Happy New Years Weekend! Like many of you know I am a fan of using an exercise ball for at home workouts. It’s a great tool for toning from head-to-toe while engaging your core, so I was thrilled when I was introduced to the Vivora Luno ball. The Luno ball does everything an exercise ball does and more! Besides using it to workout I have been using it as a desk chair, which is so nice because it allows me to shift and wiggle while constantly engage my core! You can also find the Luno rolling around our living room at times because it makes the best footrest! What also makes the Vivora Luno different than other exercise/ stability balls is the fabric cover. It’s so appealing unlike the typical plastic exercise balls, it adds that extra bit of flair to your house. Check out the variety of colors and styles that Vivora offers here. They now are offering a worn hazel suede leatherette cover, which is my personal favorite!
Vivora also offers something for your kiddos, Niko buddies with cute animal faces are perfect for kids with problems such as ADHD or kids who have a hard time focusing and sitting still! The Niko ball allows your child to wiggle while they work, releasing that energy in a positive way. Check out the variety of animals faces they offer Brown Bear, Koala, Panda, or Polar Bear and Polar Bear cub buddies! Click below to order the Niko and my Luno favorites on Amazon right now!!
The craziness of Christmas is over and if you are like me we don’t do a lot of “adult” gifts at our house because… BOXING DAYS SALES ARE HERE! I love to shop the day after Christmas because you can get some great deals. I was already at Target this morning and they had 50% off all Christmas items and 50% off Hearth and Hand Christmas collection. Also Hearth and Hands new Spring arrivals just came out today and might have snagged a couple goodies! Alright moving on, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite places to shop online and some of the best deals I have found so far! Happy Shopping!
NORDSTROM: HALF YEARLY SALE!! Save up to 50% off (YES IT IS THAT TIME)
It’s that time of the year again folks, when we all start feeling under the weather! When you have kids getting sick is unavoidable sometimes, so I want to share my sniffle season strategies on how to avoid getting sick. And I shared a few way to speed up your recovery and boost your immune system if your unlucky and get sick.
WASH YOUR HANDS: As a nurse I can tell you that washing your hands is the KEY to avoiding a cold and the flu. I can’t say it enough you must wash with soap, it doesn’t have to be fancy soap you just need soap! Wash your hands after meeting new people, or after running errands. If you can’t get to a sink to wash just whip out your hand sanitizer and use it when you’re around potentially germy surfaces or people!!!
LOAD UP ON VITAMIN C AND ZINC ( when appropriate): The 411 on Vitamin C and Zinc may surprise you. Mayo Clincrecently shared that Vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds, it will only shorten the duration of symptoms. It MAY benefit people who are at risk of colds due to frequent exposure like your kid being in daycare. When it comes to zinc again it helps treat- not prevent a cold. The studies say that popping zinc within 24 hours of the start of symptoms helps shorten your sniffle.
CHANGE YOUR EATING AND DRINKING PATTERNS: An overlooked but great way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build healthy cells you need to feel better. Increase your intake of protein like eggs, cashews, chicken or fish which lend a hand in helping to protect your body from billions of bacteria & viruses. Also put down the wine (say it isn’t so) and jump on the bandwagon of juicing, taking in immunity-enhancing nutrients daily will help to fight off the cold and flu.
EMBRACE THE OIL: We were all taught to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze to prevent germs from becoming airborne. Research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel up to 200 times farther than previously thought. There are a variety of essential oils that have antibacterial and antiviral properties, fight those airborne germs and diffuse oils daily!
Thieves Essential Oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oi
Always remember if you’re really sick GO see a doctor! But the nice thing about these tips, they are super easy to implement throughout the year not just during cold and flu season!
Do you have any other tips for feeling better fast?
It’s that time of the year again to send out those holiday cards. If your like me your totally behind on ordering and have no idea what company to use. But don’t worry you still have time, it’s just December 5…. for pete’s sake! We have all heard of companies like Minted (which is great but can be pricy). So I wanted to share with you some different companies that are affordable and unique!
