Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vera Bradley Sale

I just ran to the mall to grab a birthday gift for Caroline's friend who turns 11 tomorrow.   I was the only crazy person there today because its only 7 degrees and it's an outside mall!  Nevertheless, I went to Vera Bradley because that's what 11 year old girls love around here and behold Huge Sale!    I wanted to share it with you so that you too can stock up on gifts for your special girls or yourself.  No sense in going outside when you can browse in your cozy slippers from your laptop.  Click on the images below for prices and more information.  These will be sure to brighten up a lucky girl's day.  BTW I got the $29 cross-body tote-and The Getaway Duffle is only $68.00 until March 2nd so GO!
Happy Shopping!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Face in Five

We all have our mornings, or days for that matter, when we don't have time for full on make-up.  Time is on your side with this quick five minute face. 

After having my first child I discovered that I felt so much better and awake when I put a little make-up on-even if I was running out the door.  I don't like to wander too far from home without a fresh face so a little make-up in little time is the way for me.  Here is what I do on most days and it's perfect for moms that want to look put together without looking overdone.

Step 1: Apply BB cream.  It's an all in one product.  It acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, and it evens out skin tones.  
Step 2: Apply concealer under eyes and on minor imperfections-can't live without mine.
Step 3: Use bronzer with large brush on cheek bones, forehead and nose.
Step 4: Apply mascara on upper lashes.
Step 5: Finish with sheer lip gloss.

It's not too much make-up and it's not none:)  Just enough for a fresh face look on a busy,
multi-tasking mom.  Making myself look and feel put together even if I'm not!

If you want more information click on the products below.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Loving Waterlogue

Have you heard of Waterlogue?  Better yet, have you downloaded this amazing app?
Waterlogue is an app that lets you change any photo into a watercolor!  No painting required and no artistic talent necessary.  Yes, for $2.99 you can turn your own photos into this……

This picture was from Thanksgiving during our trip to Arizona.

The boys at the apple orchard this past fall.

White Sox game this past summer.

Day at the Beach

Sweet Caroline

I am in LOVE!   

It's so much fun to play around with this. It has turned into a bit of an addiction.  Little technical works of art in a snap!
The link to purchase the app is at the beginning of the post.
So you think you'll get hooked???

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Birch Box

I love trying new products-lotions and potions, hair care, make-up and nail care.  I have finally decided to jump on the Birch Box band wagon.  You simply pay $10 a month and a box is delivered to your door with amazing trial samples of the greatest and latest beauty products catered to your very own beauty profile.    Read more about it here.  I can't wait to see what's inside my first box.  It's going to be a happy surprise each month!  Just hoping my 11 year old doesn't get her hands on the contents of this box before me!  I'll make sure to share with you what's inside when my first one comes so you too can be tempted to subscribe to Birch Box. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

He Knows Me Well

Hubsy and I have been married 13 years and been together 20.  Long time huh???!!! He knows me better than anyone and that helps him be an impeccable gift giver. On Valentine's Day he surprised me with fresh tulips (my favorite) and a new wallet.  Doesn't sound that impressive??? Well, he's been watching me stuff every receipt, credit card, gift card, library card, rewards card, insurance card, drivers license, cash and change into my obviously too small wallet for quite some time.  Occasionally he'll crack a joke about my bulging, overcrowded wallet in which I respond with a flip of the hair and an "I'll show you I can make it all fit" response.
I couldn't be happier when I opened up the package and saw this beauty……

Ahhhaacue the angels singing!  He knows me so well.  Makes my heart go pitter pat.  Lotsa room for all of my stuff.  Space for every card, bills, change, receipts.  Yes, makes the little organized part of me so very happy!  Big smooch for the hubsy-well done! 
Love this pretty baby as much as me??  You can find this one and similar ones here.  I love this red bag too.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Time and Tips

It's time to put the Valentine candy away.  The holiday is over…that's what I'm telling myself this morning.  It's time to go to the gym but who has the time?  With kids, school activities, jobs and commutes to jobs, errands to do, bills to pay, and a household to run, finding the time in a day to work out often falls to the bottom of the priority list.  
For me working out is important.  And yes there are days when something comes up that trumps a trip to the gym but most days I schedule it in and the trip has become routine.  I made the decision to give myself an hour each day and I've found if I'm happy than everyone else in the family has a better chance of being happy as well.  Win Win! 

If good health and great fitting clothes aren't enough to motivate then its time to roll out the tip jar.  Workout=tip in the jar.  Lotsa tips=pair of cute running shoes, new purse, or skimpy lingerie :)
Feeling great and getting something that I really want makes hitting the gym worthwhile.  

In my house, three of our four kids are off to school by 8:30a each day.  Our youngest and I head to the gym once the older kids are dropped.  There's childcare there that he often enjoys more than being home.  I like using that time after drop off so that I can workout and still have a chunk of time to get stuff done before the kids come home in the afternoon.
I have friends who prefer to get up at the crack.  Early morning workouts are perfect for early risers and  perhaps moms who are off to work.  It gives a sense of accomplishment before the day has even started.
I have friends who hit the gym right after work.  
I have friends that workout once the kids are in bed at night.
Every family is different. Schedules are different.
It is important to find the time whenever the time may be.  A time that fits my schedule and my life.

