September 27, 2014

7 Tips for a More Peaceful Home {Self-Care Saturday}

When I say "peaceful home" what comes to mind? Some might think of a Zen sanctuary, a retreat center, or a friends house that always seems quiet and inviting. Often times our own homes aren't places that we consider to be peaceful! Why? Because we LIVE THERE! 

Living in a home causes all kinds of activity! Seldom are we able to spend a day at home doing nothing but relaxing or reading a book without someone or something interrupting our peace. That doesn't mean that you can't work to make your home more peaceful than it feels now! Here are seven great tips that I found on how you can make your home more peaceful.

September 25, 2014

Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks: Getting Ready for Fireplace Fires

All summer long, we pick up sticks. Our neighborhood is full of big, beautiful trees. It's one of the things that I love the most about it!

Back to sticks. We pick them up after a storm blows through. We pick them up before we mow the lawn. We pick them up after the dog drags them to the middle of the yard and puts them in a pile. Sometimes we pick them up from the neighbors yard and throw them over the fence into our yard.

We burn them in our fire pit. We pile them up next to the shed. This year, I decided to put them to good use!

After the finger incident of 2013 where I smashed my finger in a wood splitter, we BOUGHT our firewood for the winter this year. What we are lacking is the kindling wood that you need for starting fires. Hmmm...

September 24, 2014

12 GIN-SPIRING Recipes for Fall: Warming, Comforting Ginger

There are so many tasty and healthy ways to enjoy the warming, comforting spice ginger!

Here in the United States, it's mostly known for adding a little zip to cookings and soda, but worldwide it's a staple ingredient used in cooking and more.

Ginger is the perfect spice to warm your body when the air starts to get chilly in the fall, but it's so much more than that! Ginger helps maintain normal blood circulation, helps prevent colds and flu, improves digestion, reduces pain and inflammation, and can strengthen overall immunity.

Here are some of my favorite ginger recipes from the web. Must try: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Apple Ginger Smash Cocktail, Ginger Chai Tea, and Ultimate Ginger Cookies.

September 22, 2014

Love Your Pets? Take the Paws for Life Pledge!

Love Your Pets? Take the Pledge!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


I write SO often on this blog about living a healthier lifestyle - why wouldn't we all choose to do the same for our pets?

Sometimes our house feels like a total zoo, but we wouldn't trade our critters for anything! We have 2 cats, (Gypsy and Snowball) and 2 dogs (Copper and Maggie) that are absolutely a part of our family!

September 20, 2014

September 18, 2014

5 Years of Fall Fashion: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Fall Fashion

Fashion trends come and go, but fashion designers tend to have a certain look to their designs that they adapt to meet current trends year after year. That has never been more evident than it is now. I thought I'd share some images from fall fashion runways from 2010, fall fashion runway images from 2011, fall fashion 2012 runway show images, 2013 fall fashion trend images, and 2014 fall fashion runway images. Images are from top fashion designers that are household names - Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la RentaMichael Kors, Ralph Lauren,  and Narciso Rodriguez.

September 16, 2014

A Softer Haircut for Fall 2014 - Fringe - Pixie - Bob

It's September and there's a bit of a chill here in Minnesota. This time of year is so strange. No matter where you go, there are people wearing flip-flops and shorts, there are people wearing boots and sweaters, and there are people wearing actual coats! All at the same place on the same day! Fall fashion at it's finest in the Midwest!

My favorite REAL trends for fall are soft, pretty, a little boho, 70's inspired, rich in color and texture, and full of fun! How do you translate those qualities into a head to toe look? A super cute pixie cut with a softer edge. 

September 12, 2014

Happy Friday {Do More of What Makes You Happy} NYFW

Happy Friday all! Isn't it amazing how quickly the weeks go by? I can't believe that it's the middle of September. The older you get, the faster time seems to fly.

Fall is such a time of transition. As the blossoms fade and the leaves start changing it's hard to believe that another summer is gone.

That's why I've come to realize that you have to be thankful for every moment you have. You have to make sure that you take time every day to do something that makes you happy. You have to make sure that you are doing what's right for you and making the very best of what you've got!

