February 28, 2014

A Very GLAM Oscar Night Martini Recipe

This lightly sweet martini tastes, to me, just like a fresh pear. It only takes 3 ingredients so it's super simple to make, and is so yummy your shaker will be busy all night! ;)

It tastes like a fresh pear martini, but actually has no pear in the drink! It's the combination of the apple pucker with the pineapple juice that gives it the awesome flavor. 

It's a glamorous drink that is perfect for your Oscar party - and is a lovely summer drink, so you'll want to be sure to PIN this one!

February 27, 2014

Starting An At Home Fitness Program

Recent research has shown that over one-third of females responding shunned the gym, and instead chose to work out in the comfort of their own home. I recently did a post on Starting An At Home Yoga Practice and the response I got from my readers was fantastic!

Any why not?! Who wants to drive to the gym - dealing with traffic, icy roads, parking, etc. only to THEN deal with crowded locker rooms, dirty machines, public showers... Most of the time it's just not worth it.

February 26, 2014

DIY Ugly Jewelry Makeover {Boho Remix}

I had a necklace made up of gold and silver tone links that I never wore and I wanted to do something with it to make it more my style. Something a  little bohemian chic that I could wear this summer with a tank top or even a swimsuit.

I made a quick stop at the bead shop to pick up some trinkets to spruce it up a bit and spent a few days designing and working on the new necklace.

February 25, 2014

Big Butt? So What! Best T-Shirt Ever!

I've been counting calories lately and watching what I eat pretty carefully because with my broken foot I can't do a lot of exercise, but this weekend I totally splurged - not only on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but on Girl Scout Cookies, too!

I made the comment to my husband - "Big butt, so what?" and now he's been saying it too! With a little help from Google, I found where I had heard that saying before.

February 23, 2014

Live In The Moment: {Inspiration Sunday}

This beautiful image is from On Sutton Place and is available for free download! It's beautiful, suitable for framing, and it's absolutely free!

Hop on over to Ann's blog and download your copy to remind you to LIVE IN THE MOMENT!

Have a great week!

February 22, 2014

Make a Beautiful You! {Self-Care Saturday}

It's hard to FEEL beautiful when you fall behind in your beauty routines... and for me, this is the time of year when that tends to happen most. It may sound shallow to worry about appearances, but when you look good, you feel good! And when you don't feel good about the way you look, you become self-conscious about the things that you know you've neglected.

For me right now, it's my hair and my eyebrows.

February 21, 2014

Light & Easy Comfort Food: No Fail Quiche Formula

I have relied on Mollie Katzen's "Enchanted Broccoli Forest" cookbook for years. It's a classic cookbook that never makes it back to the shelf, so it now has a place right on the kitchen counter. I pull my copy out each and every time I want to make a quiche - though I'm surprised that I don't have the formula memorized by now!

Here in Minneapolis we had another snow drop last night. A big one. Now they say the polar vortex is coming back and temps are going to drop back down below zero. I'm wanting to bake up some SERIOUS comfort food, but my body is wanting something lighter! I think that some warm, custardy quiche will be perfect!

February 20, 2014

Home Decorating Trends for Spring - Think PINK!

Pastels are a big trend for spring 2014 both in fashion and in home decorating.

A few pops of soft pink in your home can look beautiful and modern, without being too feminine if done properly.

Here are some of my favorite images of rooms that incorporate soft pink in just the right ways.

February 18, 2014

Spring 2014 Shop Sweet New Styles from ModCloth!

Today hit 40° here in Minneapolis and I now OFFICIALLY have spring fever! I also discovered that I am in love with the new spring styles from ModCloth! I'll take one of each, please.

February 17, 2014

Happy Blogiversary to... ME! "A Beautiful Little Life" Turns 1


Today we are celebrating a great day for my little blog as "A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE LIFE" turns one year old!

Our actual "blogiversary" was February 14th, but we were too busy celebrating VALENTINE'S DAY...

Over the last 12 months, I have learned and accomplished more than I could have ever imagined. I've made tons of new friends, helped small business owners get the word out about their products and services, reviewed several books, health and beauty products and SO much more!

I've tried countless new recipes, made messes with craft projects, and I even wrote a book!

February 15, 2014

Keeping It Real: Reality TV Is NOT Real {Self-Care Saturday}

Reality TV is the most popular form of entertainment and has taken over completely as the number one genre. But how real is it?

I've always known that it wasn't really REAL, but I was shocked this week when I saw these pictures of the Duck Dynasty gang. Turns out that they're actually a wealthy, clean-cut family that is fooling everyone! I've never watched the show, and I think it's safe to say that I never will, but I couldn't believe it when I saw family pictures of one of the guys wearing a white Polo shirt! One of the bearded guys even had HIGHLIGHTS in his hair. Not kidding! I guess this is old news...but I knew nothing about it until this week! You can read more about here.

February 14, 2014

Perfect Valentine's Day Dessert: Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you are looking for a rich, totally decadent, chocolate dessert to prepare for dessert tonight, look no further than this gluten free, flourless chocolate cake!

This gluten free, flourless chocolate cake recipe was originally featured in my book, "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" as a wonderful dessert to serve over the holidays. Ironically, the original recipe is from King Arthur Flour and was developed as a cake that is suitable for a Passover seder. Voila! A gluten free, flourless chocolate cake was born!

