Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!

I am flying solo all week while Matt is in South Korea taking a training course.  He lands late Sunday night.  I wish I could say we have a  lot of time together before he flys back out for his hitch but we don't.  Bummer!  

OK, so once a week on Friday I link up with Erika, Narcy, and Andrea to bring you my favorites of the week.  Let's take a look at what I loved this week.



one

Before the New Year I signed up for Fab Fit Fun.  I have loved everything I got thus far but there is one little product that stands out from this past spring box that I have been really loving.... It is the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion exfoliator.  It smells like lemon, super light weight and very non abrasive.  It was perfect to use after Florida.  It gave me some exfoliation, leaving my skin feeling clean but didn't scrub so hard it removed any of my tan.  




two


These soft dinner rolls are like magic! Just mix the ingredients in a bowl - no kneading, no stand mixer, no special ingredients required. These are soft, fluffy and moist, nicely salted with a touch of sweet. Dough can be made then refrigerated overnight. Watch the recipe video below to see just how easy these are to make. NOTE: Requires 3 hours rising time. This makes 12 largish rolls - about the size of a baseball.

three

I am loving this new website I found for recipes and dishes.  It is so fresh and inspiring.  I want to make everything I see.  



four

I am loving these two new make up remover's.  My skin has been a little, let’s say, finicky lately. While my t-zone is still as oily as ever, the other parts of my skin have become dryer. All around I’m more sensitive too. I’m not sure what the cause of this change is. Maybe the weather, or a hormonal change, or maybe it was too much exfoliation on my part. Regardless of the reason, I’ve had to start treating my skin with products that are gentler. Careful, effective, and gentle make-up removal is now an essential part of my night routine. You know me. Product obsessed. I’ve tried products at all ends of the spectrum, and I have a few favorites. Two of the best natural makeup removers that you really need to try right now are Andalou Natural’s Revitalizing Lash & Lid Make-Up Remover and Simple’s Cleansing Micellar Water.



Thank you for following.  Have a great weekend.  Daddy is coming home Sunday night and we are so excited.  See ya'll Monday.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

7 Sleeping Masks for Gorgeous Skin Overnight


AVEDA TULASARA WEDDING MASQUE OVERNIGHT

The combination of these two Aveda tulasara masks are heavenly. I love the texture of both masks. This one is  thick and rich, but in no way greasy. Somehow that richness still feels super light. After a night with this Aveda Wedding Masque slathered all over my face my skin is always refreshed and luminous.

AVEDA TULASARA WEDDING MASQUE EYE OVERNIGHT

I have not seen many overnight eye masks. Maybe I haven’t looked. Maybe after trying this mask I don’t care to search. Somehow, this lovely rich mask works wonders. I wake up with soft, lovely under eye skin. The best part about using this overnight mask is how it reduces dark circles and puffiness. Even if I haven’t slept all night, this mask still works wonders.

DIOR ‘HYDRA LIFE’ JELLY SLEEPING MASK

The texture of Dior’s ‘Hydra Life’ sleeping mask is a light jelly that is truly wonderful going onto the skin. Each time I used this, it was delightfully light and refreshing. It was a true way to get a relaxing spa experience before heading off to bed. It is worth a try if you are a Dior brand loyalist or want to splurge on a super luxurious nightly treatment.

LANEIGE WATER SLEEPING MASK

I bought this water sleeping mask in a set of two Laneige masks for five dollars at Target. So, I didn’t expect much. To my surprise it was light, soothing, and left my skin feeling fresh after a night’s rest. However, I can’t say that I feel moved to buy a full size of this product. At my age, and after having two kids, I need so much more. Definitely worth a try if you don’t have any major skin issues and want to add a sleeping mask to your nightly routine from time to time.