For us introverts it's a gift to be able to stay home and curl up in the evenings with a book or magazine, to watch a movie instead of taking a walk, to crawl into bed under the covers instead of cranking up the air conditioning. I can never wait for "sweater weather" to arrive, but now that it's here I'm in a bit of shock!

September 9, 2014

Brew Your Own Kombucha at Home! Save Big $$

Why spend $6 a bottle at Whole Foods for your favorite brew when you can easily and inexpensively make your own kombucha right in your own kitchen?

I've been brewing my own "booch" for a few months now and I thought I'd share some basic information on how you can do the same!

The reported health benefits of drinking kombucha tea are plentiful, from clearing up stomach problems to alleviating arthritis pain. I'm not going to go into great details about that in this post, but for a great explanation on what kombucha IS and why you might want to drink it, there is a ton of information on getkombucha.com.

Back to brewing the booch!

September 8, 2014

It's Harvest Time! Preserve the Freshness, Drink the Harvest! {Book Review}

Whether you have a garden of your own - or you, like me, rely on others to provide you with fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer's market - it's harvest time!

Are you looking for a new way to preserve all of the good stuff that you've harvested? You might want to check out a new book from Storey Publishing called "Drink the Harvest" by Nan K. Chase & DeNeice C. Guest.

It's great to make your own tomato sauce and salsa. Those fresh green beans that you're freezing will taste oh so good in January! Applesauce is wonderful to have on hand to use for baking or with your porkchops.

But have you ever considered preserving juices, bloody mary mixer, or fruit syrups? "Drink the Harvest" tells you everything you need to know to get started! But wait! There's MORE! How about making your own WINE, MEAD, or LIMONCELLO?

September 6, 2014

Crafting Calm: A DIY Guide to Peace of Mind {Self-Care Saturday}

I received a copy of the book "Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation" from the publisher for review, and I have to say that it is one of the most beautiful books that I have seen in a very long time!

I have said for a very long time that when life becomes overwhelming, taking time to create something beautiful is the best thing that you can do to bring back a sense of peace. This book reinforces that idea by instructing you how to "craft your way to inner peace".

It's something that our grandmothers knew. They sat in the corner and knit, crocheted, embroidered, quilted and created their own beautiful masterpieces for their own homes or to give as gifts from the heart.

But Crafting Calm isn't your grandmother's guide book. The ideas shared include crafts like:

September 5, 2014

12 Delicious Zucchini Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth!

I love, love, loved my mom's zucchini bars and I can't wait to go to the farmer's market on Sunday morning to pick up a few zucchini so that I can make them! Only problem is that they make a huge pan of bars and I'm the only one that really eats them around here! UGH!

I've been SO craving them that I was browsing on Pinterest and thought I'd share a compilation of some of the most delicious looking zucchini recipes that I found.

My mouth is totally watering. How about yours?


September 3, 2014

WARBY PARKER Online Rx Glasses Fall Line: Buy A Pair, Give A Pair!

That's right - for every pair of prescription eyeglasses you buy online from Warby Parker, they give a pair of prescription eyeglasses to someone in need who otherwise would go without the gift of sight. AMAZING! They've given away over ONE MILLION pair of eyeglasses in 35 countries. You can learn more about their charitable giving by watching this video that they have on their website.

Warby Parker's fall line features 9 new shapes, which means there's a signature look for absolutely everyone! They have 2 new colors, including 3 styles that are available in CRYSTAL! Ummm... wow. Crystal clear frames means that you never have to worry about whether your glasses go with whatever you choose to wear. Perfect!

September 2, 2014

Self-Care on the First Day of School

As a mom, I think that Mother's Day should be moved to the Tuesday after Labor Day. It's the day when so many kids go back to school and mom's finally get a break from the stresses of summer! It's the day when you can finally take a deep breath and relax - even if it's just for a minute - because you know that the fall routines will kick in, some of your responsibilities will fall away, and you'll be able to catch up on things that you had to let slide for the summer.

Before the routines get TOO settled in, be sure to take some time for yourself. I used to work with a woman who always took a vacation day on the first day of school. She scheduled an hour long massage for that day and took the whole day to do whatever she wanted!