October 31, 2014

Customize Your Holiday Table with CREATE UR PLATE!

I received a discount on my purchase from CREATE UR PLATE as a blogger affiliate. All opinions are mine! One of the best things about being a blogger is being one of the first to know about awesome new products, and when I was given the opportunity to try CREATE UR PLATE for the upcoming season, I was SO excited! 

The idea isn't new... people have been using mod podge to put images and fabric on glass plates for years. The technology IS new. These aren't pictures that you glue on. They are printed, removable decals that you can use on glass plates OR PLASTIC DISPOSABLE PLATES, remove, and use again and again! 

I just received mine and I have had a blast playing around with table settings for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Scroll down to see what I chose for my patterns, AND now through November 27th, take 25% off your order at Create UR Plate using the code TURKEY25 at checkout! Check it out & create your own designs!

October 28, 2014

Decorate With Nature This Fall: DIY Decor with Twigs!

We have had a large, broken branch hanging by a thread for the last year on our big ash tree in the back yard - and on Saturday it finally fell! Thankfully it didn't fall on the pooches because they were both outside at the time.

You may have seen my post a few weeks ago on using sticks as fire starters, but this time I wanted to do something different with the many sticks I now have.

I decided to do a little WINTER decorating! Come on... everywhere you look there is Christmas stuff. It's almost time to "fall back" AND the weather is definitely getting chilly here in Minne-SNOW-ta.

I made twig stars and evergreen bundles with some berry accents from another tree in our yard. Pine cones were added so that I can put peanut butter and birdseed on them for the birds this winter. All tied up with some garden twine!

October 25, 2014

Boost Your Immunity This Fall with Organic Avenue! {Self-Care Saturday}

I've been trying to clean up my diet - cutting back on processed food, eating less sugar and more fruits and vegetables - but it's hard to get all of the nutrients that your body needs to protect itself from viruses and infections. Even on my best eating days, I know that I'm not getting enough.

I recently found out about Organic Avenue, a "plant-based grab and go retailer." Organic Avenue's stores are designed to inspire and enable healthy living - I only wish that there was a location here in the MINNE-apple to go with all of their locations in the BIG apple! Thank goodness they ship their juices, boosters, and cleanses because I am their newest, biggest fan! 

October 24, 2014

10 Lightened Up Comfort Desserts for Chilly Fall Nights

When colder weather rolls around, I CRAVE warm desserts - like bread pudding, warm tapioca with whipped cream, apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, and warm, decadent brownies.

I crave them a little bit TOO much! I've been really packing on the pounds over the last few years and not feeling great about myself and how my body is looking these days... leading me to hit the web in search of some light, comforting dessert recipes! My criteria - low(er) in calories, include some healthy ingredients, and/or light versions of classic favorites.

Just so you know... there are no artificial sweeteners, egg replacement or funky stuff in these recipes. They are definitely not calorie free, but they ARE better than the originals.

Here are my top 10 finds!

October 21, 2014

Thrift Shop Ceramic Owl Makeover! DIY Home Decor

When I brought this ceramic owl home from the thrift shop, my husband thought I was totally crazy! Let's face it... it's ugly.

But if you could look past the creepy painted eyes, it had a cute little face! Plus, it had a pink tag so it was 50% off of the original $5.99 price tag.

It definitely needed some paint to bring it back to life. I decided to pile on the layers until it looked just right - and the result was better than I could have ever imagined!

October 18, 2014

FALL FATIGUE: 6 Reasons Why it Happens and How to Deal With It {Self-Care Saturday}

When my sister lived in California, she used to laugh at me when I would complain about feeling lethargic, fatigued, achy, and overall like GARBAGE, and then blame it on the changing seasons. Years later, after having made the move back to Minnesota, she would say, "I know that I used to laugh at you, but..."

Our local CBS affiliate did a story on "Why We Feel More Tired When The Seasons Change"
and when I saw the teaser for it I felt so - - - VALIDATED! But their bit was short, and the answer they gave (IMHO) didn't do justice to how crappy so many people feel. I couldn't help but think that there had to be more to it than changes in the amount of sunlight and how much sleep we're getting - and I was absolutely right!

October 16, 2014

Oh MANGO... How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!

cashmere wool blend cape $89.99
One of my favorite fashion brands out there that recently launched a plus sized line with sizes up to a 20, a performance line of athletic wear, AND they still have the most incredible style at a decent price! Yes, I'm talking about MANGO.

MANGO Violeta is the same high-quality you would expect from MANGO with awesome styles. Brace yourself though - this PLUS SIZE line has sizes that start at size 8 and go up to a size 20.