This year we used Vistaprint because of the killer discount on they had on Black Friday, right now they are still offering a 25-50% discount on holiday gifts (USE PROMO CODE:BESTGIFTS ). They also have tons of cards to choose from, some a little more pricey and others more afforable! On top of all of that they offer great shipping options that are super fast and still available now! * not sponsored
You’ve probably seen this company promoted all over Instagram and Facebook the last few weeks, I swear every celebrity in Hollywood used this company for their cards this year. But Simply to impress does have some really cute options like the festive boarder card below. They are also offering 50% off orders over $100, 40% off orders over $50 and 30% off of orders over 50. USE PROMO CODE: HW5WSM6HVP
If your looking to only send out a few cards or maybe you want a stand out card, Artifact Uprising has unique designs, printed on 100% recycled paper and they will add a return address and recipient address for $0.40 per envelope! Just looking at their website makes me happy– their cards are just so pretty! Unfortunately you pay a little bit more for these but again they are sooo pretty and unique!
Tell ya what though… our Vistaprint cards were well priced and came out super cute so I can’t complain. Now let’s cross our fingers I can get these out on time! Happy Holidays Friends!
Happy October and Happy National Homemade Cookie day (yesterday) Friends!
I’m so excited to share one of my husbands favorite cookie recipes. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite foodies Molly from What Molly Made. Because Kale, Blakely and myself have gluten and dairy allergies I have changed her recipe to fit our eating style. Changing recipes to GF/ dairy free is something I have become a pro at and if you have allergies I’m sure you are a pro too!
I wouldn’t call this recipe ” healthy “. But hey, it’s chocolate chip cookies so the calories don’t count. Right?
The reason my husband loves these cookies (thanks Molly) is because they are truly soft-baked cookies! The secret ingredient (PUDDING) is something I have come to love in baked goods ( I will post my Pumpkin+Pudding Bread recipe next). As a military wife I’ve sent many packages over seas, and I’ve found that by adding pudding to my goodies they stay moist and delicious for my husband to enjoy 1-2 weeks after baked (YES I said 2 weeks… when deployed those guys will eat anything).
In honor of national coffee day today, Blakely and I went to our favorite coffee shop in Northpark. Communal coffee is a super fun and trendy coffee shop, that has definitely become a hot spot for social media addicts to visit while in San Diego. I mean who wouldn’t want a picture on next to their amazing Coffee + Flowers wall! Why Coffee +Flowers, well communal coffee is a joint store with the Native Poppy flower shop! So the store is filled with the aroma of coffee and flowers, it doesn’t get much better than that! While the ambience is amazing the menu is out of this world. Lavender honey latte, vanilla bean latte, and rose vanilla latte the list goes on and on.
Before you leave make sure to make a pit stop next door to North Park Nursery (Miss Blakely’s favorite spot) . North Park Nursery is a locally owned nursery and garden center, which is filled with incredible succulents, garden supplies, gifts!
Happy Friday guys! What a crazy few weeks we have had over here. We have been sick and had family in town over Labor Day. I feel like we are finally get back in the swing of things.
Okay so do you remember this post all about my favorite Target Must Haves – – – well I have found a few more things from TARGET that are trendy for Fall and can transition so easily for any occasion. The BEST part is they are all under $30.00! Check them out and have a great weekend!
Most of you know how much I love beauty products from my monthly beauty budget picks post. It doesn’t get much better than Ulta’s Beauty’s 21 Days of Beauty sale starting September 3! Guys, this is big news — a new sale every day with up to 50 percent off of must have products like Naked, Becca and Tarte. Prepare yourself cause your gonna want to buy something from each day. Check out the calendar below and don’t you worry I’ve narrowed it down to my top SEVEN must have picks. Let’s get shopping……
SEPT 4: Buxom Plump line Lip Liner is a must have because it is an all-in-one plumping lip liner that has a nice built-in brush to help define, contour and fill lips. UGH I am obsessed with BUXOM.. and they are marked down to $8.50
SEPT 12: Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel $19 If you haven’t tried Peter Thomas Roth products you need to jump on the bandwagon. This cleansing gel is said to help resurface the skin and support natural cell turnover. At 30 years old this is the type of cleanser I need because it will help diminish the appearance of these fine lines and wrinkles!
