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. Houseplants you can't kill via Better Homes & Gardens.

2. The hardest colleges to get into via Niche.

3. Seven easy tricks to make sure your email gets read via Refinery29.
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3 Tips For New Homeowners

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Buying your first home is a dream for many young adults. And it’s fair to say that, if you're a first time homeowner, you might take a few wrong turns along the way. Experience is key when it comes to owning a property and making it your home. It doesn’t matter how much advice more experienced friends give you, you’ll probably make the same mistakes that everyone else has made. Mistakes are good; they teach you valuable lessons. But if you want to stop costly troubles when you move into your new home, you want to make sure you avoid these three  pitfalls:
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Weekend Dispatch


It's hard to believe that February is winding down. I know it's a short month, but this month flew by. I've been averaging a book per week for the past few months, but this month I read only two. I just didn't seem to have the time. Plus, I've been watching more movies (in prep for last weekend's Oscars) and working out (in prep for summer!). I made it to the gym 16 times this month, and we we still have two days left in the month.

Other than that, here's what I am up to this week:

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3 Cute Workout Outfits To Motivate You To Exercise


We've all been there: we go to bed at night excited to get up in the morning to workout. But when morning comes and you pick out your outfit for the gym, that excitement turns to dread when you realize that your workout clothes just aren't doing it for you anymore.

You can bet that every time I have a fun new pair of pants, a crisp new top, and bouncy new kicks, I am ready and eager to hit the conveyer belt on the treadmill, the steps on the Stairmaster, the pedals for a spin class.
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5 Fab Finds Under $50

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When you're on a budget but still want to look great, you want to get your money's worth. 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!
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Best Online Reads


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

1. How to pick a name your cat will answer to via LifeHacker.

2. What happens to our bodies when we stop drinking alcohol via The Coveteur.

3. The 25 most colorful cities in the world via Curbed.
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Weekend Dispatch


Re-entry into the work week after an extra long weekend (my kids had off from school on Friday and Monday) is never easy. But if I prepare myself mentally, it makes it that much easier to hit the ground running on a Tuesday, post-holiday. Although I worked Friday, I truly took the day off on Monday, and it felt great. I dropped my youngest daughter off to babysit and then I hit the gym for a great workout and sweat sesh in the steam room (which I re-discovered since my gym's sauna has been broken for a few weeks). So, when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was ready for it!

Here's what I've been up to this week and my plans for the weekend.
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Easy and Festive Oscar Party Food Ideas

This post was written in partnership with Nellie's Free Range Eggs. All opinions are my own.

The Oscars are all about Hollywood glitz and glamour, and your Oscars party should be as well. That doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of money or time pulling it together. A little bit of planning and organization (and some shopping and prepping!) is all it takes to throw a party that, like the Oscars, will be the talk of the town the next day!

The key is to serve quick, easy, and delicious cocktails, appetizers, and sweet treats for a glam Oscars (or any awards ceremony) viewing party!
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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.

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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!
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Best Online Reads


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

1. Laziness has become a lost art via Medium.

2. How meal planning can help you pay down your debt via The Kitchn.

3. Self-care tips for busy people via Success.
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Thirteen


Today my baby turns thirteen. I still haven't decided how I feel about this. Maybe the pile of tissues in the trash can under my desk is an indication of how I feel. This is a major birthday. It's a big milestone. I feel like with this one she's crossing the threshold into young adulthood. There's a sense of accomplishment seeing your child grow and develop. As parents, we know that there's an invisible finish line, and our children just keep getting closer and closer to it. We know our job is never done, even after they've crossed that line.

We can hold on tightly, but one by one our fingers will begin to lose their grip. She will spread her wings and take her first flight. That's a hard one to think about. I'm not quite ready for that, and I know she isn't either. But the day isn't far off.

But until it comes, I will be here. I will be here in those times you want me to be far away from you. I will be here when you want me to be close to you.

I will be here as you go confidently in the direction of your dreams. I will be here when a dream doesn't quite work out and you need someone to love and support you through a difficult time.
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Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend the Hubs spent 4 days in Florida on a golf trip. While he was away, I finished a book and started another one, watched Adventures in Babysitting with Harper, whipped up a mean veggie stir fry with ingredients leftover from a crudité platter from the Super Bowl, and cleaned out and reorganized my makeup and beauty products (no small feat!).

