Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Best Online Reads


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

1. The most famous hotel in every state via House Beautiful.

2. How to fall asleep anywhere in five minutes via The Chalkboard.

3. Six things that happen to your body when you stop eating dairy via Prevention.
0

5 Awesome Gift Ideas for New Parents Welcoming Their New Bundle of Joy


When you're looking for the perfect gifts for parents that are welcoming a newborn, there is a lot out there that. In fact, you'll find that the options are endless. Here are a few of my favorite ways to treat new parents and welcome a newborn. These gifts are sure to make both baby and parents smile.
0

Weekend Dispatch


Last week was the first full week of school, and surprisingly, it was an uneventful week. Things ran smoothly each morning. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that there's a little part of me that's disappointed that my girls don't need me as much in the mornings anymore. I used to do their hair, make their breakfasts, and re-check that they had everything they needed for their day. Now, they do it all on their own. It's bittersweet, but all in, I'm happy for their independence. I have Emma's back-to-school night on Thursday, and otherwise, we are trying to keep this weekend open.

Here's what else what I'll be up to this week:

0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Twenty-five ice breaker questions via Know Your Team.

2. Pop songs with surprisingly dark meanings via Ranker.

3. Ten cities that should be on everyone's bucket list via Travelocity.
0

Love Your Curves: 5 Fashion Tips for Making Your Body Shape Work in Your Favor


In most cultures, women with curvy body types are considered the pinnacle of femininity. It's only in recent decades that high fashion designers have focused on stick-figure models when they design their clothes. There's nothing wrong with either body type, but curvy women need to know how to dress for success just as much as skinny women do, but they tend to have less guidance from the fashion world.

Don't resort to just wearing the same outfit every day. Instead, learn how to love those curves and find clothes that will look great.

0

Happy September ~ Letter From The Editor


Anyone else trying to figure out how it has come to be September already? Whew! Summer sure did fly by. Last Wednesday when I was driving Harper to school, I couldn't help but to think that it seemed as if the summer never happened. Just like that I was back to the morning middle school commute grind. Anyway, it's good to have the girls back into a routine and back into the social swing of things.

September, here at the Jersey shore, is considered the "locals summer". Now that the summer visitors have gone home, it's our chance to enjoy the beaches...uncrowded and unspoiled. The weather in September is some of the best all year long.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Wedding gifts the recipients will actually use (and love) via Refinery29.

2. How to perfect flat iron waves via The Beauty Department.

3. The best (and worst) airports for cheap flights via Condé Nast Traveler.
0

Splurge vs. Save: Bucket Bags

As we usher out summer, we can expect to see darker, sturdier bags for fall. Straw totes will be retired to the closet until next summer. We'll be seeing a lot more bucket bags emerging for fall. Bucket bags are a trend that rears its head every several years, and for fall 2019, it's back. Here are two versions of a very similar bag at very different price points.
0

5 Fab Finds Under $50

featured:

Fall is coming, and with it comes a shift from summer's color palette to a richer darker one. Think the colors of falling leaves. This robust burgundy is such a pretty color and is flattering on just about every skin tone, even those with a reddish undertone. This week's 5 Fab Finds includes five unique products that feature this color in some way.
0

Simple Ways To Celebrate Your First Christmas As A Parent

photo via

Becoming a parent is the most amazing feeling in the world. It is a time in your life when you will change the way you think, find a new perspective, and finally, find your real place in the world. The first time you become a parent is the most daunting, exciting, and exhilarating time of your life. Having a baby is a wonder, and you will soon be wrapped up in all of those parent cliches. The first Christmas you spend with a baby is a special occasion. Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your baby's first Christmas.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Ten proven ways to sleep better naturally via Better Relaxation.

2. A list of every pumpkin drink you can get at Starbucks this year via Bustle.

3. Nineteen things you need to do before the end of the year via The Thirty.
0

Cocktails That Are Perfect For Labor Day Weekend


Will you be entertaining guests this weekend or heading over to a friend's house to bid farewell to summer? Either way, you'll want to serve or take the cocktail that will become the talk of the party. I've got a few recipes to share today that feature Sparkling Ice, the naturally-made, zero sugar, zero calorie sparkling water brand. Sparkling Ice products make it super simple to make tasty cocktails that your guests will love!
0

Weekend Dispatch


We returned from a week in Rehoboth Beach on Saturday evening. After unloading the car, I decided to unpack everything. This is a different approach than I normally take. In the past, I'd set aside Sunday morning to do all the unpacking. But this year, I wanted to go into my Sunday with everything unpacked, laundered, and put away. It was such a nice feeling to know that Sunday was completely wide open to decompress from vacation and prepare to re-enter reality come Monday morning. I'm definitely planning on using this approach when we go to Captiva in November.