ORIGINS DRINK UP INTENSIVE OVERNIGHT MASK

This is my absolute favorite of the seven sleeping masks listed. I’ve purchased this mask again and again. What can I say about it other than I’m obsessed with it. It is moisturizing without feeling heavy or greasy. It smells soft and lovely. When my skin is feeling absolutely awful, I use it under my make up during the day. I did this almost daily in the winter months when I was pregnant because I needed the extra moisture. Since I have combination skin, I do take a break from it occasionally. But, each time I do I miss it dearly. If you have oily skin this probably isn’t for you. If you have dry or combination skin give it a try.  Use it as a lush moisturizer when your skin needs a pick me up.

PETER THOMAS ROTH CAMU CAMU BRIGHTENING SLEEPING MASK

This mask has definitely been a big help in bringing my skin back to life. I’d say I have a long way to go on completely getting rid of the hyperpigmentation that has plagued my face. But, this has been a huge help in making my skin is much more radiant.

SUNDAY RILEY LUNA SLEEPING NIGHT OIL

Although this isn’t technically a mask, this Luna Sleeping Night Oil earned its place on this list. I’m going to be honest, I hate the smell. Ok. So, when I overcame the smell and used this oil for a few nights in a row I noticed my skin change. My pores seemed smaller, and my skin felt firmer. I didn’t have enough of this product to use it for the full four weeks as recommended to see visible improvements. I didn’t have to. I can say I felt a difference in skin texture the very next morning. 

Enough said.


So, these seven sleeping masks I’m currently using interchangeably. While there are so many wonderful products here, my favorites are the Origins Drink Up Intensive and the Aveda tulasara Wedding Masque Overnight. These two will definitely be staying in my routine. I have a bunch of others I’ve tried or on my list of things to try. Some extra tips on waking up to gorgeous skin, remember to always stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. And, lastly, to make sure you are getting the best results stay consistent with your routine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Stonyfield & the NE Aquarium


Exciting News!!!  Today is world penguin day... and what better way to honor these beautiful animals is to spend time with them at the aquarium.  A huge thank you to Stonyfield Yogurt for making this happen for me and my family. 

As the country's leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield has long been focusing on conservation and sustainability.  Each year they keep over 185,000 pounds of toxic pesticides out of the environment, helping to safeguard species and their eco-systems.

Stonyfield & YoKids is sponsoring the Saving Animals from Extinction program; together on a mission to help save endangered species.  As part of a year long effort, Stonyfield will not only be contributing funds to field work but aiming to drive kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos, aquariums, and on the ground where the research is happening.


The lovable African penguin and most endangered species will be featured on the Stonyfield YoKids packaging this year... How cute!  Your kids are totally going to love seeing their animals from the aquarium come home with them from the grocery store.


We had such a blast visiting these little guys.  The boys were super excited to see them and wanted to swim with them badly.  I was worried one of them would go right over the side trying to get the best look.   It was a perfect day!


Evan was super interested in asking questions.  He truly cares about these animals and wants to learn so much more.  He is already asking when we are going to be going back.  The babies we saw were so cute and they were swimming all around.  We all were amazed at how fast they swim.  Evan even noticed at how little effort they needed to set forth in order to fly through the water.


Although, boys will be boys... their funniest memory of the penguins they have engrained in their memory is the green slime that "shoots out their butt"  -yup, all boy.





The penguins weren't the only site to see... we got to see some very unique and cool animals.  It was a busy day learning and walking all around.  Plus the boys learned a ton about sharks.  We went to the 3D movie about the great white and it was amazing.  





Now there even more reason for parents and kids to love Stonyfield YoKids.  Stonyfield recently announced a sugar reduction across its yogurt portfolio- and that includes YoKids.

Stonyfield's yogurt is always made with USDA organic, non GMO ingredients.  It now features as much as 40% less sugar than the leading low-fat's kids' yogurt.

Stonyfields efforts and advances in sugar reduction provide a better yogurt option for the entire family, starting where it matters the most.  With your kids! :)


Stonyfield YoKids is also featuring an on-pack offer to get families to visit any of the 131 participating AZA accredited member zoos and aquariums in their own communities.  Now through the end of September families who buy two specially marked YoKids yogurt multipacks will receive a FREE kid's admission to their local AZA accredited zoo or aquarium when they also buy an adult ticket.  Here is a list of the participating establishments.

