April 30, 2014

6 Tips for Fresh & Pretty Makeup Looks for Spring

Warmer weather means a wardrobe change and it should mean a change in makeup, too. Heavier looks that are perfect for winter with a turtleneck and a winter coat are too much for spring! Here are some tips for how to lighten up your look for spring and summer:

April 28, 2014

Rearrange Your Room: 15 Tips to Create A Fresh Look for Spring


I love rearranging the furniture in our house. I do it twice a year in the living room - once in the fall and again in the spring. Why?

It's easy to deep clean when you're moving things around. If you don't move your sofa, when will you ever clean the junk out from underneath it?

I like to keep the windows clear during the spring and summer months so that I can easily access them to open them. During the summer months, our sectional sofa is in the corner across from the windows with a reclining chair near the windows. During the winter months, I like to create a more warm & cozy feeling and split up the sectional into two sofas that face each other.

Moving around our furniture helps me get a new perspective on our home. It's a great creative outlet for me and it makes it easier to notice things that need maintenance or repair.

April 27, 2014

Great Things Quote {Sunday Inspiration}


visit Geninne's Etsy shop to purchase a print of "Pile o Wood" or any of her other fabulous bird prints by clicking:  www.etsy.com/shop/Geninne

April 25, 2014

Not Your Mom's Self Tanner! The Best of the Bronzers

Do you remember QT or Quick Tan by Coppertone? I know I'm dating myself here, but the stuff was SO bad. It made you turn orange, was completely streaky and after use everyone could definitely tell you had used QT - it was that obvious.

At the time, it was state of the art! I remember putting it on and laying out in the sun in my parents back yard. To this day, there is nothing that relaxes me more than laying down and feeling the warm sun on my skin.

Of course, I know now that it's not healthy, so instead I "fake bake" and limit my sun exposure. Thankfully, sunless tanners have come a long way since QT! From chemself-tanning wipes that exfoliate AND reduce hair growth to professional quality airbrush tanning systems, there is something for everyone who is looking for a healthy glow this summer.

April 23, 2014

Spring Hair Inspo: Beautiful Highlights to Brighten Your Look

There's nothing like fresh highlights in the spring to brighten your face, make your eyes pop.

Whether you have highlights done professionally or do them yourself at home, you'll get a sun-kissed look as if you've spent time in the sun. Add a touch of bronzer to your face and you'll look absolutely radiant this spring!

Here are some inspiring photos of highlights in long hair and short hair, in shades from blonde, to caramel, honey to auburn. 


April 22, 2014

Organic Food: Worth the Price? YES!

The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently updated an article for their website that was originally published by Washington Post titled Organics: Are They Worth the Price? (you can click through if you'd like to read the article) They refer to a study that was published in 2012 by Stanford University titled "Little Evidence of Health Benefits from Organic Foods". It's old news, really, but since they are still talking about it, I will too!

April 21, 2014

No Soliciting, PLEASE! Send Knockers Walking (without being rude)

There is a price to pay for the warm weather that has finally arrived here in the Minneapolis area. SOLICITORS! I think that our neighborhood gets hit worse than some others, but more likely, all neighborhoods are plagued with salespeople, canvassers, fund-raisers, preachers and the like. Some days there are 2 or 3 different people ringing in the same day!

With two dogs in the house, it's a struggle to open the door and manage them at the same time. I hate being rude, but sometimes they just don't go away unless you just close the door in their face!

April 19, 2014

Discover How Great You Are in 30 Minutes by Milan Bakrania {book review}

For Self-Care Saturday this week I decided to feature a book that gives the kind of practical, no nonsense advice that my mom used to give. At just 44 pages, it's a quick read for anyone who needs a kick-in-the-pants - MOM STYLE!

This book is a quick read. Literally cover to cover in 30 minutes. It's priced right now at just $4.99 on amazon.com and if you have amazon prime you can borrow it for free!

Each page features a comment that someone facing self-doubt may say about themselves along with practical advice from the author. Here are a few of my very favorites...

April 18, 2014

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs! Yummy Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs from Handmade Gatherings

I'm always in search of great recipes and at Easter time, if I can use up those hard-boiled eggs we've decorated and make them into something yummy then it's a huge bonus! Two classic recipes are deviled eggs and egg salad, and I found fabulous recipes for both that have a modern twist. (one has BACON!)

"Handmade Gatherings" by Ashley English is a brand new book that features sixteen parties and gives you fabulous ideas on decorating, entertainment, little crafts you can do and recipes! One of the springtime parties, I might add, resembles an Easter celebration!

April 17, 2014

82 and Sunny in San Juan, Snowing AGAIN in Minneapolis

This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I was in Junior High School, I responded to an article Young Miss magazine to request a penpal. Coming from a small town in rural Minnesota, I wanted so badly to learn what life was like for teens in other states. I waited and waited and finally got my first letter. My penpal was from Puerto Rico! At that time, I didn't even realize that Puerto Rico was part of the United States, but I remember how exotic her letters sounded. She encouraged me in every letter to come visit beautiful Puerto Rico, so when I was approached by Puerto Rico Tourism to work with them, I immediately thought of her.

Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out: The Weekend Wonder Detox {book review}

Spring is the perfect time to detox your body, but so many of the juice cleanses and harsh fasting plans out there are really harmful to your body! How do you know what kind of cleanse you should do?

The "Weekend Wonder Detox" (paperback available on amazon.com - kindle edition available April 29th) is the perfect resource. Not only does the author offer a quiz to help you decide what type of cleanse your body needs most, (liver, lymph, kidneys, colon, skin, or fat blast) but she also guides you through the entire process for the weekend with a customized plan for each type of cleanse.

April 15, 2014

What Does Your DNA Say? My Experience With Promethease & 23andMe

If you saw yesterday's post, you know that I recently had my DNA analysis done through 23andMe. Yesterday, I went over what I learned about my ancestry directly from 23andMe. If you missed it, click here to check it out! Today, I'll talk about the information that had a HUGE impact on me that came from the raw data they sent.

If you have your DNA analysis done by 23andMe, you can find your raw data by clicking on your profile on the top right corner. It says "browse raw data" and let me warn you... DON'T try to print it! Mine was 12,550 pages! It makes no sense whatsoever to look at it, but if you pay a visit to www.promethease.com and pay $5, you can upload your information directly from 23andMe for interpretation. In about 5-10 minutes, you'll get several different reports full of health related information. All I can say is - "WHAT A TRIP!"

April 14, 2014

What Does Your DNA Say? My Experience With 23andMe Personal Genome Services

As a lifestyle blogger, if there is something that really piques my curiosity, I imagine that my readers are curious about it, too. For the last few years, I've been hearing about 23andMe and their personal genome services and definitely was interested in learning more.

Because of my own personal interest, I wanted to go through the process and be able to do a comprehensive blog post that would help my readers understand what it means to have their own DNA profile done. I wanted to be able to let them know exactly what to expect if they paid $99 and sent in a tube of their spit to 23andMe. I didn't, however, expect to have the process change the way that I view myself forever.

April 12, 2014

Furry friends with benefits! {SELF-CARE SATURDAY}

Research has proven the many benefits of pet ownership:

They reduce your risk of suffering from allergies, asthma, and eczema by strengthening your immune system if you're exposed to pets as a child.

They lower your blood pressure. Just petting an animal lowers your blood pressure more than the traditional hypertension drug!

Pet owners are more fit, especially those who own a dog. They are 34% more likely to reach the minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week.

And so much more!

April 11, 2014

Product Review and GIVEAWAY! Original Sprout Organic

I am always looking for new health and beauty products to add to my rotation, especially when they are organic! When I was contacted by Original Sprout and given the opportunity to test some of their products, I said yes right away.

Created by Inga Tritt, it's a family-run company based in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California.

I'll start by saying their products are FREE & CLEAN! No parabens, nanoparticles, phytoestrogens like lavender, tea tree, petroleum oils, musk, propylene glycol, sulfates, gluten, soy or dairy. They're 100% vegan and cruelty free.

April 8, 2014

A Healthier, Fresher Choice When You Eat Out! Pei Wei Asian Diner

 photo 1029d01a-8b80-45c8-8e25-2fe1b5556032_zps6fc4b326.jpgThis is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pei Wei Asian Diner for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have a new favorite spot for lunch! Or a light dinner! Or an afternoon snack!


As you all know, we have really been watching what we eat around here. I know that it's the healthy thing to do, but it makes it really difficult when you don't feel like cooking. Finding a healthier option is so important, and I love that I can go to Pei Wei with any of my friends or family members and not have to worry about any food allergies. Pei Wei has something for everyone, and to find out about food allergy information, just visit their website and Explore the Pei Wei Asian Diner menu .

April 7, 2014

April Roundup: see...read...do

To me, April means rainy days, spring cleaning and FINALLY some warm sunshine! I love curling up under a throw blanket with a good book on a rainy spring day, and if you haven't read "The Goldfinch" yet, now is the time to pick up a copy! It's 750+ pages long and you'll wish it was longer!

Other books that I loved that are new releases or soon to be released:

"Thrive" by Arianna Huffington, "Bohemians" by Paul Buhle, (to be released on April 15) "Weekend Wonder Detox" by Michelle Schoffro Cook, (to be released on April 29) "Born to Receive" by Amanda Owen.

Keep an eye on the blog for upcoming book reviews on these great books!

April 4, 2014

Miraval's Sweet & Savory Cooking {BOOK REVIEW}

Last year I was given the opportunity to review a beautiful book called Mindful Living from the Miraval Resort, and when given a chance to review their new cookbook, I couldn't wait!

Created by husband and wife team Justin Cline Macy and Kim Macy, this book is full of incredible recipes that are not only delicious, but they align with the Miraval Spa's dedication to good health.

Recipes truly reflect "spa cuisine" and include breakfast treats, soups and salads, baked goodies and other desserts. You'll also find recipes for quick breads, yeast breads, appetizers, main dishes and sides.

April 3, 2014

Grumpy Cat Birthday Party!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Triad Retail Media. All opinions are 100% mine.

Things have been a little hectic around here this week, so today we JUMPED at the chance to play a little bit - and the package that came in the mail for us presented a purrrrfect opportunity for us to PARTY! ;)

You see - me and my girls - we were invited to have Grumpy Cat’s Birthday Party right here in our house!