Here's what I am up to this week:
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The Books I Read In January


Since my reading goal (35 books) for the year is a top priority for me, I thought I'd do a monthly recap of the books I've read. I'm hoping that committing to sharing the books I've read will help keep me on track and motivated. I will also be creating an Instagram Stories Highlight where I'll share the books I've read and very short reviews/ratings.
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Friday Favorites


Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just need to chill and decompress when Friday night rolls around? That would be the kind of week I had. Nothing major went down, but I feel like I've been running all over the place, juggling a million balls, and trying to keep my head above water this week. Now that Friday is here, I have some fun stuff to share to kick off the weekend.
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Best Online Reads


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

1. How to turn a boring banana into a delicious and healthy dessert via Well+Good.

2. Tips for reading more books via LifeHacker.

3. The perfect outfit for airline travel via Quartzy.
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Tips For Booking A Spring Break Trip (And Why You Need To Get Away)


Once the excitement of the holidays ends, and the thick of winter sets in, it's easy to get stuck in a funk. With little to no signs of spring, it's hard to imagine that warmer weather and happier days will ever be a reality again. When cold weather, short days, and gray skies are the norm, it's essential to have something big to look forward to.

There's a reason spring break exists. It falls at the time of year when there are no national holidays where you get a break from work or school. The winter weather has long run its course, and the spring weather hasn't quite touched down yet. Do you need a better excuse to get away?

For the past few years, as part of their Christmas present, my husband and I have been gifting our daughters a spring break trip. Two years ago, we went to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Last year's trip was parlayed into a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah for my nephew's wedding. This year, we are heading to San Diego, California. A trip somewhere warm gives all of us something to look forward to when we are in the doldrums of winter.

A spring break trip takes some careful budgeting and planning to pull off. Here's how we do it and how you can too.
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Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend was full but satisfying. Harper had a Confirmation prep workshop at church for 3 hours on Saturday morning. While she was there, I went to the gym. I rarely go to the gym on Saturdays, primarily because my Friday workouts are strenuous and leave me tired and sore by Saturday mornings. But for the past two Saturdays, I've hit the gym. I actually like the Saturday morning vibe at the gym. It's so different from the weekday mornings. I made a run to Trader Joe's in the late afternoon, and had planned the night in since the Hubs had plans to take his cousin to dinner for his birthday. Those plans quickly went south, and he and I ended up seeing one of my favorite local bands on Saturday night. On Sunday, I ran some errands and took it easy as I was recovering from a sinus infection that I came down with last week. This weekend the Hubs is heading to Florida for a golf trip, and I have lots of plans to chill and catch up on books, Netflix, organizing, and prepping for Harper's 13th birthday.

Here's what I am up to this week:
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Valentine's Day Gifts For Teen Girls

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Brace yourself. Valentine's Day is upon us. The grocery stores will soon be filled with red roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Although the Hubs and I don't exchange gifts, we do like to get the girls a small gift. The gifts are generally inexpensive (under $50/each) and are functional or at the very least fun.

If you're not into heart-themed items, there are plenty of cute items that are pink or red. I love this desk accessories set, and this hair straightener is super cute. If you want to give a decadent box of chocolates, this one is unique. And this glitter makeup bag is perfect for sleepovers.
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Happy February ~ Letter From The Editor


Did January drag on forever or what? New Year's Day seems like months ago. Anyway, I'm happy to be closing the door on the month and moving on to February. Have you noticed the sun is rising earlier and earlier and setting later and later (yay!). Spring is coming. I promise!

This month, we have Harper's 13th birthday to look forward to. I'll have two teenage girls in the house now (oh, what fun!). For her birthday, she has asked for a new bed. A few years ago, she wanted a futon bunkbed, and we indulged her. Now she's ready for a queen-size bed. In addition to a new bed, we'll be making a few more grown up changes to her room, and I'll be sharing the mini makeover here on the blog.
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