November 26, 2013

Festive Casual Style

Festive casual style is just exactly what it sounds like. Sometimes you need to dress to the nines for a special event during the holiday season, but for the most part you don't need cocktail attire. When you're working, shopping, entertaining or running errands, what you really want is a casual look with a touch of something special to make it more festive.

Start with a single color outfit. Monochromatic dressing not only helps you look thinner, it also adds just a bit of sophistication.

Pin It To Win It

November 24, 2013

Create A Life That Feels Good {Sunday Inspiration}

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.

November 20, 2013

"What's for Dinner?" Product Review: eMeals

I was recently approached to test a website called eMeals that not only gives you a customized meal plan for your family, but does a lot more! When you go to the website you are immediately able to select a meal plan based on your family size. If you're cooking for 1 or 2 people, select the "For 2" plan. If you're cooking for 3-6 people, select the "Family" plan. The menu plan that you receive is designed so that you don't have a lot of food waste - and that means no wasted money on food, no leftovers going bad in the back of the fridge, and more money in your wallet! eMeals actually saves an average of $1,000 a year by proving a meal plan and grocery store coupons! (click here for more info on the money savings!)

November 19, 2013

HELP! I need advice about ankle boots, please!

One of my most popular posts on the blog is the one about how to wear ankle boots. Over the weekend, I received the following email:

November 18, 2013

Estate Sale SCORE! Antique Hamilton Printers Cabinet

Yesterday Dave and I were at an estate sale just blocks from our house when I spotted an antique Hamilton printers cabinet down in the dusty basement next to a VERY extensive collection of old Playboy magazines. The cabinet had all of the drawers and it was in decent condition and was priced pretty competitively even before we knew that it was 50% off!

November 16, 2013

Stop Feeling Guilty! {Self-Care Saturday}

A little self indulgence can go a long way when it comes to taking care of yourself...But why is it that we still feel guilty when we take advantage of some personal time? There is a difference between selfishness and self care, and taking good care of your needs is never a selfish thing!

November 14, 2013

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Muffin in a MUG!

I'm always hungry for carbs in the morning... a muffin, a cookie, anything sweet and yummy. It makes it really hard to start the day out right! Today I adapted a recipe that I found online for a pumpkin muffin that you can make in about 5 minutes using a coffee mug and your microwave! 

November 11, 2013

Happy Anniversary Dave!

This week we had our 2 year wedding anniversary! Dave and I got married at our home on 11/11/11 and I can honestly say that the last 2 years (along with the 4 before that) have been the happiest years of my life.

Since the traditional gift for the second year wedding anniversary is COTTON, we decided to splurge on a new set of super high thread count cotton sheets for our bed. I made a little stop along the way to purchase some embroidery floss and a hoop so that I could embroider a little heart on his pillowcase. My mom taught me to embroider when I was just a little kid, but it's been about 30 years since I embroidered anything. I think she would be proud of my crooked little heart! Almost as proud as she was of the great guy that I landed. She was right... he's definitely "a keeper!"

November 9, 2013

What Happens When You Keep Going {Self-Care Saturday}

All of the motivation websites say to "KEEP GOING" at all costs... and that's true! In order to accomplish things and make your dreams come true, you can't get discouraged, you can't stop making progress, and you can't give in to pressure. 

we've moved!

a beautiful little life
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November 8, 2013

Staying Out of the Shopping Trap

This is the first post in a series to help you create a beautiful little Christmas for you and your family this year - and with the black friday ads already being leaked and Oprah's "Favorite Things" all over the news I thought I'd start with a post about shopping during the holiday season.

I saw an article yesterday on how to stay safe on black friday. Meaning how to not get trampled to death at WalMart and how to not get mugged walking from your car to the mall. Merry Christmas! Really? 

Quick - grab a piece of paper and a pen. At the top of the paper, write "2012" and draw a line under it. Now try to list the Christmas presents that you bought last year and who they were for. Ready? GO!