Wait, what?! Size 8 is PLUS SIZE? Daaaaang. Ok. Take a deep breath and try to remember: When was the last time was that you put a size XS in your cart? An XS is an 8 and an XL is a 20. What comes in between, I'm not sure, so be sure that you check out their size chart, but DO visit MANGO Violeta online, check out the coats, (on sale now) the casual dresses, and the knitwear. FABULOUS!

October 13, 2014

7 Fabulous New {GLUTEN-FREE} Cookbooks for Fall!

Orange & Pepita Granola from
YumUniverse (recipe included!)
If you are living a gluten-free lifestyle, it can be difficult to find simple, satisfying, gluten-free recipes for you and your family... but it's just gotten a whole lot easier!

There are 7 (Yes, SEVEN!) great new cookbooks that you MUST SEE before the holidays if you are living the GF lifestyle! There are so many great recipes here - from decadent desserts to savory  appetizers to hearty sweet potato gnocchi - you'll definitely find some fresh, new, gluten-free recipe ideas to add to your rotation!

Special thanks to the publishers of these great books for providing me with review copies at no cost through netgalley.com, especially BenBella Books (publisher of YumUniverse) for providing the recipe for Orange & Pepita Granola for you to try!

October 9, 2014

Man's Best Friend? A Dog Is A WOMAN'S Best Friend!

 photo Maggie4_zps8de004aa.jpgThis post brought to you by Purina®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://www.abeautifullittlelife.com/.

For a woman, especially a single woman, a dog is a best friend, a companion, and a fierce protector! Remember when Sandra Bullock had that creepy stalker break into her home while she was there? She went face to face with him just outside her bedroom door! When I saw that report on the news, the first thing that came to mind is WHERE WERE HER DOGS? There is no way anyone could get into this house without me knowing it. There is no way anyone can walk past this house outside without me knowing it!

October 8, 2014

Shoptober for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

I've personally selected some of the most special items available for a limited time during the month of October to support BREAST CANCER AWARENESS!

When you purchase any of the following items, you help give free mammograms to those who cannot afford one, you help care for sisters that are battling breast cancer, and you support research to help find a cure for breast cancer. Does it get any better than that? 

October 7, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Today Show #PinkPower T-Shirt Available Now!

To support Joan Lunden, who is battling breast cancer, the TODAY family kicked off a special #PinkPower series for October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They invited breast cancer survivors to stand with them on Rockefeller Plaza, all wearing #PinkPower t-shirts. Viewers responded with overwhelming support and flooded their in-boxes with inquiries about purchasing these shirts.

In partnership with Breastcancer.org, a not-for-profit organization that serves as a trusted source of medical information and guidance for people whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, the NBCUniversal Store is proud to make the #PinkPower t-shirt available.

The Only Fall Jacket You Need!

Burberry Brit "Copford" Quilted Jacket
Everything old really IS new again! I remember that my grandma had a quilted jacket like this... and take a look at one of the most beautiful, practical, trendy and "normal" looks for fall.

The lightweight quilted jacket is really the only jacket you need for fall. It can be dressed up, dressed down, and worn with absolutely anything!

Wear your quilted jacket with a skirt and boots to work, jeans and a classic white shirt for brunch, jeans and knee high boots to run errands. Flats, heels, boots - no matter what the occasion you are good to go!

The Burberry Brit jacket on the left retails for $595, but there are quilted fall jackets in every price range - in every color - and cut in different styles.

October 2, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - 4 Things You Can Do BESIDES Buying Pink Stuff

    You've probably seen the pink ribbons... October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I know that every time I turn around there is a special something that is for sale - available in the color pink - for a limited time and with a percentage of the sale price going to support breast cancer research, patients, education, etc. 

    But I don't always want to just BUY something, for a variety of reasons. I can't always afford it. If it's not something that I need or love, I don't want to bring it home - no matter what color it is. I'm trying to clear out clutter, not add to it! But I do want to do my part to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  What's a gal to do? 

    I decided to do some research and come up with ways that we can all make Breast Cancer Awareness Month meaningful without spending a dime buying pink "stuff" that we don't really need. Here's my list of 4 things:

    October 1, 2014

    Guide to Autumn Reading: Curl Up With a Good Book!

    Here are my picks for some of the best, new books this fall. When the weather turns chilly, it doesn't get much better than curling up with a good book - and you can't go wrong with any of these great reads!

    There are a lot of really dark tales out there this fall and I didn't want to only feature that type of book. If you're into that sort of thing, you might also check out "Voyage of Strangers" and "The French Executioner" - both are excellent but not featured here.

    What are you reading this fall? Leave a note for me in the "comments" section of this post and I'll let folks know!