Now that the unpacking is finished, here's how I'll be spending my week and weekend ahead:
0

What I've Bought Recently

featured:

Summer is winding now, and the summer sales are on! It's the perfect time to share a few of the things I've bought recently since many of the items are currently marked down...considerably. But hurry! These items are going FAST!
0

The Books I Read In July


Thanks to an extended July 4th weekend and great weather, I was able to blow through three books this month and get a sizable chunk of my first book for August out of the way. In case you need a refresher, here's my summer reading list. I am trying to stick to it as closely as possible, but sometimes I get books from friends and I need to read that one as soon as possible so that I can pass it along to the next friend in our book group. Two of the books I read last month are on my summer reading list, and the other one was a book I picked up on sale that once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.

Here are the three books I read in July:
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. The salary you need to live alone in every major U.S. city via Apartment Therapy.

2. Life lessons we can learn from our pets via Darling,.

3. How to manage your weight as you age via Chalkboard.
0

How I Stay Healthy & Fit While On Vacation


This week I am enjoying a week long vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with my sisters and their families. While this vacation means a break from work and all the other domestic obligations of home, it doesn't mean a break from my normal exercise routine. Exercise is just as important to me when on vacation as it is when I am not since my eating habits are often more haphazard and relaxed when I am away. For me, vacation is no reason to check my healthy habits at the door. In fact, it's even more of a reason to keep them intact and make them a priority.

Here are the ways I stay healthy and fit while on vacation:
0

How To Carve Out A Creative Space At Home

Photo via Paige Cody on Unsplash

If you consider yourself to be something of a creative, you want your home to reflect that trait. One of the best ways to do so is by finding a space in your home to be able to use as a creative area. This could be as simple as a desk in the corner by a window, or it might be an entire room, depending on your needs.

Whatever it turns out to be, having this creative space at home can be one of the most enthralling interior design solutions possible. Here are a few things to consider when carving out the perfect creative space in your own home.
0

What We're Reading

Greetings from Rehoboth Beach, my home until Saturday. We are here with my sisters and their families for a week of rest, relaxation, recharging, and family bonding. This is our 13th consecutive August doing this trip, and each year is better than the last. There is so much I look forward to on this trip from the food to the beach to fun, family times, but one of my favorites is just relaxing with a GREAT beach read. I spend a lot of time laboring over choosing a book (or two) for this trip. Part of what makes this trip memorable is the books that I read during our time here.

Here are the books we'll be reading this week:
0

5 Fab Finds Under $50: Travel Edition

featured:

Tomorrow we push off for a week in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Since we drive to Rehoboth each year, I always have a tendency to overpack. I load up the car with anything I think I might possibly use (but never do 🤦🏼‍♀️). This year I am employing a different packing strategy and packing only what we absolutely need.

In today's Fab Finds I wanted to share a few of the inexpensive packing/travel essentials that helped me achieve my packing goal.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Five pieces of career advice you've never heard before via Marie Claire.

2. Things no person over 40 should have in their house via Yahoo!

3. The tiniest town in every state via Elle Decor.
0

Augmenting Your Looks: 4 Most Popular Types of Plastic Surgery


Most of us want to look our best at all times and often turn to plastic surgery to achieve that goal. This is true for men and women alike, as more men are now opting to undergo procedures to change their appearance for the better. Yesterday I wrote about the reasons cosmetic surgery could have a positive impact on your life. Today, we are taking a look at commonly requested procedures and what each involves.
0

Weekend Dispatch


We are in the throes of packing for a week in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Since we drive rather than fly for this trip, we are likely to overpack. I am trying really hard not to do that this year. On the upside, I no longer bring the beach cart or the beach toys, but this year we have an extra beach chair to haul and a slightly smaller car to travel in. We'll see how it goes. If you have any tips, send them my way.

In the meantime, here's what else I am up to this week:
0

4 Reasons Cosmetic Surgery Could Positively Change Your Life


As I am nearing my 52nd birthday (it's less than 4 months away), cosmetic surgery has been on my mind. Having cosmetic surgery is never a decision to take lightly. Whether you are considering a non-invasive procedure such as injectables or something more in depth such as breast augmentation, the outcome of your surgery can change your life forever for the good or for bad. Right now, I'm merely considering a few injectables to combat fine lines and wrinkles. I've been talking to friends who have had similar procedures, and everyone has only awesome things to say about what cosmetic surgery can do for you in addition to improving your physical appearance.
0

The Only Optimal Skincare Guide You'll Ever Need To Read


Did you know your skin is the largest organ on your body? It requires a lot of specialized attention. It covers our entire body from head to toe and is covered in hairs, except for our eyelids, palms and soles of our hands and feet and our lips. These hairs can alert us to how close we are to something or how close something is to us, and it helps to protect our skin.