It's key to reward yourself. You've just completed a task and it took motivation and scheduling to do it.  Spring is just around the corner (although, as I type this we are getting yet another snow storm!)  so I am going to reward myself with these super cute flats for spring.  Choose your thing, work out, and work for it!  

I would love to hear about what motivates you to hit the gym.  Tips??? Time???? Tricks????

Friday, February 14, 2014

Be My Valentine

Yipee it's Valentine's Day!!!  I've been stuffing my face with candy hearts all day.  This year I'll be spending the evening with my little Valentine's as hubsy has to work late-boo, hiss.  So instead of hitting the fanciest restaurant in town (that will have to wait for another day;) I'm making my little sweethearts pizzas full of love.  I'm so fortunate that I'm the mom of four great kids.  I never knew my heart could hold so much love.

However you chose to spend your Valentine's Day, I hope you are feeling loved.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Natural Love

I have discovered over the years that coconut oil is an awesome natural moisturizer!  I love it!!!  A little bit goes a long way and it makes your skin oh so soft without all of extras.  Hello whipped coconut oil on my dry, cracking, winter skin.  

Whipped Coconut Oil Lotion
1/2 cup coconut oil-comes in a solid form 
10 drops of your favorite essential oil-
Rose is perfect for Valentine's Day, but I love lemon-clean and fresh

First off I do have to say that I do not recommended this recipe for people living in tropical climates as the oil will liquefy in warm temperatures and become useless.  But it's perfect for everyone else not lucky enough to live where its warm all year.  
Whisk the solid coconut oil in your Kitchen Aid or electric mixer.  When the oil starts to soften and become whipped add your essential oils.  Continue to mix until it becomes light and fluffy.  Package in jars and enjoy the smoothing results.  
FYI coconut oil has a shelf life of approximately 1 year.  I store mine in the bathroom under the sink.

Package your little lotions in small tins or mason jars and they make the perfect natural gift for Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Random Happiness

Starting a new week means waking up early, looking at the calendar and planning ahead.  It's organizing and cleaning up after the weekend, especially one that involved an 11th birthday.  I remind myself that it's important to start fresh and realize that it's all the little things that contribute to my overall happiness.  Happiness doesn't  have to be found only in life's big moments- it often includes seemingly meaningless ones as well.  Oh, the dreaded Monday doesn't need to be if I simply make note of all of the random happiness.

A bowl of candy hearts

Finishing my book club book 17 days early

Making Valentines 

My new Essie polish for spring Off the Shoulder

A basket of clean sheets

Wishing you all an incredibly random happy day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Super Sweet Caramel Corn

I'm always craving sweets this time of year.  I can't resist an open bag of candy hearts!  I have discovered that the best part of all the sweet somethings is sharing them with the ones you love.  More for them and less for me is good for the waist line as well.  This caramel corn is so yum and the recipe makes so much that it's perfect for sharing at all the Valentine parties this week. 

Caramel Corn
4 bags of microwave popcorn
salt to taste
1 stick of butter
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup light karo syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pop the popcorn and divide it into 2 large bowls.  Salt the popcorn.  In a medium saucepan combine butter, vanilla extract, brown sugar, condensed milk and karo syrup.  Stir over medium heat until the caramel mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and pour over bowls of popcorn.  Mix until the popcorn is covered.  Sprinkle with valentine hearts and m&ms.  Package in clear or paper bags and give them to all your sweeties. This recipe is easy and fun for kiddie helpers.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We are going to spend ours celebrating Caroline's 11th birthday and making Valentine's.  Oh and softball, dance, basketball and hockey!-phew

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Special Place

I have been looking for a ring-dish for my everyday jewelry for quite some time.  A special place that I can put my rings and earrings when I take them off at night.  I was getting tired of leaving them on the nightstand or bathroom counter and worried that they may get misplaced. 

I found a small square saucer at Pottery Barn for $3 and thought it was perfect for this purpose.  I already had the gold sharpie marker and large rhinestone.  The rest is simple-draw some polka-dots and hot glue the big ole diamond in the center. Voila!  Super easy and extremely inexpensive-Yippee!!!  Now this would make a great Valentine gift for a girlfriend or my sweet Caroline!

Hope you are staying warm.  We got more snow last night-don't think we have anywhere else to put it if we get anymore.-I feel like I'm living in an ice castle.  Spending my nights on travel websites looking to go someplace tropical.  Any ideas?????

Monday, February 3, 2014

Strawberry Smoothies

It's beginning to look a lot like Valentine's Day around here.  Candy hearts and strawberry smoothies-that's how we roll.  I love making fruit smoothies for the kids.  They think it's a treat and I know that it's healthy-win/win!  Simple ingredients make for the perfect snack and I always make sure to make enough for me.

Strawberry Valentine Smoothies
1 cup skim milk
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 Chobani vanilla blended Greek yogurt 

Combine ingredients in blender and pulse until think and creamy. 
Garnish with candy hearts for Valentine's Day.

If you love this smoothie then try this one and this one.
There are so many other healthy versions of pink smoothies that taste just as yummy.
Try substituting the strawberries with red raspberries or pomegranates.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mr. Valentine

I heart Valentine's Day!!!!  I love the candy, and flowers, and jewelery-oh my!!!  But I know it's not always about me. Valentine's Day is just two weeks away and it's time to think about the hubsy.  It can be a bit of a challenge to find the perfect little something.  Here are some ideas to get the wheels a spinin'.  Enjoy the weekend!!!

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