Thank's so much for stopping in and a HUGE THANK YOU to Stonyfield for sponsoring this post.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Muffin Top Breakfast Cookies



2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup of agave nectar
2 cups of cashew flour
1/3 cup of flax seeds
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup blueberries



Preheat oven to 350F
First, mash your banana in a large bowl.
Whisk in the eggs, almond butter, and agave nectar.
Add the cashew flour, flax seeds, chopped pecans, and baking soda.
Whisk everything together.
Fold in blueberries.
Use an ice cream scooper to scoop large cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Allow cookies to sit on the pan to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites


Hi Friday! You came pretty fast!

Every week I link up with Erika, Narcy, and Andrea to bring you my favorites of the week. 

My week was a bit of a blur.  We had a long weekend, plus spring vacation... a few doctor appointments, sickness, and who knows what else but I have gathered a few things I wanted to share with you.

one

These chocolate zucchini muffins are a huge hit in our house.  The kids will see me making them and say "eww" when I start grading the zucchini but they quickly forget the baking process when they come out of the oven.



two

I just bought this new bag from Nordstrom after vacation.  It is a cute cross body that doesn't weigh me down.  I just throw the basics in there and it keeps my hands free for quick and easy trips to the store with the kids.  I love that it is black and transitions easily from day to night.



three

Easter Sunday was gorgeous.  It was in the high 80's.  We spent the day on the boat after church and it was the perfect day.  Loved having a nice hot day thrown in the mix of these cool 50's.



four

I discovered adding buttermilk to our pancake mix makes the perfect pancake.  They were light and fluffy with that extra creamy taste.  Huge favorite in the house!

The week was short and chaotic but I am happy to share a few of the favorites we had with you guys. I'll see you on Monday.  We are spending the weekend in NH.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

5 Steps for Healthy Skin





Looking in the mirror, I thought what better than a post all about skin care?  Skin care is so important for everyone, men and women, and at every age.  I have 5 basic steps to my routine: cleanse, exfoliate, treat, moisturize, and protect.  I think that each step is equally important in maintaining healthy skin, but the most important are cleansing, protecting, and moisturizing.  If you don’t do anything else, at least these three will keep your skin in line.  Treating and exfoliating help with skin turn over and building new collagen, which is extremely important as we start to age.  I think of these steps as special mini home spa moments.  A time to take care of myself, and unwind from a long day.

Cleanse – I cannot stress how important it is to cleanse your face every night.  Washing off what’s left of your makeup, and any environmental particles is a must.  Before I wash my face, I take off any excess mascara or eye line with Lancome’s makeup remover.  I find it’s the gentlest on my skin, not leaving me feeling dry to sticky.  I cleanse every single night with the Clarisonic device and CeraVe face wash.  The sensitive skin head for the Clarisonic is best if you’re going to use it on a daily basis.  My skin seems to get aggravated if I use the regular head too often.  It’s been a few years since I’ve used this handy little gadget, and I love it!  There are other less expensive alternatives if you’d like to give that a whirl instead.  This one is budget friendly, and I’ve heard good things about it.  I finish off with a Rose Water Spray that smells heavenly.  If I exfoliate, I’ll spray this after exfoliation.

Exfoliate – About two to three times a week I exfoliate.  I find my skin is more radiant, glowing, the day after I exfoliate.  A while back ago I got a sample of ExfoliKate, and I use in the shower after cleansing my face. This product tingles a bit, and may feel like it burns if you have sensitive skin.  So, just be aware of that when you try it out for the first time.   Two other products I’ve used in the past that I like are a) this Philosophy wash and b) this Aveeno scrub.  Both are great products that leave your skin feeling dewy, and renewed.  