There are many times where our skin needs a little more protection than our body hair can provide. For instance, sun protection. Our body hair is not enough to block out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that come from our sun. And although our body hair can alert us to the presence of a bug, it does not keep us safe from getting bitten by mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs.

When you are looking for ways to care for the skin that protects your body, there is a lot to think about. That’s why we’re breaking down your skin so that you will have the only optimal skincare guide you will ever need. There’s some science involved, but once you embrace your uniqueness and make a few tweaks, you will be good to go.

0

How To Prepare Your Home For Fall

photo via

How nice would it be to only have to get some pumpkin spice candles in your home, and then you’ll be ready for fall? While yes, the candles are a pretty epic part of the season changing, there are some even more important things to be able to do to the home in time for fall. Some of these things can be costly if they are not looked at properly, which is not what you want as you prep for the the holidays (yes, I went there). So here are some of the things that you should be thinking about before your house transitions from the hot summer days to colder fall nights, and then freezing temperatures.
0

5 Fab Finds Under $50

featured:

On a budget but still want to look great? Here are 5 fab finds under $50 that won't break the bank but will keep you looking stylish and chic. Some items are even under $25!
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. How to tell the difference between a cold and allergies via Oprah.

2. The simple math problem that drove an entire staff insane via Prevention.

3. How caffeine affects your migrane headaches via Bustle.
0

Summer Cocktails That Are Perfect For Entertaining


As we head into Labor Day, it's likely that you'll either be hosting parties or attending a few (or both!). Either way, it's good to have a signature cocktail to serve or a fun boozy treat to bring for everyone's enjoyment.

Here are a few of my end-of-summer favorites.
0

Weekend Dispatch


This past weekend ended up being very low key, which was exactly what I needed. The weekends seemed to filled to the brim lately, and I really needed some downtime to get myself organized. On Friday night, the Hubs and I went out to dinner and then stopped to see some friends who are in a band. They were playing at a local restaurant, and although it was a late night (we didn't get home until 1 am), it was fun. On Saturday morning, we hit a farmers market to stock up on produce for the week, and I finished a book and started a new one. On Sunday, we had brunch, went to a flea market and the girls and I did some quick shopping before spending the rest of the evening on our deck relaxing. It was a nice change of pace.

This week one of my sisters is coming to visit, and this weekend is my great-niece's 4th birthday party. Looking forward to enjoying some family time before we throw ourselves into preparing and packing for our trip to Rehoboth Beach.

Here's what else I am up to this week:
0

Happy August ~ Letter From The Editor


They say August is the Sunday of summer. Just as Sundays are a mad dash to get done everything you didn't get accomplished on Saturday, August is the same. We always seem to spend the month trying to squeeze in all the things we didn't do in June and July and then some. August always seems to be a busy month when it should be the month where we chill and enjoy the last bits of summer.
0

5 Fab Finds Under $50

featured:

On a budget but still want to look great? Here are 5 fab finds under $50 that won't break the bank but will keep you looking stylish and chic. Some items are even under $25!
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. All 44 beaches in New Jersey ranked worst to best (my fave is #3!!!) via NJ.com.

2. Life lessons we can learn from pets via Darling,.

3. How to stop obsessing over your mistakes via Harvard Business Review.
0

Is Becoming a Family Caregiver Right for You?


In a recent poll, 90% of seniors said they wanted to remain in their homes and communities for life. Seniors dislike the idea of spending their last days in nursing homes or hospitals, which they consider impersonal. In addition, those who remain in their homes tend to enjoy better overall health. Unfortunately, many cannot afford professional at-home care so adult children often become their caregivers.

My husband's cousin is slowly recovering from Pacemaker surgery and is in the early stages of dementia. Since my husband is the family member who is the most local to his cousin (his 4 children live out of state, and one of them is all the way in San Francisco), some of the care has fallen on my husband although they do have in-home care for him.

Yesterday the Hubs' cousin's daughter-in-law was in town for a quick visit. We made plans to catch up with each other at the beach. We only had about two hours to chat, and much of our conversation revolved around care for her father-in-law and how it's been a struggle for his children to agree on the best course of action. She is a nurse and brought up a few excellent points that I thought I'd share since many of us are getting to the age where we are caring for aging parents.
0

What We're Reading


I am almost half way to my my 2019 Goodreads reading challenge goal of 35 books. I am finishing up book number 17 this week and am deciding on book 18. I like to move right to the next book without missing a beat so I keep my momentum going. I'll be choosing a book from my summer reading list. If there's a book on here that you'd recommend, please leave a comment to let me know which one. Thanks! xx

Here are the books we are currently enjoying:
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. How to change a bad habit via Huffington Post.

