Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Fun Spring Flats Under $40

Spring and summer shoes are so fun, and even more so after a long, harrowing winter of wearing nothing but boots, boots, boots, and more boots. This spring, we are seeing all sorts of fun and funky trends when it comes to shoes. I am especially loving all the statement flats. From mules to slingbacks to sneakers, I want them all!

Here are a few of my favorite finds, all under $40.
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Cute Valentine's Day Gifts For Yourself

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. While the Hubs and I do not exchange gifts (we never have), I always like to treat myself to something fun. Whether it's a pampering session at a local spa, a new pair of cozy pajamas, or an indulgent candle, treat yourself this Valentine's Day with one of these fabulous items.

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Best Online Reads


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

1. The most popular Valentine's Day candy in each state via Candy Store.

2. What makes a habit stick via The Guardian.

3. Seven luxuries you can afford via Business Insider.

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Splurge vs. Save: Snakeskin Booties

Show me a cutting edge boot that's stylish and practical, and I'm all about it! And if it's unique like snakeskin print, I love it even more. I love the look of snakeskin but not the price tag. So when I found a pair I loved and saw that they came with a hefty price tag, I was immediately discouraged. But I was also motivated to find a comparable pair at a much smaller cost.

In the mood to throw caution to the wind? Buy the Isabel Marant Snakeskin Embossed Bootie.

In the mood to pinch your pennies? Buy the Elastic Ankle Snakeskin Bootie from SheIn.


I also love this pair.
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Two Home Renovation Trends With The Best ROI

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Every few years your home will need a bit of a renovation to keep it looking fresh, modern, and interesting to yourself and guests. There are various renovations you can do that will completely transform your home. Some of them are bigger than others, and some may not appeal to you or may not be in your budget. But they’re the renovation trends that have been capturing a lot of interior design lovers hearts this year already. Here are two of the biggest trends in home renovations that will offer the best return on your investment.
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5 Tips To Stay Motivated To Workout Regularly


I have a bit of a reputation for being a yo-yo exerciser, but last year, in anticipation of my 50th birthday, I made a pact with myself to regularly use my (rather expensive, but worth it) gym membership. After a few months, I had accidentally happened upon a consistent workout routine and was hooked. Today, almost a year later, I am regularly hitting the the gym, sometimes 5 times per week, and have let go of my fear that everyone else there is better, fitter, thinner, stronger than I am.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have days where I am dragging my feet up until the moment I step foot on the Stairmaster, but for the most part, I look forward to my daily workouts. Building on the mistakes I've made in the past and what I hope to accomplish in the future, I've put together this list of easy tips for establishing a love-love relationship with your workouts.
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4 Tips For Identifying and Treating Skin Problems on Dogs

Swan on Lake Against Mountain
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Cats are definitely my thing, but every once in a while I get emails from readers who are looking for some information on dogs. Luckily, my niece is a veterinarian and is my go-to resource for pet-related questions and expertise.

For many pet owners, knowing when something is wrong with their pet comes as second nature. When a pet is sick, it is easy to tell that their personality is different, and many owners are very keyed into this part of their pet’s life. Of course, when something is bothering your pet, it isn't always obvious. When it comes to something subtle, like skin, it can be difficult to know what to watch for. In a lot of cases, though, your pet won’t have a way to show you their problems, and you will have to find them for yourself. So, to help you better identify potential skin issues in your dog, here a few of the things which impact your dog’s skin health.
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Burglars Beware: 4 Ways To Keep Your Home Safe

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Several years ago, we were the victims of a home burglary. It was an experience that rocked us to our core. We were scared. We felt violated and uneasy. After our initial shock wore off, we realized that we were vulnerable, and we let our guard down. But we knew we had to move forward. Nearly all who have been through a burglary will take extra steps going forward to prevent the same thing from happening again. Here are a few of the steps we took to keep our family safe within our home.
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Best Online Reads


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

1. People's perception of every country in the world via Matador Network.

2. One hundred of the best ways to get organized via Woman's Day.

3. The most popular day of the year to workout via Glamour.
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Why Reading Is One Of My Favorite Ways To Learn

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Reading is something that many of us cannot help but do and something we do everyday often without realizing it. Whether you read the news on the way to work, enjoy a chapter or two from a novel before bed, read a menu at a restaurant, browse your favorite blogs, or flip through a magazine on your break, reading is a joy to be treasured.