What better holiday to serve it than VALENTINE'S DAY? It is an out of this world, decadent treat that you'll make again and again.

February 13, 2014

Super Short & Pretty Pixie Cuts!

As I watched "The Beatles" 50th Anniversary Special the other night, I was thrilled to see Annie Lennox perform. I've always loved her style - and that super short pixie hair!

Here's a collection of super short pixie cuts that say "SHORT HAIR - DON'T CARE!" and may make you wonder - how short is too short?

February 12, 2014

PUPPY LOVE! Homemade Valentine Treats for Your Dog

Why not show your love this Valentine's Day to the one who always loves you like crazy!

These dog treats are pretty easy to make, and a lot less expensive than store bought treats! We go through quite a few treats around here, between "cookies" and "carrots" (both pooches LOVE baby carrots) they are spoiled rotten!

This is similar to a recipe that I blogged in the past, but I tweaked it a little after hearing from a reader that she used bacon grease in hers!

So here's the final recipe - taste tested and approved by Sir Copper (left) and Miss Maggie! (right)

February 11, 2014

Why NOT Give YOGA a Try? How to Start Practicing Yoga At Home

We've all heard the benefits of yoga - improved flexibility, a sense of well-being, a body like Jennifer Aniston - but did you know that there are many, MANY more reasons to give yoga a try? Timothy McCall, M.D. reports on Yoga Journal a whopping 38 ways that yoga improves your health! I'll let you read the article for yourself, but who knew that it could help lower bad cholesterol, help drain lymph nodes, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis?

February 10, 2014

DIY Home Decorating - Bedroom Projects You Can Do Before Valentine's Day!

Why not spruce up your master bedroom before Valentine's Day? Show your love with some quick and easy DIY (do-it-yourself) home decorating projects that will fire things up a bit in your bedroom!

First and foremost... if you have pictures of your parents, your kids, your family - anyone except you and your love - in your bedroom, it's time to get rid of them! Create a nice collage in the hallway or something. The bedroom is a place for you and your significant other - not for a family gathering! Who wants to get sexy with your parents looking down on you?

February 8, 2014

How to Hibernate Right! {Self-Care Saturday}

The groundhog has seen it's shadow and it appears that there is no sign of any break from the freezing temperatures that have taken over. For some animals, hibernation is part of their survival plan, but that isn't the case for humans.

As much as I would LOVE to crawl back into bed and pull the cozy covers up over my head, I know that it's not a healthy option for me. So how can we make it through the rest of this winter? Here are some tips from Linden Schaffer at HuffPo and the website fitbie.com.

February 7, 2014

Mandarin Orange Cake with Pineapple Whip Frosting Recipe

This mandarin orange cake is my husband's absolute favorite! I made it last week for his birthday and - as always - it was a huge hit. To me, it was a refreshing change from all of the typical WINTER food that we've been eating.

His mom used to make it for him, and I remember the first time I had it. She was sitting with us at the dining room table and I was saying "This cake is the REAL DEAL! You can't get this kind of moistness from a box." She didn't say a word. Fast forward a few years... after she passed away we were cleaning out her apartment and this recipe for mandarin orange cake was tucked right in the front of her recipe box. Of course - because it was her boy's favorite cake! It's especially funny because it IS made with a box mix and she kept that a secret till the end!

February 6, 2014

Color of the Month for February: AMETHYST

Amethyst is the birthstone associated with the month of February. It's an incredibly beautiful stone that is not only stunning but very affordable! Amethyst is a purple quartz believed by the ancient Romans to prevent drunkenness. It's still used by some today to help get rid of addictions to alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc, and destructive compulsive behaviors of all kinds.

February 5, 2014

Six HOT Short Hair Style Trends for 2014

Short hair was all the rage in 2013 - and it's only going to get HOTTER in 2014! Here are some of the top trends in short hair for 2014.

February 3, 2014

Build a Wardrobe Series: What's Your Style Type?

Expressing yourself through fashion is an important part of developing a personal style. Who doesn't feel better about themselves when they know that they look great? When you know what your style type is, it's easier to express yourself through fashion!

The first step in personalizing your basic wardrobe is to identify your style type. This is one of those things that you can really dive into and research, you can take a quick quiz at visual-therapy.com, or sometimes it's easy - you just know what your style is and there's no doubt in your mind!

{travel in Style} SPRING BREAK

What I wouldn't give to be able to hop on an airplane and land somewhere WARM right now! While I don't have plans to visit anyplace tropical in the near future, many are planning their spring break trips - and why not spend just a bit of time in their shoes?

February 1, 2014

What to do when you feel like you're not good enough. {Self-Care Saturday}

Lately I've heard from several people who are feeling down. I'm not just talking a little touch of the blues... I'm talking about that feeling that you're not good enough, or like you're a failure.

I've certainly been there in my life. I remember being a single mom of 2 boys and working full-time in a very demanding job. Most days I felt like I was barely getting through. I couldn't do a good enough job either at work or at home.

Eventually I was fired from that job because I was - first and foremost - a mom. I eventually landed a sales job with more flexibility and a super understanding boss, but the whole experience was very difficult for me.