the holidays in t-shirts and shorts, not sweaters and jeans. No matter where you live, Christmas is one of the most beloved Christian holidays.

A quick internet search will show you that there are numbers types of beach Christmas cards available out there to go with your beach theme Christmas decor this year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Coastal Christmas Tree

Try something new this Christmas and decorate your Christmas tree with the coastal theme in mind. The beach brings a smile to everyone's face just like Christmas, so why not join the two together! Having a coastal theme is also a great idea for a second tree as well.

Starfish Tree Topper

Let's start at the top, the top of the tree that is. Ocean Styles exclusively has 100% real, hand made starfish tree toppers. There are two different starfish to choose from, white finger starfish and a golden sugar starfish. You are able to get them in their natural form or sprinkled with a little bit of glitter. Each tree topper is hand made with Christmas cheer. They are the perfect way to top off your tree.

When it comes to ornaments the options are endless. There are several types of seashells so that means there are several types of seashell ornaments to choose from.  Not only are there a plethora of shells but they are decorated in different ways as well. They can be in their natural state just simply decorated with ribbon and holly or decorated in bright colors like pink, blue and green with lots of glitter. Regardless of your style you are sure to find a few sea shell ornaments that will fit in perfectly.

Just because you want to go with the coastal theme for your Christmas tree does not mean you have to stop with sea shells. There are several other ornaments out there that embrace the beach lifestyle. We have all the tropical animals out there, turtles, starfish, craps, and flamingos. If you are looking for something more elegant we have hand painted tropical glass balls. Or go for something cute and funny and check out our surfing Santa's and Sandmen. Of course don't forget the nautical style that includes lighthouses, anchors, and lifesavers.

When decorating your Christmas tree you don't just put ornaments on. Everyone has lights and/or some form of garland. Luckily we have that too here at Ocean Styles. Check out the natural starfish garland that will accompany the starfish tree topper quite well. We also have several types of string lights to choose from that will be a deLIGHTful addition to your Christmas tree.

Finishing off your Christmas tree you will need a tree skirt to go with your new coastal theme. We have a few styles to choose from and they also have Christmas stockings to match them. A great finishing touch to your new coastal Christmas tree.

Now that you have everything you need for your coastal Christmas tree, head on over to Ocean Styles. We also have beach themed Christmas cards and holiday signs if you want to take your holiday coastal vibe a little farther. As always have a Merry Christmas.