But reading isn’t just about enjoying yourself or entertainment; reading is also one of the best ways to learn new things, improve your ability to concentrate and even develop your ability to communicate. It also seems that extensive reading is quite an attractive feature too. I might be biased. After all, I have an English degree and have done extensive reading since my elementary school days.

However, you can't ignore the fact that communication is one of the main distinguishing features of humans and the better we get at it, the happier and more successful we tend to be (just ask A.J Hoge from Effortless English Club how communication saves jobs).
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Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites is a monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment (books, movies, TV, podcasts, and magazines) that I am loving. Here's what I am loving this month.

1. Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray - When I first bought this facial spray, I intended to use it solely on my face, but after reading a few reviews, I learned it had other beneficial uses as well. I most frequently use it after I moisturize at night. I spray it on my face as an added layer of hydration for the overnight hours. It can also be used to set your makeup or two spray on the ends of your hair if its dry.
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Tips For A Happier Home

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So you’ve got the spouse of your dreams. Your kids are little angels and will (hopefully) remain that way for the rest of their lives. You’ve got your house, your car, you’re happy. But you realize there are still problems for you to solve. Your home may seem happy, but it can always be happier, right?

It's a new year, and you want to kick it off right. So let's start at home. What sorts of things can contribute to disrupting a happy home? Money troubles are probably at the top of everybody’s list of things they wish they could solve with a snap of the fingers. And along with money, there are other things, like the home feeling empty, is it time for a pet? And when was the last time you took a holiday? It pays to tackle any issue that crops up to make your home as happy as possible as soon as you can. 

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5 Game Time Party Tips



This shopper has been compensated by SheSpeaks, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company and Mondelez International group. All opinions are mine alone.

Game time is a big deal in our house. We love hosting football parties with friends and family and sharing our favorite game time snacks and game-watching traditions.

Our family is pulled in so many directions during the week that we love coming together on the weekends for game time. Whether we watch college or professional football, it doesn't make a difference. What matters is our special time together and making the most of it. In order to make the most of it, here are 5 game time party tips that ensure that you stay organized and on task and that you'll have just as much fun (maybe more!) than your guests.
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Best Online Reads


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

1. How to organize the dreaded junk drawer via Refinery29.

2. Eleven things every adult should know how to make (not buy) via PureWow.

3. Why teens aren't partying anymore via Wired.
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Weekend Dispatch


January and February are typically months that seem to drag on, but I have to say that this January seems to be flying by. I can hardly believe that it's the MLK Jr. weekend already. This is my first Weekend Dispatch since before the holiday break, and I am ready to jump back in. I'm not one for making sweeping, large-scale changes or resolutions, but I am always up for a fresh start. Keeping that in mind, I'm planning to try lots of new things on the weekends this year and squeeze in as much as is possible.

So, let's do this! Shall we?
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The Best Purebred Dogs To Own

If you are thinking of getting a dog for your family, you will have probably already narrowed down your choice to just a handful of breeds. But are you sure that your shortlist will all be suitable? Sure, all of your listed breeds will be super cute but there might be some hidden issues that you have yet to uncover. For instance, some dog breeds have been bred so much through the years that they now suffer from numerous health conditions because of the changes to their body. Not only that, though, but some breeds are known as being very aggressive and might not adapt to family life, especially if there are small children in the household.

But every dog breed has some negative aspects. You will find that if you take one of these breeds under your wing, all of the extra effort that goes into looking after them really pays off. You’ll develop a much stronger bond and will really feel like you’ve found your best friend!

Here are some dog breeds that are really worth all the extra effort.
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What We're Reading

The cold, snowy weather we've been having here on the east coast hasn't exactly gotten me excited. It has, however, been conducive to reading. Staying in, throwing on my comfiest clothes, and hunkering down with a good book has been one of the things I look forward to most on the weekends.

Here's what we are currently reading as we try to stay warm and dry:
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Tips To Help Ease Anxiety Over Flying

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As a species, humans were not created to be in the air. We were not blessed with sleek wings that help us to soar through the open skies, and yet we get on a giant metal airplane at any opportunity to go and seek adventures around the world. If you think about it too much, you can really freak yourself out by what you are doing. A giant, heavy metal bird is taking off at huge speed to carry you and three hundred other people to your holiday destination of choice. All of that happens with weight limits on luggage and you’re supposed to feel calm and good about it.