2. The secret language of airline pilots via Time.

3. When Harry Met Sally almost had a very different ending via Harper's Bazaar.
0

Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend was a scorcher here on the east coast. With temperatures in the high 90s but feeling like 110 degrees in some areas, it was difficult to find relief. We headed for the beach where it wasn't necessarily cooler, but at least it was more fun than staying cooped up inside in the air conditioning. All the time on the beach allowed me to start and finish a book, get me steps in (I had to park so far away), and to enjoy some time in the ocean with my girls.

Here's how I spent the weekend and what I am up to this week:

0

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.

0

Tips For Maintaining Your Carpets At Home

A carpet in the home is by far the most popular choice for most homeowners. Our entire house has hardwood floors. I love the way hardwoods look and the fact that they are low maintenance (until they need to be refinished!). But they don’t help much in the way of comfort or energy saving. Carpets are comfortable underneath bare feet, and they trap a lot of heat. They also trap dirt, debris and bacteria, which hardwood floors don't. Each style of flooring does have its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to looking after a hardwood flooring, it's not that difficult to know the basics. Hardwood floors can be mopped, little bits of wood that have been chipped off can be glued back on, and if the floor loses its finish, you can always varnish or buffer it. However for carpets it's a lot more difficult. Whether you are dealing with area carpets, throw rugs, or wall to wall carpeting, there is a process that you must adhere to, to get the best kind of maintenance you can.
0

8 Interesting and Unique Gift Ideas Your Daughter Will Cherish Forever


When you give your daughter a gift, you want it to be something special, something that will bring a smile to her face. You want it to be an interesting and unique gift that she will cherish forever. There are all kinds of wonderful presents that you can choose from. Hopefully, this guide can help you sift through all of the many choices so that you can get something that your little girl (who may not be such a little girl anymore) will love.

When choosing a gift, it's important to consider your daughter’s interests and hobbies. The last thing you want to get for the woman who loves to fly is a bus ticket. She would much rather get a flight lesson or maybe even a skydiving adventure. If your fear is that you won’t pick something that is perfect for her, do a little research. You don’t have to be super stealthy about it either. Just have a conversation with her. Ask a few questions and really listen to the answers. Go to her house or to her room and look around. Ask questions about what you see and think about ways you can complement what she already has or further her dreams and goals.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. One hundred things you can get for free this summer via The Girlfriend.

2. What you should know before joining in on the FaceApp craze via Bustle.

3. The best tips for air-drying your hair this summer via Marie Claire.
0

10 Things To Buy at J.Crew Factory Right Now

featured:

While everyone seems to be focused on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I'm over here gobbling up all the deals elsewhere on the web. The Nordstrom sale isn't the only game in town, although you'd think it is with all the influencers promoting it like crazy. I'm not going to lie. It's a good sale, but personally, I can't even think about buying knee high boots or a turtleneck sweater when it's 90+ degrees outside. I might regret it when October rolls around, but for now, I'm scooping up all the warm weather clothes at bargain basement prices.

Take J.Crew Factory, for example. The Clear the Clearance sale is happening right now, and you save an additional 60% off your clearance purchase with code CLEAROUT.

Here are a few of my faves...these are items that I've purchased recently or are in my cart currently.
0

The Books I Read In June


I have a lot of ground to make up this summer if I plan to meet my goal of 35 books in 2019. I'm currently at 14 books and almost finished with the 15th book. But it's more than half way through the year, and I am just short of my half way goal. So, I've got to kick it up a notch. June was not a productive month as far as reading went. The end of the school year will do that to you. Anyway, here's to hoping I can get through at least three books this month!

Here are the books I read in June:
0

3 Repairs To Make For A Safer and More Valuable Home

photo via
It’s no surprise that everyone wants to have a safe home. After all, being able to feel safe in your home is one of the most essential and basic aspects of daily life. But getting your home to be as safe as possible can take some time, even if many of the things that you need to do along the way are actually very simple and straightforward. Keep it simple by focusing on just a few of the most important repairs that you should make to keep your home safe.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. The 32 bands that performed at Woodstock via How Stuff Works.