Treat – A little special treatment every once in a while goes a long way.  Depending on the time of year, and how your skin feels, give it a treatment once a week.  Origins really has some great products, and I’ve tested out a sample of this skin relief mask.  I find it is doing wonders for my skin in this crazy weather, hot one day and so cold the next.  This pack of Glam Glow masks is great for picking and choosing something different each time.  I think it’s a bargain for being able to try all three of these.  So, get it before it disappears!  I know this one will go fast!

Moisturize – My skin is combination, oily in the t-zone area.  So, I’m always trying new moisturizer because some leave me too oily and some leave me too dry.  The closest I’ve found to perfect is Lush’s Cosmetic Lad, but I know it’ll be too heavy in the summer with the humidity.  Currently, I’m testing out a sample of Kiehl’s moisturizer.  I really like it, and think I’ll buy a small bottle to continue using it for a while longer.  I also use this CeraVe lotion, on my face and all over.  It makes everything silky soft after using it a few days.  

Protect – I think that protecting your skin every single day is one of the best ways to combat the aging process.  My mom has melasma, and I have already started to see it start peeking its way onto my skin.  So, I protect my skin each and every day with a combination of these two products.  I use this CC Cream as a light base under my make-up.  And, if I’m going out without any make-up, I always slather on CervaVe sunscreen on before doing anything else.
Hope you have a fabulous day, and feel free to share your skin care tips with everyone below.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Cleaning



Happy Tuesday!  Once a month I link up with Ashley and Erika who host Tuesday Talk. 

This is a link up where you chat about anything and everything.  

In January we chatted about my infertility and so many of you reached out and shared your story with me. 

In February I shared with you my favorite kids smoothie.

& today I thought... 


Cleaning. I know, I know! 

Some of you are like me and actually enjoy it, and the other 98% of you would rather be doing anything else. I get a lot of feedback that cleaning is always a good topic. Tips, tricks, tools, even just seeing me clean or showing a clean space is enough to motivate some of you. I get it! I find my motivation to be visual as well! And I really want to put together a few cleaning specific posts because do you know what time of the year it is? SPRING CLEANING TIME!

I know I am a little late to the game as spring started in March but we still had snow on the ground so I wasn't motived... then we went away on vacation and when I returned home it was practically summer so I am getting a little bit of a late start.

I am still diving right in and have a long laundry list of things I want to accomplish.  

The biggest thing we do in our house for spring cleaning is changing over the wardrobes.  I pack up all winter hats and mittens... box them up and put them in the attic.  I also pack up snow boots and winter coats... I drag them into the attic and pull out summer stuff.  I think this is the real start of spring cleaning for me... 

I am starting that this afternoon but after the clothing swap I am going to run through these check lists and thought I would share with you in order to help get you through the first hump and get a head start.


Here are the basics.... the master list and the general guide lines I follow.

My first major clean out will be the kitchen and this is how I will manage it.


If you want your kids to get involved we loosely follow this and it helps keep the kids busy so I can get to work... they really like feeling important and part of the process.


I hope this is a great start for you... It really helps me to have a check list and a guide line.  I'll check in with you later in the week with the projects I have completed.  I know it seems overwhelming to those who don't like cleaning or can't find the time but the reward of sitting in a clean house at the end of the day is so well worth it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend Recap


It is a special Monday morning here in Boston.  Good Luck to all the runners.


I popped over at the church on Saturday to help start the flowers we were putting on the cross for Sunday's service.  The smell of these fresh flowers was amazing.


We decorated the top as a starting point.  The rest will be filled in on Sunday.


This is how Ryan started Saturday night....


This is how he ended.  He never even woke up.


Here we are Sudany morning adding a few flowers.  The boys loved it.


It came out beautiful.


At the end of service the Sunday school kids carried out the cross for a picture.


Evan was just a tad to short. 


Halleluja.


After church the kids did a hunt for eggs.  Ryan is into quality not quantity. 



After church we left the dock for a day on the lake. 

We even took an Easter dessert with us to celebrate.


A very special weekend!  Hope you guys had a great weekend with your family.  


See you tomorrow.


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