Technology may have raced ahead to make air travel as comprehensive as it is today, but 25% of Americans currently have a fear of flying. Being in cramped cabins, thousands of miles in the air with no control over the airplane can invite feelings of panic. It’s normal to be afraid and experience anxiety when flying. However, no one wants to be rooted to the spot.
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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Adopting A Puppy

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Puppies are so cute and so very easy to fall in love with that it can be easy to bring one home from the shelter or anywhere puppies are available, without really thinking it through properly. That is one of the main reasons why we have so many animal shelters filled with abandoned dogs - people just don’t take the time to think about what they are doing.

This time of year, shelters see an influx of puppies that were adopted or purchased as gifts, and now the reality of pet ownership has set in and many families realize that it's too much work and responsibility. If you want to be responsible and you want to ensure that you don’t end up taking on a pet you can’t handle, only to have to give him up further down the line, no matter how cute they are or how much your kids want one, you should consider the following VERY carefully before you bring a puppy home.
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5 Favorites: Easy, Vegetarian Lunches

Recently lunch has been my biggest meal of the day. To get the most bang for my buck, I've been trying to focus on protein-rich lunches that will keep me full until dinner.

Here are the 5 lunches I've had on rotation lately.
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Best Online Reads


1. How to be better at spending time alone via The Cut.

2. A January to-do list versus a September to-do list via Thought Catalog.

3. Nine U.S. destinations to visit in 2018 via Vogue.
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What I'm Watching On Netflix

I definitely used the holiday break to take a step away from work and unwind. I read, played cards, cleaned, organized, and cooked, and I watched Netflix...and lots of it! It had been a while since I was able to do some serious binge watching, and this break definitely made up for it. Here are the six shows/movies/documentaries I watched and thoroughly enjoyed.



1. MINDHUNTER - Just as I am drawn to psychological thriller fiction, I prefer the same with my TV shows. MINDHUNTER checks all the boxes for an engaging psychological thriller. The characters are compelling, and the action is unpredictable. MINDHUNTER follows the research of the FBI Behavioral Studies team in the Serial Crime Unit as they conduct interviews with serial killers in an attempt to understand the thinking behind their horrific actions. It is based on actual events that occurred in the 1970s, which makes it even more interesting.

2. The Crown - I've never really given Queen Elizabeth's long reign much of a thought until I started watching this show. The first season begins during Elizabeth's childhood when her father King George VI wore the crown. When he became ill and succumbed to lung cancer in 1953, Elizabeth ascended to the thrown and has remained there until present day. It's fascinating that her reign has lasted this long. The Crown delves deep into her family issues (her often difficult relationship with her own parents, sister, and her husband Philip) and her struggle to find her place as Queen in a time when very few, if any, women held positions of power.

3. The Endless Summer - This 1966 documentary follows two California surfers on an around-the-world search for the perfect wave. From Hawaii to Australia to South Africa and beyond, we get a glimpse into what surfers consider to be the holy grail and why it's so hard to find.

4. The Office - Whenever I am in need of a little comedic relief, I turn to The Office and the Dunder-Mifflin staff. After having spent many years in a corporate environment, I can relate all too well to many of these episodes.

5. Newtown - I remember the exact moment this story broke on the news. I was shocked and horrified. Having a first grader at the time only made this story hit home even harder. This documentary examines the aftermath of the shooting and how the affected families and the town are still struggling to recover and return to some sort of semblance of a normal life. Grab the tissues. This one is heartbreaking.

6. Under The Arctic Sky - I happened upon this documentary (which is actually another surfing documentary) accidentally and discovered that a local surfer is featured in it! How fun is that? And he happens to the uncle of my youngest daughter's best friend. Crazy, right? When I saw the name "Sam Hammer", I was like "Wait. What?" So, I knew I had to watch it. The documentary follows six surfers who travel to a remote corner of Iceland to find the perfect swell. A few days in to the trip, the worst storm in decades (and an unexpected one at that) comes in and turns their trip into a life-threatening situation.

Looking for more suggestions? Check out what I watched here, here, here, here, and here.
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Happy January ~ Letter From The Editor


Another trip around the sun comes to a close and another revolution begins. Last year was a very successful year for me in terms of making some positive changes to my lifestyle. I, for the first time ever, became a regular exerciser. Yes! It's true. Without even making a concerted effort to do so, I became a full fledged gym rat. I also became a vegetarian (also without trying) and in doing so, cleaned up my diet for the better.
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