Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE
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4 Essential Tips for Entertaining Overnight Guests #AvoidTheOops

Thank you to Walmart and SheSpeaks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

We love to entertain overnight guests. There's nothing more satisfying than having friends and family come to visit us. Since we live in a coastal, resort area, the summers are popular times for visitors to land on our doorstep.  And sometimes they arrive with little notice. How do we #AvoidTheOops when visitors come to town?

I have a fear of running out of everyday essentials when we have out of town visitors. Nothing is more embarrassing than not having necessities when your guests need them. Before your guests arrive, prepare for their arrival with these 4 tips for entertaining overnight guests.
Check out my #AvoidTheOops haul. I have my bases covered for our summer guests.

1. Be Well-Stocked
You don't want to open a kitchen or bathroom cabinet in front of your guests to realize that you are out of what you looking for. Oops! You can #AvoidTheOops by shopping for your essentials before your guests arrive. Walmart makes it easy to #AvoidTheOops by shopping online for all the products you need at www.avoidtheoops.com.


You can find all your household needs at www.avoidtheoops.com and at great prices. I was able to stock up on everything I need for out of town guests and for our own use for about $60. From paper goods to kitchen essentials to baby products, #AvoidTheOops keeps you prepared and stocked for everyday needs and emergencies as well.

2. Ask for Requests and Preferences
Cater to your guests by giving them the comforts of home. Ask them what they like from beverages to toiletries. I aim to make their stay as comfortable and familiar as I can. Whether it's a favorite toothpaste or a particular type of seltzer, I want my guests to fell like our home is theirs.

Buy their favorite bath and body products.

3. Clean the Bathrooms
Most of us go crazy cleaning our entire home from top to bottom. When actually, no one really notices most of the rooms in our homes. I always tidy and up to clear clutter. When it comes to head to toe cleaning, I focus on the the bathrooms. I find that bathrooms are where I notice most dirt in people's home. As I am standing over the sink brushing my teeth or washing my face, I tend to scan the sink and notice any lingering water spots and dirt buildup.

Plus, it's where everyone goes to get clean. If the room itself is dirty, you hardly feel clean after showering.

Keeping everything in the bathroom spotless is a must, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers make it a snap!

4. Relax and Enjoy Your Time Together
When you are well prepared and fully stocked on all the essentials, you'll worse less and relax more. Visit www.avoidtheoops.com to get started.


Thank you to Walmart and SheSpeaks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday :: 6.27.2016

The first week of summer vacation is officially under our belts. This week summer band starts for my 5th grader and continues every morning for the next three weeks. She's excited to learn how to play an instrument, and I'm excited for her to be trying something new. 

We are still easing into a routine and figuring out what works in terms of meals and schedules, but so far, so good.

Greek salad with oregano marinated chicken
Here's what's on our plates this week:

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Greek salad with oregano marinated chicken

Wednesday - Creamy cavatappi with edamame, lemon, and tarragon

Thursday - Skinny loaded nachos

Friday - Chicken fajita kebabs with rice

Saturday - Tentative plans to attend a birthday party

Sunday - Going to a BBQ

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.


Tips for Taking Care of Your Children's Teeth


As parents, we generally juggle many balls on any given day. It's likely that one of those balls will drop and you may forget to pick it up. It's happened to me many times. I forget an appointment or to turn in a form. A sports practice goes forgotten, and that permission slip for the field trip? Where did I put that again?

But one ball you don't want to drop is taking care of your child's teeth. My daughters recently had their six month check ups, and as they are getting older and experiencing more issues with their teeth, we are realizing how important it is to teach proper oral hygiene and the importance of taking proper care of your teeth for the future.

Our family dentist gave us some helpful tips for ensuring you are providing your child with proper care and education.

1. Implement A Strict Cleaning Regime
The best way to ensure that your children have healthy teeth is to clean them properly. When you get rid of the plaque and bacteria on their teeth, they are less likely to have cavities and discoloration. Brushing at least twice a day is recommended, but if you can get them to brush after every meal (snacks included), even better. If they only brush once, bacteria will easily build up and cause plaque, cavities, and gum issues. Also, be sure they are brushing properly. Ask you dentist or hygienist to show your child the proper way to brush, including hard to reach areas, as well as brushing their gums. Encourage the use of mouthwash and flossing.

2. Change Their Diet
Another reason children have problems with their teeth is their diet. They can be overzealous brushers, but it won’t make a difference if they eat a lot of junk food. Placing limits on sugary candy, chocolate and soda will go a long way towards keeping your child's teeth healthy. Find a healthy snack that they enjoy so that they won’t eat or drink as much junk food.

3. Get Regular Dental Check Ups
For kids, the dentist is as important as the doctor. You wouldn't put off an annual well-visit, so why would you delay a routine dental check up? Children’s teeth are very fragile, and they need expert care so that they don’t fall out and so that they grow in properly. Of course, dentists can be expensive, especially if you don't have insurance. Most dentists are very willing to work out a payment plan with patients. Ask your dentist about payment options and flexibility. This dentist office here is a great example as they don’t require insurance. They have an in-house policy for the people without a dental plan.