2. Ten words you need to stop misspelling via The Oatmeal.

3. What high heels looked like the year you were born via Harper's Bazaar.
0

Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend I was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection and a sinus infection. I felt absolutely awful but managed to rally for some 4th of July festivities. By the time Saturday morning rolled around, I was pretty much exhausted and in need of some downtime. I caught up on Big Little Lies (this season is sooooo good!), finally finished a book that seemed to take forever to read, and fell way behind on laundry.

This weekend my sister and my great nephew are coming from Pennsylvania to visit, so we'll spend time at the beach and hitting up our favorite shops and restaurants.

But for now, I'll be catching up and trying to get ahead. In between, here are a few of the things I'll be up to.

0

How To Shop The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It's here! It's that time of year! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming (and we're doing our happy dance)!! 💃 It's the biggest and best sale of the year with the hottest trends and favorite brands on sale for a limited time.


WHAT: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

WHEN: Sale begins on July 12th at 12:30 ET for Nordstrom cardholders. Sale opens to public on July 19th.

Sooner beats later, so get the Nordstrom card now so you get first dibs on the best selection! Apply here!
0

Rest. Recharge. Repeat.


In the weeks leading up to the fourth of July holiday, I went back and forth with myself over taking the week off. I rarely take a break from the blog. Even when I'm on vacation, I work hard to get content written and scheduled before I leave so that the blog isn't stagnant for a week. But since we were sticking around here last week, I decided that I'd go about the blog business as usual. I had planned to write the posts a day ahead of time and publish them the next morning. Except that didn't exactly happen.

Last Monday's post was written and posted, and then I randomly and unexpectedly decided to just unplug. It also helped that I woke to a bout of sinusitis on Wednesday morning that had me down for the count until Saturday afternoon when I sort of starting coming to life again. I didn't force blog posts. I did fulfill obligations for a client, but other than that, I didn't devote a whole lot of time to the blog or to social media.
0

Happy July ~ Letter From The Editor


Here at the Jersey shore, everyone loves to say that the summer flies by after the fourth of July holiday. I certainly hope not being that summer has really just started now that school has ended. But I have to say, there is some truth in that statement. My favorite season really does seem to go faster and faster each year. And it never fails that the more plans we have and the more we try to pack in to our summer, the faster it goes. So, here's to slowing it down and enjoying every moment of it.

This month on the blog, I'll be sharing my nightly skincare routine since many have asked me for it. It's fairly simple and doesn't include a ton of expensive products. So, be on the lookout for that. I'll also be sharing what's in my beach/pool bag including my favorite towel and sun protection products (for body, face, and lips) as well as what I'm reading. There will be a post tomorrow on festive cocktails to serve on July 4th as well as all summer long.
0

How To Make Your Dream Home A Reality


photo via
In today’s financial climate, many are struggling to buy any house, nevermind their dream home, the one they really want and the one they want to stay in for the rest of their lives. But if you have the time and you have the money, then perhaps building your own house is a possibility. If you’ve not thought about it before, then there are a number of benefits to building your own home. These include getting the exact amount of bedrooms and dimensions of the rooms that you want, choosing everything from the shape of the property to the floor plan and including all the green and eco-friendly features you want. As well as getting exactly what you want, most self-builds are worth considerably more than they cost to build meaning that you get your dream home for a fraction of the market price.

But just how to go about building your dream home?

1. Work Out Your Budget
Do your research. You need to know how much the land will cost, the architect fees, builders fees, cost of materials, fixtures, fittings, and everything else you will need when you build a property from scratch. Do you know what materials you want to build with and how much they will cost? Check out https://www.nichiha.com/product/nichiproducts/nichitrim to get an idea. Then you need to the huge financial commitment and if you are able to handle it. And will you be able to afford to pay alternative rent or mortgage for somewhere to live while the house is being built?

2. Get A Self-Build Mortgage
Next, you need to secure a self-build mortgage. These are usually priced slightly higher than standard mortgages so you will need a decent deposit up front before any lender will be willing to offer one. However, they are specifically designed for anyone looking to build their own home, and they usually release the money in stages, allowing you to pay for the land, and materials as your build progresses.

3. Choose Your Location
Location is one of the most important things when it comes to building your dream home. Your starting point should be to speak to estate agents, look at property websites, and check land auctions. You should also check whether any land developers, local farmers, or utility companies have any undeveloped land in the area and find out if they are open to offers. Like with any house, you need to consider how you will commute to work, to local schools, and other amenities.

4. Get planning permission
You'll need to get planning permission and the proper permits before you start anything; otherwise, you will be breaking the law and then might have to knock your house down after all your hard work. Don’t buy or sign anything until you have the proper paperwork in place and make sure you have covered all the legal aspects.
0