Granted, I have a TERRIBLE memory, but I'm embarrassed to say that I could only remember a few things. The gifts that I remember are the ones that I knew were the perfect gifts...a telescope for my oldest son that I spent hours researching to find an affordable one that wasn't junk...a bigger computer monitor for my younger son that is a gamer. 

The small things - the "fill-in" gifts that I thought were so important - well let's just say that I could have passed. There's the game that hasn't been played, the tie clip that hasn't been worn... good ideas in theory but not necessary. 

I like the idea of 4 gifts - 1 that they want, 1 that they need, 1 thing to wear and 1 thing to read. It may require a bit of customization for the guys that are in desperate need of clothes (all 3 of them) but overall, I think I'll be better off this year skipping all of those little things and focus on the things that will mean the most. 

I know that the research will take a good bit of time, but think of all the time I'll save shopping this year - not to mention the money! And on black friday, I'm sleeping in!

November 7, 2013

Fall After Winter?

Sometimes it snows in April (and May) ... and sometimes leaves fall in November after snow. 
Because of a summer drought, the trees here in the Minneapolis area have not yet finished dropping their leaves. We had a few inches of snow the other night that is quickly melting away, but I couldn't help but run for my camera when I saw the leaves falling on my patio table.

November 6, 2013

"Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" Free Sample Download!

Bigger isn't always better...especially when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Keeping things small during the holiday season will help you not only maintain your sanity, but it can also help you create a meaningful celebration that you enjoy! 

"Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" will help you determine what's important to you during the holidays, and create new ideas regarding how you'd like things to be for you and your family this season.

This book contains hundreds of ideas to help you create a beautiful Christmas for you and your family:
  • Decorate your home inside and out beautifully, inexpensively and without stressing out.
  • Look your best all season long by adding a little sparkle and shine to your wardrobe basics.
  • Pledge to take care of yourself and make time to nurture your spirit during this busy time of year.
  • Find meaning in the season, even if you're not religious.
  • Perfect the art of gift giving for everyone on your list.
  • Entertain your guests without breaking a sweat by planning ahead.
By keeping things small, you'll soon see that you have more time available for the things that are really important to you. When your holidays are filled with things that are meaningful to you, you are “Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas.”

To download a free sample of the book, visit and request a sample copy to be sent to your kindle. If you don't have a kindle, you can download the kindle app for free and install it on your computer, tablet, or phone and use it to download all sorts of books! 

November 5, 2013


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mont Bleu for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Yes, I do still have Christmas on the brain! If you have read "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" you'll know that this time of year I recommend that you start planning for gift giving. Start a secret board on Pinterest and start pinning gift ideas for those special people in your life! I love Pinterest... totally addicted! I also have boards where I have pinned general gift ideas for men, women and coworkers!

One of the things that I love this season is all of the cool retro items for women. MAC Retro Lipstick, beautiful patent leather clutch handbags from Christian Louboutin, pressed powder kits from Anna Sui, and I LOVE these compact mirrors! Compacts are one of those things that all of our mothers had in their purse and they are coming back strong! Just look at them to see why...
compact mirror

November 4, 2013

Easy Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

I have Christmas on my brain. After having spent what feels like the last million weeks or so writing about it, I should be all set for the holidays this year!

There is a bit in "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" where I talk about planning ahead NOW and freezing some meals. The week before Christmas is always so busy-there is never time to put anything decent on the table, and it's super easy to make a double batch now and put one batch in the freezer for later.

I included several of our favorite recipes that are great freezer meals in the book, and I thought I'd share a few here. Hope you enjoy them!

November 1, 2013

Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas

Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas is ready and available for download here at Just on time, too, because with Halloween behind us, the Christmas season is officially upon us!

This book contains hundreds of ideas to help you create a beautiful Christmas for your family and includes over 30 great recipes.

It's priced at just $8.99 and is available for immediate download. The 3 free e-books that come with your purchase will be emailed to you at the address provided at the time of purchase. 

If you have any questions or any difficulties when downloading the book, please let me know immediately, and if you're interested in purchasing a paperback copy of "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" let me know. 

Cheers to a peaceful and beautiful holiday season!