SEPT 17:Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector 50% off and is only $15.00. OMG one of my favorite products of all time! This truly has come in handy as a new mom, it really minimizes under eye darkness by brightening and evening skin tone. If you love that glowing look, make sure to snag one of these on Sept 17th!
SEPT 23 Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum $22.50 Vitamin C is not only the great for your immune system but its wonderful for your face too. It is known to help with melasma *pregnancy mask* by a helping to brighten uneven skin tones while diminishing the look of fine lines and discoloration.
There are many women who provide me with inspiration on a daily basis. I want to take time each month and interview one woman, whose story and success inspires us all.
My first interview is with Jessica Boutwell of Růže Cake House, Růže Cake House located in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. Růže Cake House is a mother/daughter collaborative team known for their fresh and innovative designs of cakes and desserts. I am huge fan of their work so much that they have been apart of all of my major life events over the past two years. They created treats for my wedding shower, as well as my wedding cake/dessert bar. And if that wasn’t enough they made the most beautiful personalized cookies and macarons my daughters baby shower! These are two incredibly talented business women who’s story is inspiring and OMG their cakes and desserts will blow you away!
Great selection of freshly baked treats
Don’t be surprised if on their busy days they are sold out!
W: I’m so excited that you are taking time to do this interview with me! I know it has been a whirlwind the last few years and the business has really taken off. As a Scottsdale local Ruze Cake House is now a must stop shop in Old Town. So for those who don’t know your story, tell me how Ruze Cake House first came to life?
J: Hi! It’s such a pleasure to be a part of your series! Thank you so much for the support!
It’s funny because – to this day – I still don’t consider myself a baker. My mom had been a self-taught home baker for as long as I can remember. A few years ago she decided she wanted to start a small business creating cakes for friends and family. She enlisted my help to create a Facebook page, and I explained she needed a business name in order to create the page, and after a few days of thought, she came back and said she wanted to call her business Mommy and Me Bakery. At that moment, I realized she needed WAY more help than I initially thought! I got involved in helping name the business, and then it just snowballed from there. I had so much fun on the creative side of things, and we realized we would perfectly compliment one another’s strengths and weaknesses. So, I do a lot of the conceptualizing, she handles a majority of the baking, and then we do the finishing touches together.
W: Lets be honest your wedding cakes and dessert designs are so beautiful, as an Arizonan the desert theme pulls at my heartstrings. What made you want to infuse so much of that Arizona theme into your business? And who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
J: We are always trying to find ways to connect with Arizona brides. When we started doing cakes a few years ago, very few people were incorporating the Southwest in their designs. And if they did, the cakes were more of a caricature of the desert (fiesta themed, etc.). So we wanted to come up with Arizona elements that were formal enough for a wedding, but whimsical enough to – as you say – tug on the heartstrings!
These days, in addition to designs, we’re also really excited to try new ways to incorporate Southwest flavors. For example, in our shop right now, we’re offering Prickly Pear Jalapeno Lemonade Bobas! It’s made with a fresh prickly pear puree that’s been infused with jalapeno, which we pour into a hand-squeezed lemonade. So refreshing! We also do a prickly pear curd for our wedding cakes which is really fun for couples who want a whisper of Arizona in their wedding cake, without necessarily any desert elements in the design.
W: When I first met you, it was to chat about my wedding desserts and cake. Having food allergies I needed everything at my wedding to be gluten free, and you were so accommodating. How important are the ingredients you use in your food?
J: As a vegan myself since the 4th grade, quality of ingredients is a huge concern/passion for me. Růže was founded on the principle that local and sustainable ingredients make for better, fresher tasting cakes. And we’ve always felt passionately about ethically-sourced food on a personal level and as business owners — we believe we have an even greater responsibility to source food that’s been produced in a way which doesn’t harm the environment or exploit farmers and producers.
We pride ourselves on knowing where our ingredients come from. Many of our eggs come from chickens raised in our own backyards, who roam free and eat an organic diet. All our honey, citrus, and milk are sourced from Arizona farmers, many of whom we see each week at the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market. For example, our milk is sourced exclusively through Danzisien Dairy, a local, family-owned company, which we have privately toured and visited several times.