4. Be Consistent
It isn’t okay to do all of the above once or twice a week. Your children must brush and floss regularly. Help them establish a good brushing routine. Kids love routines and soon will be brushing their teeth on autopilot.

Friday Fresh Picks ~ Fun Summer Finds

Summer is all about fun. The more amusing the merrier is my summer mantra. This summer surround yourself with all things playful and entertaining.

In this week's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few fun summer finds to make this summer unforgettable and enjoyable.

Make your pool time Insta-worthy with this inflatable flamingo.

Pina colada, wine spritzer...whatever you fancy, sip it in style from this pineapple cup.

Protect those peepers in a pair of donut shades.

Add a fun touch to your next outdoor party with these popsicle patio lights.

Cherries are summer's quintessential fruit, so why not show some summer pride with a pair of cherry adorned espadrilles?

Kick back with a glass of rosé on your patio in these super comfy ice cream print lounge shorts.

Thanks for checking out this week's Friday Fresh Picks. Swing by the rest of the FFP gals to see what they are loving this week.
Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!


To view all of my Friday Fresh Picks posts, click here.

Fab Finds at the J. Crew Factory Sale

I love J. Crew Factory, and when there's a sale, it's even better. J. Crew Factory is currently having a flash sale, and most items are on FINAL SALE, which means they are non-returnable. But at these rock bottom prices, who can resist? Here are a few of my favorite picks:


Update: Some of the above items have already sold out, but click through the links because in many cases other colors/prints are available.

Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Seven ways to make lifestyle changes stick via Do You Yoga.

2. The best rose wines to drink all summer via New York Magazine.

3. The secrets of women who exercise everyday via PureWow.

4. Ten things you should clean immediately via Well and Good.

5. Twenty perfect summer getaways via Travel and Leisure.

6. The benefits of actually drinking your suggested daily water intake via Man Repeller.

7. Ten vegetables that aren't good for your health via Delish.

8. What a Starbucks latte costs in 6 countries via Thrillist.

9. Patriotic Mason jars are perfect for any 4th of July celebration via It All Started With Paint.

10. Grilled desserts that beat a slice of chocolate cake any day via Food and Wine.

Sleeping Tips For New Parents

Lack of sleep goes with the territory of being a new parent. The unpredictable schedules of newborns don't lend themselves to ample sleep for parents. But, it’s so important to try to get whatever sleep you can when you can. And if you can make it a good quality sleep, even better.

A friend recently had her first baby, and she offered some insightful advice on how to make the most of what little time you have to sleep.




Get into a routine
Your sleep routine will, in most cases, revolve around your baby. And, if you are still breastfeeding or your child isn’t sleeping through the night, wake up calls are inevitable. Establishing a good routine will help your body clock adjust. Have a definite time to go to bed, and wake up at the same time every morning. Make sure you do this on the weekends, too - no staying up late because your partner is going to do the mornings on Sundays.

Summer To-Do List


A few years ago when I realized that summer flies by in the blink of an eye, I started making a summer to-do list to insure that I accomplish all that I hope to by Labor Day. New Jersey summers are never short of fun things to do. From the beaches to the mountains, fun abounds. This summer I have some old favorites on the list as well as a few newbies.

Here's what I am aiming to knock off my summer to-do list this year:

1. Go camping (yes, I said camping)!

2. Go to a beach movie.

3. Visit the Statue of Liberty.

4. Go to a local farmer's market that I've never visited before.

Menu Plan Monday :: 6.20.2016

The first week of summer is here, and I am already ready to get into a routine, starting with menu plans and healthy dinners. Everything becomes more relaxed in the summer, and that includes meals and meal times. We had a summer a few years ago where take out dinners were a regular thing around here, and although it was fun to try out so many local restaurants, it was not budget friendly to say the least.

I am vowing not to fall into that pattern again. So, here's my first step. A menu plan for this week. Here's what's on our plates this week:

Monday - Chicken stir-fry with peanut sauce

Tuesday - Take out

Wednesday - Greek lettuce wraps

Easy and Practical Get Well Gift Ideas

No one enjoys being ill. You may enjoy a break from work and the added attention can be nice. But overall, you're either sitting or lying there, feeling and looking your worst. Whether you're healing from an injury or rebounding from surgery or it's a run-of-the-mill sickness, it's never pleasant. And then there's the fact that every other person is saying "Well, it could be worse!" as though that's any comfort.

When you have a family member or friend who is dealing with a health issue, it is important to keep their spirits up. It's worth recognizing their frustrations and that not all of your efforts to lift their spirits are going to be met with gratitude and enthusiasm. Does that mean you shouldn't try? Of course not.

How you feel mentally and emotionally does affect how you recover physically. So when you're looking to brighten the day of someone who's not feeling too "up", make sure you have strings to your bow.
1. Keep To The Classics, Not The Cliches
Many people will bring flowers to someone recovering in hospital, particularly if that someone is female. Other common gifts include chocolates and, for some reason, grapes or a fruit basket. None of these are bad gifts per se. However, it's worth judging the situation. Someone recovering from stomach flu might not welcome baked goods.