We also feel it’s important to accommodate special diet needs, such as yours! Fortunately in this day and age it’s so much easier to source specialty ingredients, so we feel we can meet the needs of most clients.
W:Everything you two create is spectacular! I’m a big fan of your macaroons and the London Fog boba tea. Can you share with us any new treats your working on?
J: We LOVE playing around with new concepts, and something we’ve been doing once a month is a themed week, during which most items in our shop are inspired by a certain theme. It really gives us an opportunity to exercise our creative spirit. For example we’ve done Breakfast Week, and served things like Acai Bowl macarons. And we’ve done Retro Week, where we had things like Circus Animal Macarons and played 80s music all week.
This coming week we’re doing Ice Cream Week…so all of our macarons, cupcakes, etc. will be inspired by ice cream flavors. BY FAR the thing I’m most excited about is our French Fry Milkshake Macarons. The macaron is filled with a chocolate milkshake buttercream and we roll the outside in French fries. And it’s gluten free!!! Our taste testers say it’s one of their favorite flavors we’ve ever created.
W:What have you learned about yourself going through the process of building a business with your mom and do you have any advice for other women who want to start business?
J: In looking back, I think something that’s really helped the growth of our business is our ability to recognize when an opportunity exists. So often I think people are put in a position to be able to make a change in their life or in their business, and either don’t see the opportunity in front of them, or are reluctant to take hold of it. While my mom and I are inherently very cautious when it comes to the development of our company, I think we are equally fearless when it comes time to take a giant leap. I’m not sure this is making sense!
But, based on our experience, I think the best piece of advice is a three parter: 1) Keep your ears open because opportunities come in the strangest of places 2) Do your due diligence on said opportunity and take the leap and 3) Don’t second guess yourself after a decision has been made! This is the only way we can sleep at night. If obstacles arise, keep moving forward because there’s no going back!
W: What is the next step for you and Ruze Cake House?
J: Oh my gosh…I’m so excited about the next chapter of Ruze! We’ve just started working on a mobile macaron cart and our contractor actually started building the unit this week! It will very much look like a mini Ruze, containing many of the same design elements of our shop (e.g., white, copper accents, lots of greenery). We will be renting it out for weddings and other custom events, so guests can have the full experience of Ruze without coming into the shop. If all goes well we hope to have several of these carts that we can rent out to different events every weekend. Stay tuned!
Here are the amazing treats they created for me over the last few years. Stop by their website Růže Cake House or find them on Instagram.
August already? I swear July flew by so fast and here we are again with another monthly beauty budget pick post! I have found some beauty budget gems for you, each of them are now a part of my daily makeup routine! Little Black Liner Wardrobe by Ulta
I’m super picky about eyeliners but for the price ($18.00) this kit comes with a ton of great product. In the Kit you get…
Gel Eye Liner Pencil: for a smooth blendable line
Glitter Liquid Liner: a bold line with sparkle to add extra glam ( don’t let the glitter scare you, it’s more shimmery than anything)
Classic Felt Tip Liner: for drawing the finest precision line
Paddle Felt Tip Liner: for a thicker, more dramatic line
Smoky Eye Crayon: an easy smoky eye (amazing for the waterline )
Cat Eye Tool: helps achieve the perfect cat eye ( if your a cat eye beginner this some getting used to and finding your way of maneuvering everything)
I have written about these before but they just came out with Mattes and Metallic. These might be my favorite mattes yet, some mattes can get really dry but this one has pretty good moisture to it. I have only tried one of the four metallic colors, it has fun coverage and is trendy vibrant look
This cheek palette has four blendable shads that bring a pop of color to your complexion, what I love about this palette is each shades are super saturated with pigment. A little bit goes a long way with this palette and it stays on for most of the day.
ELF Cosmetics St Lucia is a contouring blush & bronzing powder in one. I know that contouring seems time-consuming, or even scary but thanks to simple compacts like is one it is super easy to get that little bit of summer glow. You don’t need a lot of this bronzer just like the blush above it goes along ways. The nice part about this compact is on the days that you just want to add a flush of color and a little bit of luminosity to your face just use the blush side. I’m obsessed with this compact and is only $3.99 !!